Wednesday, July 13, 2011

National Gummi Worm Day ~ July 15

Quick Facts:
National Gummi Worm Day is celebrated every year on July 15.
The creator and origin of Gummi Worm Day are unknown.
Gummi is German for rubber. We, in America, spell it Gummy.

The Gummi Worm's Predecessor
To find out where the gummi worm came from, we must first learn about it's predecessor, the gummi bear. I was surprised to learn that the gummi bear, the world's first gummi candy, was created almost 90 years ago in 1922.
When German born Hans Riegel was a young man he trained and worked as a confectioner for a candy making company in Bonn, Germany.  In 1920, at age 27, Hans set out to start his own candy making business. He acquired a house in Kessinech, a district of Bonn, where he began making hard candies. He named his company HARIBO, an acronym for Hans Riegel of Bonn. In 1921, Hans is married to Gertrud, who not only becomes his wife but his first employee, making candy deliveries on her bike.

To boost candy sales, Hans began experimenting to make a soft candy, and in 1922, the first gummi bear was born, it's name was "the Dancing Bear" modeled after the popular real dancing bears of the circus. Hans' company began to grow and become successful until 1939, when World War II began. During the war the availability of raw materials was scarce making candy production difficult. Hans and Gertrud had two sons who were taken as prisoners of war and, in 1945, as the war was coming to an end, Hans Riegel died an untimely death at age 52.

With the end of the war, Hans' sons, Hans (Jr.) and Paul Riegel were releaseded from the prisoner of war camps, and returned to run their father's business. HARIBO continued to grow and expand into other countries. The "Dancing Bears" candy evolved into the "Gold Bear" which they are known today. In 1982, HARIBO opened it's first plant in America introducing us to the Gummi Bear.

The Gummi Worm
HARIBO was the first company to produce gummi candies, but another German candy manufacturer, Trolli, picked up on the popular gummi candy idea and in 1981, introduced the gummi worm. It's funny to me that gummi bears have been around for nearly 90 years, but Americans were first introduced to gummi candy via the fairly recently created gummi worm.

Here's a video from the Discovery/Science Channel which demonstrates how gummy worms are made.

Sources: HARIBO  Wikipedia
Image: Untitled Originally uploaded by Jamie Kim Photography

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! Lots of fun info! I did a blog post today on Gummi Worms as well. Who doen't love Gummi Worms?!?!