Haribo to Open First US Candy Factory, With $242 Million Investment

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27 Mar 2017 --- Iconic gummy bear brand Haribo, a firm favorite among US consumers for decades, is finally opening a US$242 million manufacturing operation in Wisconsin set to launch in 2020. 

The 500,000 square foot candy factory will be the first of its kind in the US, located in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, and development of the project is forecast to begin next year. 

The German confectionery company has been selling Haribo to the US market since the early eighties. The sweets were imported into the US for several years by German food importers and sold at German and gourmet stores, mostly in bulk, which was in contrast to sales in Germany where Haribo has been considered a mass market candy. 

Haribo’s gummy bear candy initially was sold through US drugstores, grocery stores and discounters and following further packaging developments, the brand really started to take off with the marketing for the gummy bears concept really resonating with US kids. 

Haribo opened its first sales office in the US in 1982, located in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Sales began to soar and Haribo became so popular at one point, Germany struggled to keep up with supply. By 1999, gummy bears were the number one selling gummy bear brand in the US, despite a whole host of confectionery competitors who had moved into the market following Haribo’s initial success.  

'The decision to build a manufacturing facility in Wisconsin is of great importance. Haribo of America is the fastest growing confectionery company in the U.S.A., therefore the step of starting our own production there from 2020 is important for us,” says company head, Hans Guido Riegel. 

Originally founded in 1920 by Hans Riegel - Haribo is an acronym of his name and Bonn, the headquarters - the company now employs 7,000 people worldwide and produced around 100 million gummy bears daily across 16 factories in 10 countries. 

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