Sweet maker and head of Haribo;
Born: March 10, 1923; Died: October 15, 2013.
Hans Riegel, who has died aged 90, was a German sweet maker who made Haribo and its signature Gummi Bears a hit around the world. He transformed what had started out as a small family-owned firm with a small staff to a massive, internationally-recognised brand with more than 6000 employees and a multi-billion pound turnover.
Mr Riegel, who was born in Bonn, was the son of the company founder, also named Hans Riegel, who in 1920 set up Haribo, an acronym for Hans Riegel Bonn. In 1922, his father invented the dancing bear, a small bear made out of fruit gum that laid the foundations for Haribo's later success with the gold bear.
Upon being released as allied prisoners after the Second World War, Mr Riegel and his younger brother, Paul, set about rebuilding the family firm. Haribo had only about 30 employees immediately after the war but, as West Germany's economy took off, the number was up to 1000 five years later.
Paul Riegel, who died in 2009, focused on production while Hans Riegel took charge of marketing and sales, promoting the company's wares with the slogan "kids and grown-ups love it so, the happy world of Haribo".
Haribo said Mr Riegel took inspiration from children's magazines and comiccs. He once said: "I love children. They are my customers. I have to be informed about what they want to nibble, what they think, what language they speak."
In the 1960s and 1970s, Haribo acquired businesses in the Netherlands, France and Britain, and in 1982, it added a sales office in the US.
Ubiquitous in Germany, the sweets are also available in the most far-flung and unlikely places around the world, beloved for their bright colours, sugary taste and teddy-bear shape and marketed with the help of TV adverts.
"Wherever I travelled in the last few years, the gold bears had already long been there," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said as he paid tribute to Mr Riegel's achievement in making Haribo a German global brand.
Mr Riegel remained a co-owner of the company and was actively involved in the business until the end of his life; his career spanned nearly seven decades.
The privately-owned company now employs more than 6000 people, about half of them in Germany, and has 15 production sites in 10 European countries.
Mr Riegel was awarded Germany's highest honour, the Federal Cross of Merit, in 1994.
It was recognition not only of his business career but of his commitment to social issues, such as encouraging the training of talented young people, and sports. He was a passionate player and promoter of badminton.
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