BERLIN (Reuters) - German candymaker Haribo, famous for its fruit-flavored gummy bears, plans to build its first production facility in the United States and start making confectionery there from 2020.
Family-owned Haribo, which employs 7,000 people worldwide at 16 sites in ten countries, said on Thursday it has decided to acquire property in Wisconsin for the factory.
Haribo, a model of Germany's successful "Mittelstand" firms which make up the backbone of Europe's largest economy, was founded in 1920. It gave Germany one of its most famous advertising slogans, promising to make kids and adults happy.
Expansion in the U.S. pits the Bonn-based company against North America's top candymakers, including Mars Chocolate, Mondelez International and Hershey Foods Corp.
"Haribo of America is the fastest-growing candymaker in the U.S.," Hans Guido Riegel, Haribo's managing partner said in an emailed statement.
"That is why the step to start with local production from 2020 is important to us," Riegel said, adding the firm has been looking for a U.S. manufacturing site for several years.
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer and Matthias Inverardi. Editing by Alexander Smith)