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Gummy Bear Boss Hans Riegel Dies, Aged 90

Published on Oct 16 2013 9:27 AM in A-Brands

Gummy Bear Boss Hans Riegel Dies, Aged 90

Hans Riegel, the man known as “Mr Haribo” has died at the age of 90. The German-born businessman will be remembered as the man who brought brightly-coloured gummy bears into households across the world.

Haribo said in a statement that Riegel, the son of the company's founder, died of heart failure in Bonn on Tuesday. He had been recovering from an operation to remove a benign brain tumor.

Riegel and his younger brother, Paul, set about rebuilding the family firm after World War II. Paul, who died in 2009, focused on production while Hans Riegel took charge of marketing and distribution — for instance, promoting the company's wares with the slogan "kids and adults love it so."

Haribo was established in 1920 in Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia state, by trained sweetmaker Johannes "Hans" Riegel Senior, the company name a composite of "Ha" for Hans, "Ri" for Riegel and "Bo" for Bonn.

The company sold its first gummy bear in 1922, the design based on the dancing bears that performed on European markets and fairgrounds until the 19th century.

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The current bear-shaped treat, of which some 100 million are now produced every day, was launched in 1960 and became a global hit, along with a range of other Haribo-made jelly sweets and liquorice.Riegel, who was responsible for marketing and sales, was known to be alert to the sweet tooth preferences of his fans, young and old.

The privately owned company now employs some 6,000 people and has production sites in several European countries.

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