One of the world’s preeminent purveyors of the gummy bears is set to open its first factory in the US, a bid to get more Americans eating Haribo.
The 97-year-old German candymaker says the facility—set to open in Wisconsin—will be churning out fruity gummy snacks by 2020. Haribo first appeared in US stores in the early 1980s and, between 2011 and 2017, US sales of the gummy snacks have increased by more than 127% to $115 million, according to Euromonitor.
A managing partner at the candy company told Reuters the decision to build a factory in the US has been a long time coming, and that the growth experienced in the US market in recent years was part of that decision. Currently, the company operates 15 factories in nine European countries.
The company did not respond to a request for comment. In expanding production in the US, the company treads into territory already dominated by the likes of Mars, Mondelēz, and Hershey.
Haribo has grown into a global brand, but it started in Bonn, Germany in 1920, when Hans Riegel found himself with a sack of sugar, a marble slab, a stove, and a kettle. Within two years, Riegel had invented the first gummy bear—which at the time he had dubbed the “dancing bear.” The company produced other lines of sweets in subsequent years.
Lovers of Haribo gummy snacks have noted that the taste of its candies vary in flavor depending on the country in which they are sold. As it turns out, they aren’t always made with the same ingredients—something that has earned the company’s gummy bears a veneer of mystery.