The Goldbears - Cult Classic and HARIBO star
HARIBO’s world famous Goldbears remain the undisputed fruit gum stars, synonymous with all fruit gum confectionery. It can truly be said that Goldbears have achieved a cult status, spanning across all generations.
1922 – The Dancing Bear- The forefathers of the Goldbears:
Hans Riegel, the founder of HARIBO, created the first bear model, the source of today’s Goldbears, back in 1922. They were called Dancing Bears. His inspiration for these “Dancing Bears” where the trained bears that showed up as regular entertainment features at nineteenth century fairs and festivals.
Traveling performers presented these chained bears for the crowd’s amusement. People enjoyed their little tricks and lumbering dances, however for the bears, this sort of activity was obviously of dubious pleasure.
The fruit gum Dancing Bear was larger but also thinner than today’s Goldbears. It quickly took its place next to the Sweet Devils as one of the classics of the HARIBO product line. Two Dancing Bears cost only a pfennig in inflation-sheltered Germany. In 1925, Hans Riegel also started producing liquorices sweets- and the Dancing Bear acquired a cousin, the so called Black Bear.
The 30s’- The Teddy Bear- A second-generation Bear:
In the thirties another relative showed up: the Teddy Bear. He was smaller and rounder and was a snack version of the popular stuffed toy. Teddy bears were named after the twenty-sixth president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909), who was quite the hunter and had a preference for bears. He was therefore often given stuffed versions of this animal on official occasions, and so they soon became known as “teddy” bears, using the shortened form of his first name.
1960 – The Goldbears are born:
In 1960, the Goldbears, the offspring of the legendary Dancing Bear, first appear on the market. This marks the birth of the cult confectionery character.
1961 – The Goldbears come in a bag:
In the land of the economic miracle the market is prospering. The sixties continue the trend of breaking with the past, higher growth, and innovative spirit. Naturally the HARIBO creative team works on new ideas. Up until this point HARIBO sweets have only been available in decorative tins or sold loose in paper boxes. Now cellophane bags are appearing on the shelves as modern packaging option.
1967 – The Goldbears get their birth certificate:
The roaring success of the new product leads HARIBO to obtain an official “birth certificate” for their Goldbears. In this year the German Patent Office records “Gold-Baren” as a registered trademark.
1968 – The Goldbears change shape:
At the end of the sixties, the Goldbears packaging gets a face-lift and updates to a modern cellophane bag bearing the HARIBO logo.
1978 – The Goldbears change shape:
In the seventies the aesthetics of everyday life change for HARIBO customers and so the Golbears shape adapts to the times too. Their original, relatively round shape with splayed feet change to the more compact and stylized shape we know today. The bag also takes on a new look: the teddy bear design now appears in technicolor.
1989 – The Goldbears change color:
Now the Goldbear’s colors go natural and are somewhat paler since they are obtained from natural fruit and plant concentrates, however this doesn’t damage their popularity one bit. The yellow Goldbears with the red bow tie appears on the packaging for the first time at this stage.
2003 – The Goldbears are chosen as the most trustworthy confectionery brand in Germany.
The popularity of the high-quality HARIBO Goldbears has much to with the fact that since 2003 they have been repeatedly voted the most trustworthy confectionery brand in the biggest annual European consumer poll by Reader’s Digest.