Hans Riegel established his company HARIBO (an acronym for Hans Riegel Bonn) in Bonn, Germany on December 13, 1920. Initially HARIBO only made hard candies however in 1922 HARIBO had its first innovative inspiration creating the ever so popular and much loved candy, the Gummi bear. The original product was called Tanzbar, or Dancing Bear, and was a much larger version the Gold Bear variety that we have today. In the beginning the popular candies had to be poured into the moulds by hand but it did not seem to hinder the output of nearly 100 kilograms of Dancing Bears a day. The delivery was being routed through the Reigels' only form of transport: their bicycle. However, as the popularity of the company grew the bicycle had to be traded in for an automobile to carry the abundance of orders to the awaiting customers.

After the arrival of the Reigels' new sons, the company was moved to a new location as well as added two new product lines. The Liquorice Wheels and Liquorice Allsorts were fastly rising in popularity and are still some of the best selling lines for the company today. By 1930, HARIBO had 160 employees with products being distributed all throughout Germany through various sales representatives and well-organized networks. The company’s slogan, “HARIBO makes children happy”, was brought into use and the company was thriving in popularity. By World War II HARIBO was producing an average of 10 metric tons of assorted candies a day.

After the war the company suffered greatly as many companies did. Where Gummi bears and other lollies were popular and in demand the need for artillery shells and various other manufactured weapons were called in for the army. The company soon lost most of their work force to the battle cry. It wasn’t until 1950 that the company regained its stability and soon looked for international expansion. The idea of exporting to countries overseas was very important to Reigels' sons who had taken over the company in 1946.

In 1982 the company made the jump into the United States creating a separate organization. The HARIBO products, having been imported from the mother company, had already been found to become favourites among the American companies. Initially the American branch of HARIBO imported all of the product lines into the country for sale but eventually ended up with only Gummi items for mass distribution. Currently all items that are sold in the US are made through one of the 17 European production facilities in Spain, Germany, France, Denmark, England, Turkey, Ireland, Holland, and Belgium and are distributed mainly through the warehouse in New Jersey.

The product line for HARIBO includes: Starmix, Build-A-Burger, Happy-Cola, Eggstras, Fantasy Mix, Fizzy Cola, Gold Bears, Liquorice Favourites (including Liquorice Wheels & Liquorice All-Sorts), Pasta Frutta, Kiddies Super Mix, and Tropifrutti. For more information check out http://www.HARIBO.com/.

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