Re-entering childhood with Haribo – You don’t expect to come face to face with a sweet manufacturer when in the medieval town of Uzès in Southern France, but there it is – the Musée de BonBon by Haribo with its siren call to sweet lovers of all ages. I wonder why they called it Haribo, I ruminated with friends over lunch the day before and oh, how we chortled when I said maybe it’s named for a Mr Harry Bo! So imagine my surprise when I find out that in effect, it is. Hans Riegel, the founder of the company way back in 1920, took the first two characters from his Christian name – HA – and his surname – RI – and added the BO at the end from Bonn, the town of his birth. So mystery solved.
This museum opened in May 1996 (we are in its 20th anniversary year) and offers an insight into the history of the production of liquorice, fruit gums and bonbons. There’s a collection of the beautiful packaging tins that sweets were once purchased in, glorious advertising posters, old machines demonstrating the history of confectionary, moulds galore and … of course .. the famous Haribo GoldBears. Haribo understood the importance of marketing and advertising, was one of the first to have commercials on TV to use slogans – Haribo makes children happy!
The first bear – the TanzBear – was created in 1922 and was inspired by Teddy Roosevelt who gave us the teddy bear of course and by the performing bears which would have toured Europe in fairs and festivals. It was thinner and more delicate than those made today and it evolved into the Gold Bear in the 1960’s. Now 100 million Gold Bears are produced worldwide every day.
The exhibit is colourful, informative, interactive and yes, great fun. You walk around with little rugrats running past you, enthralled at the prospect of using a token you are given when you arrive in one of the big sweet packaging machines. When you exit, there’s an enormous sweet shop selling Haribo in containers from a single packet to a huge tub – and it appears that mum and dad seem to be the ones seriously stacking up the calories in this outlet shop. If you love Haribo, this is a very, very dangerous place to be let loose – you have been warned.
Address: Musée de Bonbon, Pont des Charrettes, 30700 Uzès, France. Entrance is €7 for adults, €5 for children from 5-15 and little rugrats enjoy free entrance.
Contributor & photographer: Sue Lowry
The Gard is part of Visit Southern France and together with Voyages-sncf.com are clients of Magellan PR. They can be found tweeting at @VacancesGard and @Voyagessncf_UK respectively.
Magellan PR is on twitter: @MagellanPR / on Facebook: MagellanPR / on Pinterest: Sue Lowry / on Google+: Sue Lowry & MagellanPR and on Flickr: Sue Lowry. For more information on our company, visit www.magellan-pr.com. Follow our other blog focussing on travel in the South of England – A3 Traveller. Follow A3Traveller on Twitter: @A3Traveller.