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Hans Riegel the man behind Haribo dies aged 90

Hans Riegel, the man behind Germany's Haribo confectionery and much-loved gummy bears, has died aged 90.

Riegel spent almost 70 years at the helm of Haribo, which was founded by his candymaker father in 1920. From a small firm struggling with the shortages of post-war Germany, he built it into a world famous brand exporting to 100 countries.

Hans Riegel, the man behind Germany's Haribo confectionery and much-loved gummy bears, has died aged 90. Credit: Reuters

Haribo, short for Hans Riegel Bonn originally called gummy bears dancing bears and as they were inspired by the performing brown bears that once appeared at circuses and fetes.

Riegel underwent a successful operation earlier this year to remove a brain tumour and his death from heart failure came unexpectedly.

"Thank you Hans Riegel, for making our lives sweeter!" fan Kilian Muth posted on the Haribo Germany facebook page.