Hans Riegel, a Bonn Germany-based candymaker, invented gummi bears (the first gummi candy) and gummi candy during the 1920s, with the bear-shaped candy debuting in 1922. Initially, he called his invention the ‘dancing bear" and named the company that manufactured the bears "Haribo,” which is an acronym for Hans Riegel Bonn. The confection became popular by the end of its first year. Later the company introduced its Gold-Bear product in the 1960s.
For many years, gummi bears were imported to America. American high school students were among the first Americans to know about the gummi bear. They learned about the candy through their German classes. In 1981, the Herman Goelitz Company (now Jelly Belly Candy Company) created the first American-made gummi bear. A year later, the Haribo Company brought their business to the U.S., and the candy was now easily accessible to Americans.
The success of gummi bears has spawned many gummi animals and objects: worms, frogs, hamburgers, cherries, cola bottles, sharks, apples, and oranges. Many generic brands of gummi bears are available on the market. Trolli is a well-known knockoff gummi candy manufacturer and was the first to introduce "gummi worms" in 1981.
How are gummi bears and other gummi candies made? The gummi manufacturing process is a long procedure that begins with artists for the manufacturer’s company.
Artists start with a character sketch and then carve it into tiny plaster molds. Then, machines duplicate the molds. The duplicates are run through a starch powder machine to produce starch powder mold pans.
In the factory, candy makers pour ingredients into large boilers. Some of the ingredients include gelatin, sugar and glucose syrup. Then the ingredients are heated together and constantly stirred by large paddles. Colors and flavorings are added to give the gummi snacks their distinct look and taste. Next, pipes transfer the mixture to the production area.
Nozzles are used to squeeze the mix out onto the starch pans where it is left to sit for three to five days. Afterwards, beeswax is added to make the candy shiny and less sticky. Finally, the gummi candies are transferred to a packaging machine and prepared for shipment.