Where Did Gummies Originate: Uncovering the Sweet History

Gummies are undoubtedly one of the most beloved candies around the world. Their unique texture, delightful flavors, and playful shapes have caught the hearts of children and adults alike. But have you ever wondered where did gummies originate? How did they become the sweet sensation that they are today?

In this article, we will take you on a journey through time to explore the intriguing history of gummies. From the ancient beginnings of gummy-like treats to the modern-day gummy bears, we will uncover the fascinating evolution and fun facts about gummies. So, buckle up and get ready for a mouth-watering adventure!

Key Takeaways:

  • Gummies have a long and exciting history that dates back to ancient civilizations.
  • The evolution of gummies involved the introduction of gelatin and the German company Haribo’s invention of the modern gummy bear.
  • Gummies gained popularity worldwide and evolved into various shapes, flavors, and brands.
  • Gummies continue to be a popular candy today, and there are many future innovations and advancements in gummy candy production.

The Ancient Beginnings of Gummy-Like Treats

Gummies might seem like a modern invention, but the truth is that they have been enjoyed for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese had versions of gummy-like sweets made from fruit, honey, and nuts.

One of the earliest known gummy-like candies was called Turkish Delight, enjoyed in the Ottoman Empire. Made from starch and sugar, it was flavored with rosewater, lemon, and mastic. Another traditional gummy candy is the Japanese Konpeito, a small, hard candy made with sugar and starch syrup.

However, it wasn’t until the discovery of gelatin in the 1800s that gummies evolved into the chewy, colorful treats we know today.

The Science of Gelatin

Gelatin is a protein yanked from animal collagen, such as bones and skin. It was first discovered in the early 1800s, but it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that it was finally commercialized. Gelatin became a popular ingredient in desserts, including gummies, due to its ability to give food a chewy texture and hold its shape.

The first modern gummy candy was created in Germany by Hans Riegel, the founder of Haribo, in 1922. He called his creation the “dancing bear,” shaped like a bear cub. At the time, it was revolutionary because it was a chewable candy that was also easy to transport and store. This innovation made it a popular treat for children and adults alike.

Since then, gummies have exploded in popularity and have become one of the most beloved candies in the world.

The Journey of Gummies to Europe

Gummies continued to evolve during the Middle Ages, finding their way to Europe through trade routes. During this time, gelatin was introduced as a critical ingredient in gummy candy production. This discovery revolutionized the candy industry, creating chewy, gelatin-based treats that were much more palatable and enjoyable to eat than their rigid, sugar-based counterparts.

The first documented use of gelatin in candy-making dates back to the early 1600s, when a Frenchman named Denis Papin invented a device that could boil bones to extract gelatin. This discovery paved the way for the mass production of gelatin, which quickly became a staple in the candy industry and beyond.

As gummies became more popular in Europe, candy makers began experimenting with different shapes and flavors. In England, gummy bears became a fan favorite, while in Germany, wine gums – a type of gummy candy made with natural wine – gained popularity.

The Rise of Haribo

However, it wasn’t until the early 20th century that gummy candy took off, largely thanks to the German confectionery company Haribo. Founded in 1920 by Hans Riegel, Haribo quickly became known for its innovative and delicious gummy candies.

One of Haribo’s most iconic creations was the gummy bear, first introduced in the 1920s. The original gummy bear was more petite and complex than the ones we know and love today, but it was an instant hit with consumers.

During World War II, the popularity of gummy candies waned due to a shortage of sugar and other vital ingredients. However, as the war ended and supplies became more readily available, gummies returned triumphantly.

From Medicine to Delight: The Modern Gummy Bear

The modern gummy bear has become one of the most beloved candies in the world, but where did it all begin? It all started in the 1920s in Germany when inventor Hans Riegel created a unique candy named the “Gummibär.”

Riegel’s original gummy bear was created as a chewable medicine, making it easier for patients to take their required doses. The gummy bear was made using gelatin, which Riegel sourced from a factory run by his wife’s family.

Fact Fun Fact
The first gummy bears were sold in 1922 in Germany. Gummy bears were initially marketed as “dancing bears.”
Haribo is the acronym for Hans Riegel Bonn, the company Riegel founded to produce gummy bears. The most popular gummy bear color is yellow, followed by red.

The popularity of gummy bears quickly grew, and by the 1960s, they had made their way to the United States. Today, gummy bears come in various flavors and colors and have become a staple in candy stores worldwide.

The Gummy Explosion: Gummies Go Global

Gummies quickly became a global sensation with various shapes, flavors, and textures. The United States saw the explosion of gummies in the 1980s when they first gained significant popularity.

