My birth town Bonn has been hit heavily by Covid-19. The key reason for that are not health issues, but that the city was well-prepared to celebrate the 260th birthday of their most famous son, Ludwig van Beethoven. However, there is another big anniversary during 2020 regarding a product which made Bonn big in the world: Haribo is making all of us happier (and bigger) since 100 years. Ain’t that a good opportunity to stroll through the Rhineland region and show you a bit about shopping with the Gold Bear? Unfortunately, due to hygienic regulations, you are unable to visit the factories, but I hope you like my posting anyway.
Haribo – History of the Company
Haribo has been found on 13th December 2020 in Bonn, Germany. The company name is a combination of the nickname of the founder of the company, Hans Riegel (his original name is Johann Riegel), and the city of Bonn. The company made sweets from the very beginning, the famous Gold Bear was invented two years after the founding of the company, originally named Tanzbär (“Dancing Bear”)and containing gum arabic instead of gelatin. The company was also big in licorice and thus founded their first international outlet in Denmark in 1935. There were rumors that Haribo used slave laborers during World War II, the company however always denied that. Johann Riegel died comparably early and the company was thereafter lead by his two sons. During the history of the company, Haribo acquired a couple of peer companies and thus has production sites in France nowadays, for example. In 2018, the company moved away from Bonn to Grafschaft, some 30kms South of the former German capital, due to capacity and space problems in their historic location.
The company has an astonishingly good image, especially in Germany. One reason for that is the massive reputation of Hans Riegel junior, one of the two sons of Johann Riegel. For example, he has been awarded with The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz) due to his social engagement.
If you speak German, I suggest you to have a look into his Haribo Check by the public German TV station ARD, broadcasted in 2017. It shows that parents feel that Gold Bears are comparably healthy and low on sugar compared to other sweets (which is not the case) and also that there are some social-economic problems in the production of the ingredients necessary to produce the world-famous sweet. In 2012, the German Federal Cartel Office fined Haribo due to anti-competitive price arrangements with peers.
Haribo Stores around Cologne
Haribo is very deep-seated in the Rhineland region around Bonn and Cologne. Thus, there are multiple factory sales and stores in the area, which are quite popular among the locals (especially due to low priced second-rate quality sweets) and tourists. I visited all of them (and have to admit, brought some calories with me from each visit as well…) and present them in this posting.
There are two more Haribo-driven sales in Germany, which are not part of this posting. One is located in the outlet shopping mall in Montabaur between Cologne and Frankfurt, the other one in Wilkau-Haßlau in Saxonia near Zwickau. I did not give any opening times as they might be moving quite frequently during the pandemic times. Once they are going back to normal, I will update them.
Haribo Shop Bonn
Likely, the most popular Haribo store in Germany is the store in their home town Bonn, right adjacent to the University and main shopping area, located at Am Neutor 3. A couple of Bonn attractions are just a short walk away. Parking in Bonn on peak days may be tricky, though.
The store has some unique features. For example, they offer quite a selection of Haribo products which are produced in / for other countries only. The two-level store also offers a wide range of merchandise and a small wall display showing the history of the franchise. On the negative side, you might run into masses of tourists on non-Covid times. The prices for some products are slightly higher than in other stores, which are typically not as central as this one.
Haribo Factory Sale Bonn-Bad Godesberg
There is not only one Haribo shop in Bonn – no there is another one in the borough of Bad Godesberg, which is South to the original Haribo headquarters in Bonn-Kessenich. The factory sale store is located at Friesdorfer Str. 125 and is looking like a supermarket and even has its own parking lot.
The store features a full variety of Haribo products, including items from related brands like cookies. Of course, you do not need to leave the house without a plush Gold Bear or the Haribo towel (and all the other stuff they offer). The store feels to be extremely popular, though, also because you can reach it quite well by car.
Haribo Factory Sale Grafschaft
The smallest – and most remote – location of Haribo sales is their factory sale at Grafschaft, right at the new headquarters and production site of the company. The place is quite impressive due to the large factory and the Haribo-branded bus stop. You most easily reach the store by car, it is a comparably short drive from the A61 motorway. At the time of Covid-19, there were just 5 people allowed in-store in parallel, which means that is only about 100 square meters sale space. The exact address is Joseph-von-Fraunhofer-Straße 33 in Grafschaft, it is located in an commercial area with a couple of other companies.
As said, the Grafschaft store was the smallest I visited. I would say they have the basics, also a limited selection of second-rate quality stuff. The store is cozy, which makes it somehow convenient. If you are around anyway, it is always an option to go for this one instead of one of the big stores.
Haribo Factory Sale Solingen
The factory sale at the Solingen production site, Northeast of Cologne, was the first one I visited. The size of the store is slightly smaller than the ones in Bad Godesberg and Neuss (see below), but still quite handy. There are sufficient parking lots right next to the store. The store is located at Wuppertaler Straße 76.
As you see in the pictures, this is also the only store I visited before Covid-19 – the gallery of Haribo items, which you can compose on your own and make a nice mix bag was still available at that time. Surely, all other stores have these option too, but they are currently not used. The selection is wide, with some merchandise as well. The atmosphere is quite relaxed. Even though the store is the closest one from my home, the traffic situation is a bit of annoying in peak times.
Haribo Factory Sale Neuss
Last, but not least, there is the factory store in Neuss, West of Dusseldorf. The store architecture looks a bit of similar like the Bad Godesberg store and more feels like a supermarket. The wooden planks inside make it much more cozy than the Bad Godesberg one. There are also sufficient parking lots around the store located at Ruwerstraße 6, which is quite convenient to reach by car. The location is at the former MAOAM production site, which you can also see from the double logo on top of the building.
Undoubtedly, this is my favorite store of all. The atmosphere was relaxed (much more than in any other of the other stores). They have a wide selection of products, even a few international ones. There is a quite a bunch of reduced priced items, so that Neuss is also a good place for a bargain. Naturally, they also have quite a bunch of MAOAM articles there as well. The selection of merchandise was surprisingly wide as well.
Flyctory.com on Eating & Drinking
Flyctory.com is not a culinary blog. Nevertheless, here are all posts dealing with Eating and Drinking: