HARIBO - The traditional brand with a history

1920 - Die Firmengründung

Founding the Company

Hans Riegel, born in 1893 in Friesdorf near Bonn completed training as a confectioner when he finished school. He worked for Kleutgen & Meier as well as in factories in Neuss and Osnabrück.

After the First World War, Hans Riegel became a partner in the company Heinen in Bonn-Kessenich which subsequently became Heinen & Riegel. But by 1920, Hans Riegel had started out with a company of his own. Hans Riegel purchased a house in Bergstrasse in Kessenich, at the time a suburb of Bonn, and set up the first factory there. The starting capital was a sack of sugar, a marble block, a stool, a brick oven, a copper kettle and a roller.

Here in a small backyard laundry-kitchen, began the history of the now world-famous company. On December 13, 1920, Hans Riegel had the company name HARIBO® entered in the trade registry of the city of Bonn as an acronym of HAns RIegel BOnn. In 1921, Hans Riegel married his wife Gertrud and she became the first employee in the young company.

1922 – Der TANZBÄR erblickt das Licht der Welt

The DANCING BEAR is born

In 1922, Hans Riegel layed the first foundation stone for the subsequent international success of the company HARIBO®. He invented the DANCING BEAR - a bear-shaped figure made from gummi which would later be world famous as the legendary HARIBO GOLD-BEAR®. This DANCING BEAR was inspired by the trained bears that were a fixed part of the festivities at annual markets and other celebrations well into the 19th century in Germany.

The DANCING BEARS made from gummi were larger than the GOLD-BEARS® are today, but slimmer. Quickly the DANCING BEARS and the SWEET DEVILS became the classics of the HARIBO range. Two DANCING BEARS cost just a pfennig in inflation-wracked Germany.

1923 – Der erste Firmen-PKW


The first company car

Increasing demand required an investment in a modern mode of transport in order to aid sales, and in 1923, the company HARIBO® purchased their first vehicle fitted with advertising signs which was used to make customer deliveries. Until this time, the day's production was delivered by bicycle by the owner's wife and employee, Gertrud.

Mitte der 20er Jahre - Familie Riegel
The mid twenties

The Riegel Family

In 1923, the eldest son Hans was born. He was joined in 1924 by daughter Anita and in 1926 by son Paul.

1925 – Die erste Lakritzherstellung

The first licorice

Just three years after the invention of the DANCING BEARS, Hans Riegel laid the second foundation stone of the HARIBO success story in 1925. He started producing licorice products. A first sales success were the legendary sticks of licorice with the impressed HARIBO name. Soon this was accompanied by further licorice treats, including the now world famous LICORICE WHEELS. The DANCING BEAR soon acquired a cousin: The so-called BLACK BEAR.

Die 30er-Jahre – Der TEDDYBÄR und ein genialer Werbeslogan
The thirties

The TEDDY BEAR and a fantastic advertising slogan

By 1930, HARIBO® had 160 employees and a comprehensive sales organisation made up of trade representatives supplied all of Germany with HARIBO products.

In the thirties, the HARIBO product range added another relative of the DANCING BEAR: the TEDDY BEAR. This bear was smaller and rounder and represented the edible version of the popular cuddly toy. The TEDDY BEARS were named after the 26th president of the US (1901–1909), Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) who was a passionate hunter with a particular penchant for bears. At official events, he was often presented with toy bears which soon became known as TEDDY BEARS after the short form of his name.

Another stroke of genius from HARIBO® in the middle of the thirties was the simple but memorable advertising slogan "HARIBO® macht Kinder froh" (HARIBO® makes children happy). From 1930–1933, the main construction of today's factory plant in Bonn was completed. Immediately before the Second World War, the company had a solid medium-sized business with around 400 employees.

Schwere Zeiten
1939 – 1945

Tanks not bears

During the war, the business activities of HARIBO® went downhill, primarily as a result of the increasing lack of raw materials. In 1945, at the age of 52, company founder Hans Riegel died. His wife Gertrud managed the company in his place for the initial period after the Second World War.

1945-1950 - Der Generationswechsel

The generational changeover

The reconstruction of the company started immediately after the end of the Second World War in 1945 with just 30 employees. In 1946, the brothers Hans and Paul Riegel returned from captivity and were able to relieve their mother of the management of the company.
Dr Hans Riegel took on responsibility for the business sector, including marketing and sales, until his sudden and unexpected death in October 2013.  His brother Paul managed the production sector until his death in 2009.

Success was soon to follow: the flourishing company expanded and in 1950, just five years after the end of the war, had around 1,000 employees.

1960 – Die GOLDBÄREN erblicken das Licht der Welt


The GOLD-BEAR is born

In 1960, the HARIBO GOLD-BEARS®, the successor to the legendary DANCING BEAR, appeared on the market. The iconic candy was born.

