The Arke

Origin of Gummy Bears

Lauren Ellison, Journalist

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Gummy bears were invented by a German entrepreneur Hans Riegel in the early 1920s.

Riegel started a company, Haribo (which stands for Hans Riegel Bonn), where he sold hard colorless gummy candies that he made in his kitchen. His wife, Gertrude , helped him by selling the gummies to her first customers by bicycle.

In 1922, Riegel had an idea that was inspired by dancing bears at the circus. He came up with the so called “dancing bears” which were fruit flavored gummy candy.  These candies were shaped like bears and slightly larger than the ones sold now.

The candies made it to the stores, and the factory soon had 160 workers by 1930. By the time World War II came, they had 400 employees. Riegel enlisted and was killed in the war while his sons were taken as prisoners.  Without the key founders and with wartime conditions, business went down.

By the time his sons were released, the company only had 30 workers. However, the company eventually recovered and Haribo soon began to dominate the gummy bear market.

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Student run newspaper of Lake Oconee Academy.
Origin of Gummy Bears