I’ve complained about the fake consistency of Haribo (Hans Riegel, Bonn) liquorice before (this has been followed by the reshaping of one kind of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk in diarrhoea-like blobs – see pictures in the Daily Mail here).

It may seem churlish to repeat it after the death of Hans Riegel, the founder of Haribo, this week.

But immediately I saw the heading in the Guardian online: ‘Haribo: an addict’s story‘, I knew there must be a German behind it. And of course, it is Philip Oltermann, apparently now living in Berlin. I’ve written about Oltermann’s book here before too. I think it is all very well for him to write about Germany for the Guardian, but should he be praising a firm that has taken over some confectionery it doesn’t understand? I don’t mind the gummy bears (although it seems Haribo actually has the temerity to produce jelly babies).

The story does have a legal aspect, though, since the yellow gummy bear is called the Goldbär and Lindt tried to enforce this name for their gold-foil bear.

The German confectionery giant has managed to engrain itself in Britain’s sweetshop psyche in a remarkable way.


I wouldn’t have minded eating the jelly Holy Family, though.

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