Brand Country Year Established
Haribo Germany 1920
Trolli Germany 1948
Black Forest United States 1950s
Albanese United States 1983

The German confectionery company Haribo invented the gummy bear in the 1920s. After the World Wars, they introduced their gummies to America, where they quickly became a beloved treat.

Trolls, also a German company, introduced their gummy worms in 1948. Black Forest, a US-based company, made gummies famous in the United States in the 1950s. Albanese, another US-based company, began producing gummies in 1983, adding various shapes and flavors.

Today, gummies are produced by many companies worldwide and enjoyed by people of all ages. Gummies have also been incorporated into popular culture in recent years, such as in the hit 2017 film “The Emoji Movie.”

Fun Facts About Gummies

An interesting fact is that the world’s giant gummy bear weighed 5 pounds! It took over 6,000 calories to make it, equivalent to 1,400 regular gummy bears in size.

Gummies Around the World

Country Gummy Variation
Japan Sake flavored gummies
Brazil Coffee flavored gummies
Sweden Salty licorice gummies

Gummies have also been turned into works of art. The Gummy Bear Museum in San Francisco features gummy sculptures and portraits, including a replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.”

Finally, did you know that astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia enjoyed gummy bears as a sweet treat during their missions?

“It’s something we can do that’s familiar and reminds us of home,” said astronaut Peggy Whitson about the importance of gummy bears in space.

Gummies Today: A Sweet Sensation

Gummies have become an integral part of modern culture, with their popularity rising. You can find gummies in almost every candy store, and they have even made their way into blockbuster movies and social media platforms.

Gummies come in different shapes, sizes, and tastes, and people of all ages enjoy them. From sour gummies to fruit-flavored gummies, the possibilities are endless. They have even become a popular subject for food bloggers and social media influencers, who create stunning images of gummy-themed desserts and drinks.

The classic gummy bear is one of the most beloved gummy products, which still holds a top spot among gummy addicts. But gummy worms, gummy rings, gummy sharks, and other creative shapes have emerged over the years. Some gummy brands have even released limited-edition flavors like cola, root beer, and pumpkin spice.

The love for gummies continues to grow, and there seems to be no end to the demand. Whether you enjoy them as a quick snack or as part of a fun activity, gummies will definitely bring a smile to the face.

The Future of Gummies

As the world continues evolving, so will the beloved gummy candy. The future of gummies holds endless possibilities, with new flavors, shapes, and uses yet to be discovered.

One potential area for innovation is using alternative sweeteners and natural ingredients. With an expanded emphasis on health and wellness, gummies could be made with ingredients like honey, agave, or stevia. Additionally, incorporating functional ingredients like vitamins, probiotics, or CBD could create a new category of gummy supplements.

Another possibility is the rise of personalized gummies, where customers can customize their flavors and shapes. In the same way, that online retailers allow customers to personalize shoes and clothing, candy companies could offer a similar service.

Finally, gummies could expand beyond their current role as a sweet indulgence. With their chewy texture, gummies could be used to develop new food and beverage products. Imagine gummy drinks, gummy snacks, and even savory gummies!

The future of gummies is exciting and full of potential. What new delights will the candy industry create? Only time will tell.

Gummies and You: A Personal Connection

Do you have a favorite gummy candy? Many of us have a personal connection to these sweets beyond their taste. Gummies are often associated with childhood memories, from sneaking a handful from the candy jar to enjoying them at birthday parties or on road trips. The chewy texture, bright colors, and unique shapes of gummies can bring back a flood of happy memories.

But gummies aren’t just for kids. Many adults find comfort in indulging in these candies as a guilt-free treat or stress reliever. Some people even use gummies to bond with others, such as sharing them at the office or giving them as gifts.

What about you? Do you have a special memory or connection to gummies? Maybe you always buy a bag of gummy worms for a long car ride, or maybe you have several jars of gummy bears on your desk to share with coworkers. Whatever your relationship with gummies may be, there’s no denying the joy they can bring.


In conclusion, we have uncovered gummies’ fascinating history and evolution, from their ancient origins to their modern-day popularity. We have explored the journey of gummies to Europe, the invention of the gummy bear, and the explosion of gummies worldwide. We have shared fun facts about gummies and speculated on their future.

Despite all the changes and advancements in the world, gummies remain a beloved treat that connects people of all ages and backgrounds. They evoke memories of childhood and bring joy to celebrations. Whether you prefer the classic gummy bear or a new and innovative flavor, there is no denying the sweet sensation that gummies bring.

So indulge in a handful of gummies and savor the moment. Share your connection to gummies with us and keep the love for these chewy treats alive!


Leave a Comment