1962 – HARIBO wirbt erstmals im TV

HARIBO advertises on TV for the first timeTV

In the early '60s, HARIBO® recognized just how important the arrival of the new-fangled television would be. In 1962, the first TV advertisement for HARIBO® was broadcast in Germany.

In the mid sixties, the advertising slogan "HARIBO® macht Kinder froh" ("HARIBO® makes kids happy") was enhanced by the addition of "und Erwachsene ebenso" (and adults too) and thus expanded the target group it addressed.

The international slogan until today is called: Kids and grown-ups love it so, the happy world of HARIBO®.

1967 – Die GOLDBÄREN werden als Warenzeichen eingetragen


The GOLD-BEARS are registered as a trademark

The great success of the GOLD-BEARS® encouraged HARIBO® to have an official birth certificate issued. In 1967, the GOLD-BEARS® were officially recognized by the German Patent Office as a registered trademark.

1978 – Die GOLDBÄREN wechseln die Form


The GOLD-BEARS change shape

In the seventies, the aesthetic sensibilities of the consumer changed and the GOLD-BEARS® changed their form as well. The original, relatively wide outward facing foot position was changed. Instead, the GOLD-BEARS® took on the compact, stylized appearance that they have maintained to this day.

1989 – Die GOLDBÄREN wechseln die Farben


The GOLD-BEAR appears

The Goldbear appears. The yellow Goldbear illustration with a red bow tie appeared on the packaging for the first time.

1996 – Die Anfänge der Marshmallow-Produktion


The start of marshmallow production

In 1996, HARIBO® took over the Belgian confectioners Dulcia who had been making the very popular Dulcia marshmallow products SOFT-KISS, COCO-BALLS and ROMBISS for decades.

2003 - HARIBO: vertrauenswürdigste Süßwarenmarke Deutschlands


HARIBO: The most trustworthy confectioners in Germany

Since 2003, HARIBO® has been listed several times in a row as the most trustworthy confectioners in the "European Trusted Brands" - the largest annual European consumer study.

2006 – Bonn ehrt Paul Riegel


Bonn honors Paul Riegel

The city of Bonn honored Paul Riegel for his "excellent services" to Bonn with an entry in the Gold Book of the city.

2007 – 85 Jahre HARIBO GOLDBÄREN!


85 years of HARIBO GOLD-BEARS!

For the 85th birthday of the GOLD-BEARS® in Germany, the GOLD-BEARS® got a new recipe, a new bag design, and a smiling face.

Chamallows - Finest foam sugarIn mid 2007, the Dulcia products were switched over to the HARIBO brand Chamallows in order to ensure a worldwide uniform brand presence.The company Dulcia (lat. soft, sweet) was founded by Grégorius Nuyts in 1950 in Deurne in Belgium. In 1962, the company moved to Kontich where the four children of the founder continued to operate the company. Ten years later a disastrous fire destroyed the production facilities. As quickly as possible, they rebuilt, fitting the facilities with the latest in manufacturing technology and modern machinery.For the consumer, the integration of Dulcia into the HARIBO group in 1996 didn't change much. HARIBO® is a guarantee for the traditional high quality of the products which are made in Belgium and have gone by the name HARIBO Chamallows since 2007.The brand name HARIBO Chamallows continues to represent the finest foam sugar products!These products are currently unavailable in the US market.

2008 – Werbung, die (sich) abhebt


Advertising that takes off

December 2008 saw the start of a unique cooperative marketing campaign in Germany. 

Two Boeing 737-800 of TUIfly (a Germany airline) took on the exclusive HARIBO GOLD-BEAR® design and now act as "flying ambassadors" for HARIBO®.

2009 – Ein Jahr mit Höhen und Tiefen

A year of ups and downs


JUICY GOLD-BEARS with a proportion of 22 percent fruit juice and their juicy, soft consistency are an extension to the product line. They are available in apple, pear, raspberry, peach, lime and black currant. This product, which is currently only available in Europe, has received numerous awards.JUICY GOLD-BEARS were launched in the US market in 2013.

Dr. Hans Riegel is included in the “Légion d’Honneur”

The French exterior ministry included Dr Hans Riegel as a "Chevalier" in the so-called "legion of honor", an honor that has been awarded to very few foreigners. The "legion of honor" founded by Napoléon, is the highest award that France is able to offer. HARIBO France, with its headquarters in Marseille, is the leading confectionery manufacturer in France and employs around 850 people in Marseille, Uzès (Gard) and at the "Musée du Bonbon“ (Uzès).




Paul Riegel stirbt im Alter von 83 Jahren


Paul Riegel dies at the age of 83

Co-owner Paul Riegel died in August 2009 suddenly and unexpectedly. Paul Riegel, who took on his father's business after the war along with his brother Dr Hans Riegel, was responsible for production and technology at HARIBO®. As a well-practiced tinkerer he had developed many of the machines himself and implemented them in the company workshop. The most famous inventions include the LICORICE WHEELS winding machine.

