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Gummi Candy Was Invented In 1920 But Didn’t Come To US Until 1982

Before we can talk about Gummi Worms, we have to talk about Gummi Bears. Gummi Bears were the original Gummi candy created by the Haribo company in 1920. These delicious ursine candies came in a broad variety of fruit flavors and were intended for both adults and children to enjoy. The secret to these little candies gumminess is from a careful mixture of special ingredients, the most important being the gelatin that helps to give the candy its form, and the sugar and citric acid that gives it its flavor.

  • From these initial gummi candies, many other types and shapes came into existence, but none of them could take the crown from the popular gummi bear. It wasn’t until Trolli created the gummi worm that this changed. Gummi worms were fun to eat, they could easily be used to create creative desserts, and were even more fun (in our opinion) to eat than gummi bears!
  • Did you know Haribo colors the bears by flavor? Typically, clear bears taste like pineapple, red bears are raspberry flavor, yellow bears are lemon, orange bears are orange flavor and green bears are strawberry flavor. There is no blue bear.
  • The “gummy” in gummy bear comes from the original thickener used by Riegel, gum arabic (the resin of an acacia tree). He called the product Gummibären, and the name stuck.
  • Haribo, the leading manufacturer of Gummy Bears, first gummy bear, was made out of licorice and called “dancing bears.” It wasn’t until after World War II that the popular bear-shaped, gelatin-based colorful gummy treats were invented.
  • To produce gummy bears, the design is carved into plaster by an artist, then duplicated in a tray filled with cornstarch called a starch mogul (the shape of the gummy is stamped into the starch first). The hot liquid is then poured into the molds, and after they set, the molds are turned out and the starch is recycled.
  • In the U.K., you’ll find gummy bears’ British equivalent, called jelly babies. Slightly firmer and less rubbery than gummy bears, these homuncular candies have been around since the 1850s but got their name in 1953.
  • Gummi Bears was the very first animated TV show by Walt Disney Animation Television, and is widely regarded as having jump-started the TV animation boom of the late 1980s and ‘90s. Without Gummi Bears, there may not have been Darkwing Duck, DuckTales, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, Goof Troop, or TaleSpin!
  • If all the gummy bears they produce in one year were lined up head to toe, it would create a chain that would circle the planet four times.  Add in all the other brands and varieties of gummy chews and the chain would probably go around 5 times.
  • Gummy vitamins now account for 7.5 percent of the $6 billion multivitamin market in the United States, according to estimates from the Nutrition Business Journal.  Gummy vitamin products have seen a 25% increase in sales and now account for $1 billion of the $41 billion supplement market in the U.S.  Further proof, we love our gummies!
  • The largest gummy bear in recorded history according to the Guinness Book of World Records is an 81-pound, 3-ounce gummy bear that stood two feet tall and two feet wide. A Sunday school class teamed up with a restaurant in San Antonio, Texas to create the giant gummy bear.
  • The Gummy Bear Song has more than 45 million views on YouTube.
  • America didn’t get a taste of gummi bears until 1982, when Haribo opened up its American factory in Baltimore. But Trolli, another German confectioner, finding huge successes in the American market, introduced a gummy “worm” a year earlier—a candy designed to both intrigue kids and gross out their parents.

Sources:

Days of the Year

Kinooze

The Daily Meal

Superberries

Buzzfeed

Mental Floss