Friday, March 30, 2012

Haribo Gold Bears from Turkey and Germany

Haribo Gold  Bears - TurkeyHaribo Gold Bears stand as the epitome of the gummi bear for good reason. They were the first and they are known around the world. Haribo is so big that they have 18 factories, but only five of them in Germany.

I’ve been told over the years that the German Haribo products are the best. The Haribo products we most often see here in the United States, especially the Gold Bears, are made in either Turkey or Spain. So while I was in Germany I made sure to pick up a bag of the original version made in Bonn, Germany. Flipping over the bag, it was immediately clear that they’re different. There’s an extra flavor.

Haribo Germany Bears - They have Apfel bears

The German Gold Bears have six flavors:
Strawberry (light red)
Apple (green)
Lemon (yellow)
Orange (orange)
Pineapple (clear)
Raspberry (darker red)

The Turkish or Spanish Gold Bears have only five flavors:
Strawberry (green)
Lemon (yellow)
Orange (orange)
Pineapple (clear)
Raspberry (red)

Further, the German Bears are made with all natural colorings. Here’s an array of Bears and Bunnies for color comparison:

Haribo Comparison

On top are the German Gold Bunnies, packaged for the American market, in the middle are the German Gold Bears purchased in Germany and on the bottom are the Turkish Gold Bears purchased in the United States.

So let’s start where things are weird. First, the Green Gummi Bear. As you may have noticed in the listing above, in the United States, the green gummi bear is Strawberry.

Haribo Bears: German Apfel & Turkish Strawberry

I compared the colors of the Green Gummi Gold Bears because they show the most difference between the countries. The German bear is a light olive color, not a true green. Other than that though, the bears are the same shape and mass.

Haribo Germany vs Haribo Turkey

I thought maybe one was taller than the other, or thicker, but the variations are just that, variations across all the bears. Some are slightly thicker or taller, some have different facial expressions. But there’s no real difference in the moulding.

Turkish Strawberry (Green) compared to German Strawberry (Pink): The Turkish bear is just slightly firmer. The flavor (once you close your eyes and forget that it’s not lime or green apple) is light and only slightly floral. It’s tangy, but not puckeringly tart. Mostly it’s a bland gummi bear. The German bear is softer and just slightly more pliable. It’s jammy and has a good blend of florals and tartness, and though it’s slightly more flavorful, I wouldn’t say that there’s a huge difference in the intensity, just the nuances. Germany Wins.

Haribo Red GummiTurkish Raspberry (Red) compared to German Raspberry (Red): The artificial nature of the Turkish bear is much more apparent when placed next to the deeper, wine red German bear. The Turkish bear is sweet and tangy, the berry flavors are fresh and have only the lightest note of seeds to them. The German bear is softer and has richer, more dense flavor with more boiled fruit flavors to it. Germany Wins.

Turkish Orange compared to German Orange: this is tough. Both looked virtually the same, and the textures were also so similar. The zesty and tart notes on both were dead on. The German bear tasted every so slightly more like freshly squeezed juice, but that could have been my imagination. Tie.

Turkish Haribo Bears

Turkish Pineapple (clear) compared to German Pineapple (clear): The Turkish version had an ever—so-slight yellow cast to it, which really only showed when I placed the bears next to each other on white paper. Pineapple happens to be my favorite flavor for the bears and this was no exception. The Turkish bear actually had enough tartness to make my jaw tingle. It’s sweet and floral and just wonderful. The German version was just as good, but had an extra little flavor towards the end, a more intense thing that I can’t quite peg as pineapple zest, but that sort of buzz that comes with fresh pineapple. Even though there was a slight difference, I will indiscriminately gobble both. Tie.

Turkish Lemon (yellow) compared to German Lemon (yellow): Lemon is a great flavor and Haribo really can’t fail. There’s a wonderful blend of zest and juice in the Turkish version, with so much lemon peel that it verges on air freshener. The German version is more like a candied lemon peel or marmalade, slight more bitterness but still plenty of juice. Turkish Win.

The last one is the German Apple. It tastes, well, like tart apple juice. Honestly, I’m glad it’s not in the bags that are sold in the United States, it would be one I’d pick around ... and there currently aren’t any Haribo Gold Bears that I don’t like.