In the Bonn region and beyond, Paul Riegel was involved in numerous social projects and organizations.

Many years earlier, with the future of the company in mind, he had transferred his shares in the company into the Paul-Riegel-Holding which is continued by his children.

2010 - HARIBO kehrt in den Motorsport zurück


Full speed ahead into the 21st Century!

HARIBO returns to motor sport

After many years of successful participation in international motor racing between the years 1970 to 1994, HARIBO® returned to the race track with the Manthey team in 2010. The two new HARIBO design clad Porsche 911 GT3 R and GT3 Cup S, impressed with their team of drivers both in the 24 hour race at the Nürburgring and in the VLN long distance championship (organiser association Endurance Cup Nürburgring).

Hochregal-/Fertigwarenlager in Solingen


HARIBO opens a fully automated high-rack warehouse / finished-goods warehouse in Solingen

After 18 months of construction, the day has finally come: HARIBO® will open its new finished-goods warehouse in Solingen on October 8, 2011. HARIBO co-owners Dr Hans Riegel, Arndt Rüsges (Managing Director, HARIBO®), Mayor Norbert Feith and Dr. Volker Jungbluth (Managing Director, Swisslog Deutschland) will inaugurate the new warehouse by addressing numerous employees and their families as well as invited guests. The finished-goods warehouse will be symbolically opened with the touch of a button by co-owner Dr Hans Riegel, Managing Director Arndt Rüsges and the HARIBO Goldbear.

2012 – Seit 90 Jahren bringen sie Menschen eine kleine Freude in ihr alltägliches Leben!

90 years of HARIBO Goldbears - 90 years of joy and pleasure!

The world-famous HARIBO GOLD-BEARS® have been on everyone’s lips for 90 years now, and they are proud to celebrate their 90th birthday – their name is synonymous with gummie-bears!


Who hasn’t heard of the legendary HARIBO GOLD-BEARS®? Generations of people love them and have grown up with them. Today, GOLD-BEARS® are still sweet little daily companions, offering golden moments of joy and pleasure for every sweet tooth. The HARIBO GOLD-BEARS® haven’t aged a bit – they are still “good enough to eat,” and even in the 21st century they are still flying off the candy shelves – a dynamic, young, up-to-date and beary delicious path to a promising future! 


Just in time for the 90th birthday of this famous honoree, HARIBO® is celebrating the GOLD-BEARS® with a limited, high-profile special edition of the 200 g and 300 g packages. The current GOLD-BEARS bag, along with two of its best-known nostalgic predecessors from 1959 and 1979, feature historic looks that are sure to get attention.

2013 – Abschied von einem einzigartigen Unternehmer


Final Farewell to an Extraordinary Businessman

On 15 October, 2013, Dr Hans Riegel passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of ninety.   

After the Second World War, Hans Riegel Jr. and his brother Paul Riegel started the difficult task of rebuilding the HARIBO company, which their father Hans Riegel had founded in Bonn in 1920.

Dr Hans Riegel continued at the helm of the HARIBO company for 67 years, making him Germany's oldest serving CEO. It is therefore not surprising that this continuity in management style had the greatest effect on the management of the HARIBO brand.

Dr Hans Riegel's creativity and determination were a major influence on the confectionery industry in Germany and beyond for decades.

Dr Hans Riegel dedicated his life to HARIBO®, passionately pursuing the vision that the HARIBO brand should bring a ray of sunshine into people's everyday lives right until the end.

2014 Grundstück Grafschaft


HARIBO acquires land in the borough’s county

The tracks have been laid for a promising future.

On the 18th September 2013, the decision to establish an additional site in Rhineland-Palatinate was unanimously agreed by HARIBO GmbH & Co. KG’s shareholders. Since then, the preparations have been in full swing. In this context, the pleasant and open discussion atmosphere, as well as support for this project at all political and administration levels in Rhineland-Palatinate, must be highlighted.

On the 27 hectare site in the innovations park Rhineland, which is ideally located by a junction of the A61 motorway, an ultra-modern administrative building with generously-sized offices is being built, along with a large logistics centre boasting 100,000 pallet bays and technologically highly advanced production lines – all this in an area of 50,000 sq.m.

HARIBO® is herewith responding to the limited capacities in Bonn which not only affect manufacturing, but now also the administration. The staff increases in both the administration and production areas are necessary for future growth and are therefore essential. HARIBO® is thus deliberately creating over 300 new jobs in Germany and, at the same time, wants to significantly improve the spatial conditions for all its employees. The production site in Bonn and the associated operations management are not affected by this.

Welcome to the happy and colorful world of HARIBO! Kids and grown-ups love it so, the Happy World of HARIBO.