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article image'Mr Haribo', creator of Gummy Bears, dies aged 90

By Anne Sewell     Oct 16, 2013 in World
Bonn - Hans Riegel, also known as "Mr Haribo", has passed away at the age of 90. German-born Riegel is best known as the man who created the brightly-colored and popular gummy bears.
CEO of Haribo, and son of the founder, Johannes (Hans) Riegel Senior, Hans Riegel passed away of heart failure, according to a company spokesman on Tuesday. This ends 67 years of heading up the German confectionery company.
Riegel took over the Bonn-based sweet company from his father in 1946 at the age of only 23. Starting as a small firm struggling with the shortages of post-war Germany, Riegel worked together with his younger brother Paul, to make Haribo the internationally recognized name it is today. Haribo sweets are now sold in 100 countries worldwide.
The 90-year-old rarely took a day off work during that time, apart from sick leave when he had to undergo an operation last July to remove a benign brain tumor. Riegel ran the marketing and logistics side of the business.
In 2009, Riegel's brother Paul died and his nephews Hans-Guido Riegel and Hans-Arndt Riegel joined Hans in running the company.
Despite the fact that his brand is recognized worldwide, Riegel rarely appeared in public or gave interviews. Just weeks before his death, he reportedly said "I was never a person who sought the limelight."
In a rare interview in 2010, Riegel said, "I work because it makes me happy, and I have no reason to deny myself that happiness."
The company Haribo is famous for its gummy bear fruit sweets, and the name of the company is an acronym for "Hans Riegel Bonn", i.e. Ha-Ri-Bo.
Haribo currently has factories in 15 countries across Europe, employing 6000 people and has a turnover of 2 billion a year.
Reuters reports that German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said that Riegel had made Haribo such a global brand that "wherever I traveled in recent years, the gummy bears had arrived long before me."
As Riegel died childless, his two nephews will now take over the management of one of the world's major sweet companies.
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