Haribo (/ˈhærɪb/ HARR-i-boh) is a German confectionery company founded in 1920 by Johannes "Hans" Riegel, Sr. It began in Kessenich, Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia; the name is an acronym formed from Hans Riegel, Bonn. The company created the first gummy candy in 1922 in the form of little gummy bears called Gummibärchen. The current headquarters is in Grafschaft, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

GmbH & Co. KG
FoundedDecember 12, 1920 (1920-12-12)
FounderJohannes "Hans" Riegel, Sr.
Key people
Hans Riegel
ProductsGummy bears, gummy candy
Revenue 1.7–2.0 billion
Number of employees
~7,000 (2018)

The Landesmuseum Koblenz created a traveling exhibition about the history of Haribo in 2006.


Haribo has expanded its operations, taking over many local confectionery manufacturers in countries all over the world. It began international expansion in the 1960s and entered American markets in the 1980s. It currently operates 16 factories which produce over 100 million gummy bears per day.[1]

Haribo was accused of using Jewish forced labor in its factories during World War II, but denies this.[2] In 2014, Haribo's Skipper Mix was pulled in some markets because some of the candy pieces were shaped like caricatures of Asian, African, and Native American masks that some consumers considered to be racist.[3]

UK presence

Haribo's key brands in the UK are Starmix, Tangfastics, Supermix, and Maoam, with Maoam being its own line of chewy sweets.[4] They were once the distributor of Pez products in the United Kingdom, but this is no longer the case. Haribo makes Pontefract Cakes at their factory in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, and other locations.

US presence

Haribo had been imported into the United States for many years by German food importers and sold at German and other gourmet stores at "gourmet prices", mostly in bulk. In Germany, Haribo was not an exclusive gourmet product, but a mass market candy. When Haribo of America was incorporated in the 1980s in Baltimore, Maryland, Haribo's gummi candies were introduced to the US mass market through areas such as drugstores, grocery stores, and discount stores. The packaging was translated into English, and package weights were adjusted to match U.S. candy price points and package sizes. A laydown bag was developed for the US supermarket trade, instead of the hanging bag commonly found in German supermarkets, and a boxed product was developed for theaters.

Once this was done and Haribo products in US-style packaging were introduced at confectionery and fancy food shows, Haribo became a popular item. Sales soared the first year, and gummy bears became so popular in the US, Haribo in Germany could not supply enough products, so the US market was soon flooded with competitors such as German Trolli and American Black Forest.

On 23 March 2017, Haribo announced they will be opening their first United States factory, a 500,000 sq ft (46,500 m²), 400 employee manufacturing plant in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, scheduled to open in 2020. Haribo products made in the US regularly have corn syrup and artificial flavors and colors. Production with artificial ingredients is cheaper, however, and the U.S. operation is poised to profit from this lower cost.

International distribution

Haribo plans to expand to China and Brazil. In China it has launched test stores in Shanghai and Guangdong. The US headquarters is located in Rosemont, IL. New production facilities opened in Castleford, West Yorkshire,[5] (directly opposite the Normanton M62 Junction (J31)) in 2016 and plans to open in São Paulo, Brazil.[6]


Haribo's German catch phrase is "Haribo macht Kinder froh – und Erwachsene ebenso" ("Haribo makes children happy – and adults as well"). The German advertisements were voiced by Thomas Gottschalk from 1991 until 2015. In English-speaking countries, it uses the slogan "Kids and grown-ups love it so – the happy world of Haribo". In Hungary, it uses the slogan "Gyermek, felnőtt kedve jó – édes élet, Haribo" ("Child and adult is happy – sweet life, Haribo"). "Haribo c'est beau la vie, pour les grands et les petits" ("Haribo life is beautiful, for big ones and little ones") is used in France, while in Italy the song used during commercials is: "Haribo è la bontà, che si gusta ad ogni età" ("Haribo is the delicacy that one can taste at any age"). Similar slogans are used in other languages. The famed Haribo jingle music was created by UK composer Stephen Lee Vickers.

  • Haribo is referred to by name in Watsky's 2012 song "Gummy Bear Hundrednaire" off his mix-tape Nothing Like the First Time.[7][8]


  1. Oltermann, Philip (13 October 2013). "Haribo: the confessions of a confectionery addict". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  2. Wallace, Charles P. (31 July 2000). "The Final Reckoning". Time Europe. Berlin. 156 (5). Retrieved 12 November 2008.
  3. Licata, Elizabeth (18 January 2014). "Haribo Pulls Skipper Mix After Racism Accusations". The Daily Meal. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  4. "MAOAM". maoam.com. Archived from the original on 19 July 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  5. "Castleford Haribo plant to create 286 jobs". 10 October 2013 via www.bbc.co.uk.
  6. Best, Dean. "Haribo to expand in China, US, UK and Brazil". just-food.com. just-food.com. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bft9zX5VSWw
  8. https://gwatsky.bandcamp.com/album/nothing-like-the-first-time
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