Dr. Hans Riegel

Dr. Hans Riegel

Class of 1999

At the time of his induction, Dr. Riegel was a 51-year veteran of the candy business and president and CEO of Haribo GmbH & Co. KG, of Bonn, Germany. Born in 1923 in Bonn, he graduated from Aloysius-Kollegs High School in Bad Godesberg. He later earned a doctorate from Bonn University, with his dissertation on the role of sugar in world trade.

Following World War II service, Dr. Riegel and his younger brother, Paul, joined the family candy business started by their father and mother, Hans and Gertrud, in 1920.

The Bonn-based firm, named for both his father and the city (HANs RIegel BOnn), had developed a gummi candy in 1922 called a Tanzb‰r (Dancing Bear). Today, their gummi descendants are known throughout the world as gummi bears.

Just five years after the two brothers joined the company, it grew under their leadership from 40 employees to more than 1,000. Dr. Riegel was credited in following years with developing numerous innovative products in tune with contemporary trends, and he pioneered advertising candy on German TV.

At the time of his Candy Hall of Fame induction, Dr. Riegel had led Haribo to world dominance in gummi manufacturing, producing more than 70 million gummi bears a day, with more than 5,000 people in plants and offices throughout the world.

While credited with many innovations, Dr. Riegel said at his induction, the most critical point in his career was making Haribo a brand name. He worked to keep abreast of trends, staying in touch with kids’ interests by watching children’s TV shows and reading their magazines and comics and listening to pop music.

Beyond the candy industry, Dr. Riegel was awarded the Order of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1st Class, in 1994 for his many civic services.

At his induction, Dr. Riegel said: Probably my most important experiences came from dealing with my most important customers – children. If I could pass on one piece of advice to those who deal in candy, it would be to make kids happy.