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Hans Riegel, who lead Germany’s world famous Haribo candy company for almost 70 years, has died at age 90. The company is known around the world for its iconic gummy bears.
The company was founded by his father in 1920 and Riegel took over after World War II, building it into one of West Germany’s top companies during the post-war era, notes Reuters. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said today that Riegel is responsible for making the company a global brand, noting, “Wherever I travelled in recent years, the gummy bears had arrived long before me.”
He was also the company’s marketing genius, coming up with the “kids and adults love it so” slogan. The company now has 6,000 employees and 20 factories in Europe.
According to The BBC, the company said that Riegel died of heart failure.
Reuters notes that Forbes listed Riegel as the 32nd richest German, with a net worth of $2.9 billion.
Haribo’s name is a mix of Riegel’s name and Bonn, where the company is based.
"I love children. They are my customers,” Riegel once said, notes the AP, noting that he was inspired by children’s comics and magazines. “I have to be informed about what they want to nibble, what they think, what language they speak.”
image: Wikimedia Commons