Could it be a feeling of power over a deep seated fear that leads to enthusiastically and unceremoniously biting the head off an alligator, rat, or snake? And, if that’s the case, how can we reconcile the action of subjecting adorable harmless looking little teddy bears to that same heartless attack? Surely, there’s bound to be a study one day exploring the psychological meaning behind the habits of gummi bear addicts. But, in the meantime, perhaps we could agree that the popularity of gummi candies is due partly to the brand recognition achieved through clever marketing. Not to mention, people just plain like these candies.
The gummi movie characters, their adventures, struggles, and triumphs are no doubt fun and exciting to identify with, but they also ignite imagination and creativity. What kid hasn’t dreamed up their own unique characters and amazing adventures while eating gummi bears? Like animal crackers, they double as toys, keeping the minds of kids active and engaged. And then there’s the compulsive ritual of separating your number one favorite flavor, devouring that group – then moving on to the next most favorite until the container is empty How To Lock A Door Without A Lock. This ritual doesn’t appear to be confined to just the youngest demographic among us, either.
Disney’s ‘Adventures of the Gummi Bears’ is the name of the movie featuring the original gummi characters. It was a much watched show after being introduced in 1982 – about the same time gummi candies began to be manufactured in the United States. Many adults have cherished memories of this Disney TV movie. They recall carefully organizing their schedules to avoid missing even one episode.
The person responsible for the birth of the ‘gummi movement’ lived in Bonn, Germany all the way back in 1920. His name was Hans Riegal, SR., and he invented the first gummi bears. Starting the business from his home, he painstakingly created molds of his unique dancing bears, and his wife helped out by delivering the orders of his candy by bicycle. The candy quickly became a huge hit and the business grew rapidly, soon moving to a factory. The name of the company, Haribo, is an acronym based upon his name and the City, Bonn. The story is a great testament to what one person can do with a dream… combined with the ambition and fortitude to carry it through.
Haribo is still one of the leading manufacturers of the growing inventory of gummi candies, and many people refuse to accept any substitute. Of course there are other manufacturers of these popular chewy gelatin delights that have gained a loyal following, too. Among them, is Trolli, maker of the famous gummi worms, such as Brite Crawler. Black Forest is another of many manufacturers engaged in the gummi candy industry.
Regardless of the manufacturer the basic ingredients in gummi candies are said to be sugar, glucose syrup, starch, citric acid, gelatin, and the appropriate flavoring and food coloring. The gelatin provides both elasticity and the chewy consistency, though substitutes are sometimes used to accommodate kosher and vegetarian diets. To suit a wide variety of tastes, gummi’s are made available in either sweet or sour varieties. Basic flavors are raspberry, orange, pineapple, strawberry, and lemon, but the flavor list continues to grow to include watermelon, peach, blueberry, and many other choices.
Still loved by both kids and adults, gummi candies, which will celebrate their 100th birthday in just 8 years, definitely appear to be holding their own in the competitive world of candy.
Kay Coolidge is the founder and proprietor of Popsies Gourmet Popcorn and Sweets Shoppe in Oak Harbor, WA. Popsies online home is [http://www.popsiespugetsoundpopcorn.com] where you can order the same fresh made-with-love-by-Grandma-Kay popcorn tins filled with your favorite flavors (up to three per tin) that locals clamor for.
Call Kay at 360-240-8937 for unmatched customer service, whether it’s popcorn you’d like or any assortment of candy (see the huge variety on the website-from vintage to the very latest) you’d like included in your ‘care package’ from Whidbey Island’s best kept secret. Need unique party favors or custom gift baskets? Popsies offers free consultation on either, and will prepare and ship your order for timely delivery.