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Culture

A Bear with a Difference

Emperor Wilhelm II, author Erich Kästner and scientist Albert Einstein all had a strong liking for a sweet which celebrates its 80th birthday this week - the Haribo Gold Bear.

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Going on 80 and still so irresistable: Gummi bears

Germany is famous for sauerkraut. But it may also become famous for a new food product – "SauerKau".

SauerKau is one of Haribo, the candy company’s, latest additions to a range of sweet products which have made the German firm internationally famous.

This year Haribo celebrates the 80th anniversary of its most famous product – the Goldbär, or "gold bear", a tiny bear made of fruit gum which has captured the hearts of sweet teeth all over the globe.

A major inspiration

Candy maker Hans Riegel founded Haribo, which stands for Hans RIegel BOnn, in 1920. His starting capital consisted of a marble slab, a stool, a brick, a copper kettle and a roller.

Initially, Haribo only made boiled sweets, but in 1922 Riegel felt inspired to make a "dancing bear" or small bear made of fruit gum.

In those days Riegel produced a daily output of a hundred kilos of bears. Today, the company produces the little squidgy animals by the million.

Tiny product, big success

Today, not only in Germany, almost every child knows Haribo and its little fruity bears. Their popularity is not least the result of a successful advertising campaign which dates back to the 30s.

In 1930, Haribo came up with the jingle "Haribo macht Kinder froh" – or Haribo makes children happy – a melody which is still to be heard regularly on radio and TV to this day.

And in Germany, Haribo is a product propelled forward with the help of blonde-haired, witty German showmaster Thomas Gottschalk, who’s talk show guests are offered gum bears to soothe chatter-parched throats in front of millions of viewers all over the country.

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