Haribo is a German confectionery manufacturing company, supplying its products to almost all parts of the world. It is also the world’s largest jelly and gummy sweet manufacturing company. It is owned by the Riegel family and is famous for its Gummy Bear range of confectioneries.
Hans Riegel, the founder of Haribo, was born in Friesdorf, Germany in 1893 to parents Peter and Agnes Riegel. When he was a teenager, he worked as an apprentice at Kleutgen & Meier, and learned how to make candies. Later, he became a partner of the confectionery company run by Heinen. He changed the company’s name to Heinen & Reigel. In 1920, Riegel opened his own candy company, and named it Haribo. Reigel got married to Gertrude in 1921, and she began help Riegel sell his products.
In 1922, he manufactured the first ‘Dancing Bear,’ and it became very popular, prompting the company to move to a factory. During this time, Riegel also started making licorice. In 1930, the company had 160 employees and the business extended to other parts of Germany and built a new manufacturing plant. The company started a joint venture with a Danish confectionery manufacturer in Denmark, and the business flourished. During World War II however, the company suffered huge losses. Hans Riegel died on March 31, 1945, and the company was handed over to his sons, Paul and Hans Riegel, Jr.
After the war, the company started manufacturing candies again. At that time, it had only 30 employees. Paul Riegel studied engineering and made the machines needed for the manufacturing of confectioneries. The machine he made to manufacture Licorice Wheels captured everyone’s attention. In the 1950’s, the company expanded its business to other countries. In 1971, it acquired a Dutch company and changed its name to Haribo Nederland B.V. Haribo acquired Lorette in 1967. It also changed the name of ‘Dancing Bears’ to ‘Teddy Bears.’
During 1970s to 1980s, the company introduced new products and expanded its business by acquiring major confectionery companies such as Baren-Schmidt and Edmund Munster GmbH & Co. In the 1990s, it acquired WESA, and Dunhills, the maker of Pontefract Cakes in 1994. Another manufacturing plant was built in Spain. By the end of the 1990s, Haribo had 200 products in the market. The company concentrated on producing new products during this period. In 2000, the sales of the company peaked to $2.7 billion. Gummy Bears still remain Haribo’s most popular product.
Company headquarters: Bonn, Germany
Annual revenue: €1.7 to 2 billion
Number of employees: 6,000
Demography: Natural and Organic
Fraise Tagada (France)