Hans Riegel, who made the rainbow-colored, fruit-flavored, teddy bear-shaped gelatin sweets known as gummi bears a global favorite, died on Tuesday in Bonn. He was 90. The cause was heart failure,  according to a statement from Haribo, the company he led for nearly seven decades.  To that statement was added that he had had surgery to remove a benign tumor in his brain several months ago.
Mr. Riegel transformed his family-owned company from a local candy maker with 30 workers into an internationally recognized brand with 6,000 employees around the world and annual sales of $2 billion to $2.7 billion.
Mr. Riegel’s father, also named Hans Riegel, founded Haribo in 1920. (The name is an acronym derived from his first and last name and the city where it was registered, Bonn.)  The elder Mr. Riegel concocted the first bear-shaped sweets, initially out of licorice.
After their father was killed in 1945, during World War II, Mr. Riegel and his younger brother, Paul, set about rebuilding the business. Paul was responsible for production, while Hans oversaw sales and marketing. The brothers introduced the sweets they called “gold bears,” known to most of the world as gummi bears, in the 1960s.
The little bears, which come in five colors and flavors, proved immensely popular with Germans, and Mr. Riegel soon expanded abroad. After successfully introducing them in Britain, Sweden and Austria in the 1970s, he took them to the United States in 1982, setting up Haribo of America in Baltimore.
They also expanded their assortment, which now includes 200 different products. Among them are fruit gums and jelly candies in a variety of shapes (bottles, snakes, frogs, Smurfs, cherries) and flavors.  Haribo also makes a chewable soft candy called Maoams, as well as marshmallow candies, and licorice whips.
After the death of his brother in 2009, Mr. Riegel brought two of his nephews into the company but continued to lead it until he fell ill this year.
Every October, the company said on its Web site, Mr. Riegel honored a tradition established by his father in 1936 in which children are invited to Haribo’s headquarters to trade chestnuts and acorns they have collected for sweets.
In 1987 Mr. Riegel set up the Hans Riegel Foundation, which awards annual scholarships to students at 12 German universities, including his alma mater, the University of Bonn, where he completed a doctorate in economics in 1951.  
Spiegel Online, an online newsmagazine, reported that Mr. Riegel’s stake in the company would go to a private foundation that was set up to ensure that his family members would retain ownership.
His company said that Mr. Riegel read children’s magazines and comic books for inspiration. “I love children,” the company quoted him as saying. “They are my customers. I have to be informed about what they want to nibble, what they think, what language they speak.”

------  Heute wollte Dani diesen Artikel mit dabei haben: 

German Gummi Bear Baron Hans Riegel Dies at 90

Hans Riegel, who made German candy maker Haribo and its signature gummi bears a chewy hit for children — and adults — across the globe, died on Tuesday. He was 90.  Haribo said in a statement that Riegel died of heart failure in Bonn, where the company is based. He had been recovering from an operation to remove a benign brain tumor. 

Riegel was the son of the company founder, also named Hans Riegel, who in 1920 set up Haribo — an acronym for "Hans Riegel Bonn." In 1922, his father invented the "dancing bear," a small bear made out of fruit gum that laid the foundations for Haribo's later success with the "gold bear."

The company founder died in 1945. Upon being released as allied prisoners after World War II, Riegel and his younger brother, Paul, set about rebuilding the family firm. Haribo had only about 30 employees immediately after the war but, as West Germany's economy took off, the number was up to 1,000 five years later.

Paul Riegel, who died in 2009, focused on production while Hans Riegel took charge of marketing and sales — for instance, promoting the company's wares with the slogan "kids and grown-ups love it so, the happy world of Haribo."   

Ubiquitous in Germany, they are also available in the most far-flung and unlikely places around the world, beloved for their bright colors, sugary taste and teddy-bear shape.  "Wherever I traveled in the last few years, the gold bears had already long been there," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said as he paid tribute Tuesday to Riegel's achievement in making Haribo "a German global brand." 

Riegel remained a co-owner of the company and actively involved in the business until the end, his career spanning nearly seven decades.
The privately owned company now employs more than 6,000 people, about half of them in Germany, and has 15 production sites in 10 European countries.

Riegel was awarded Germany's highest honor, the Federal Cross of Merit, in 1994. That was recognition not only of his business career but of his commitment to social issues, such as encouraging the training of talented young people, and sports. Riegel was a passionate player and promoter of badminton.

 -- Danke, Dani.     
--  Wer weiß den HARIBO Slogan auf Deutsch???

And what's the truth?  That the original HARIBO bears were made of licorice (NY TIMES), or out of "fruit gum" ?