The History of Haribo

19 Jul

Haribo. The name speaks for itself.

This is the largest confectionary company in the world and was founded almost 100 years ago in 1920. Haribo is actually an acronym of the founder Hans Riegel Bonn and was born when he created the first gummi bear. After the death of Hans Riegel Snr. his son took over control of the company and expanded around the world, taking over a number of confectionary manufacturers.

It is this expansion which has led it to become the company we know and love in the UK today, as Haribo entered Britain in 1972 after acquiring a stake in Dunhills. There are now five sweetie factories in Germany and another 13 around Europe, but there are sales offices all around the world.

The Dunhills company that Haribo partnered with were producers of the Pontefract Cakes, the round liquorice sweets that are still a firm favourite today. This traditional sweet is supported by a range of other sweets produced by Haribo, including Starmix, Tangfastics, Kiddies Supermix and Maoam.

In 1994, Haribo took over the remaining shares in Dunhills and has since been the UK market leader in children’s confectionary.

As we all know, Haribo does not hope to only attract children to its chewy delights. The slogan, originally in German - “Haribo macht Kinder froh - und Erwachsene ebenso” – roughly translates to “Haribo makes children happy - and adults too”. However, here in the UK it has been slightly adapted to “Kids and grown-ups love it so, the happy world of HARIBO”.

After gaining control of the Dunhills company, Haribo made a number of changes to the manufacturing methods used whilst ensuring that the traditional approach was not lost forever.

Some of the new recipes used included gelatine technology from Germany which all helped improve the product. The company has been a pioneer in the confectionary industry, using PVC drums and nowadays reusable PP drums.

The Haribo brand has come a long way from its humble beginnings, particularly since investing in the pre-packed sweet market. They really focused on creating novelty shapes and textures that would appeal to kids.

Haribo now has a turnover of £80 million per year, largely thanks to the Starmix product, which is responsible for a whopping £30m chunk of the turnover.

Next time you eat a bag of Haribo sweets, just think about the history behind the most popular name in British confectionary.


This post was posted in Like a Kid in a Sweet Shop