Haribo Gold Bunnies - GermanySo if there’s an additional flavor in Germany, I thought maybe this Easter Haribo Gold Bunnies version which features little rabbits instead bears and says it’s made in Germany would have that apple in it.

It does not.

The Green Bunny is actually strawberry.

But what’s more disappointing about these Haribo Gold Bunnies is that they’re terrible compared to both the Turkish Bears and the German Bears. Sure, the shape is cute and the colors are all natural, but the flavors are pale and watered down.

Haribo Gummi Rabbits & Bears

So if you’re a Green Apple fan, it’s worth it to seek out the true German Haribo Gold Bears. If you don’t care, then the Turkish version that we’ve been served all these years is great ... it’s not quite as intense, but it’s still a good quality product. The other think I noticed is that I paid one Euro (about $1.30) for my 200 gram (7 ounce) bag of German bears ... and I paid $1.50 for my Turkish bears, which only has 5 ounces in it. The German Bunnies were on sale for $1.00 at Cost Plus.

Related Candies

  1. Haribo Ingwer-Zitrone Gummis
  2. Bissinger’s Lemon Ginger Yuzu Gummi Pandas
  3. LifeSavers Gummies: Bunnies & Eggs
  4. Haribo Happy Cola
  5. Haribo Saure Dinosaurier
  6. Albanese Gummi Butterflies
  7. Haribo Gummi Bears vs Trolli Gummi Bears

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:32 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewEasterHariboGummi Candy9-YummyGermanyTurkeyHighlightHead to HeadCost Plus

Comments
  1. My only hope is to import them? You’d think World Market would have them.

    Comment by Jason on 3/30/12 at 12:46 pm #
  2. This is the most amazing review ever.  Love it, and LOVE these!!

    Comment by Jonny on 3/30/12 at 3:25 pm #
  3. This was one of your best reviews…Totally AWESOME….In 1974 when I started Garvey in the wholesale candy business I was buying Haribo gummy bears for 3.00 per pound….What is amazing is that the wholesale price for this product has actually declined over these 36 years.

    Comment by david klein on 4/01/12 at 1:20 pm #
  4. Posts like this one are what the internet was made for!  So awesome.  Cybele, you (and your photos) rock. 

    And to Mr. Klein - I have definitely purchased more than one of the 5-lb bags of gold bears (and many other sweets) from Garvey over the years!

    Comment by Ace on 4/01/12 at 6:46 pm #
  5. The Haribo gummies that are made in Turkey are also Halal.

    Comment by Aisha on 4/17/12 at 10:20 pm #
  6. There is a store in NYC that sells the German made Haribo candies as well as imported Ritter Sport, Ferraro, Kinder, Dairy Milk and more. It’s called Euro Market.

    3042 31st St
    Astoria, NY 11102

    I just bought a bag of Haribo bears today. They also had Haribo Sour Mango gummy. I wanted to pick it up but I had so much in my cart already.

    Comment by Alyssa on 5/24/12 at 3:51 pm #
  7. Great review, love how detailed you get with your flavor descriptions.

    The one thing that kills me about Gold Bears is how tough and rubbery they are. Even the fresh ones feel like chewing an eraser, and the old ones can really make your jaw ache. Considering the soft gummi textures of a lot of Haribo candies (Raspberries, Ginger-Lemon, Fruit Salad, Tropical Fruit) you would think they’d make a softer variety of Gold Bear. The toughness alone ruins these for me and I hate that - they have the best flavor of all gummi bears. I’ve always loved the waxier gummies, I would love to see a version of the Gold Bear that incorporates that carnauba wax texture

    Comment by Sean the Candy Man on 10/02/13 at 4:11 pm #
  8. Nice review.  I noticed that the bag, coloring, and amount of flavors were different when my sister brought some back from her trip in the UK.  I remember one of the bags only had 4 flavors in it—-No green gummy bear.  When I was first introduced to Haribo it was when my uncle would buy me a bag at the local grocery store.  This was back in the mid 90’s.  They had the typical 5 colors but the green color used to be the olive color.  I remember the green flavor was not strawberry, or as strong.  I was surprised with the dark green color change. 

    Comment by Boaz on 11/16/13 at 4:34 pm #
  9. What type of gelatin does HARIBO use?

    HARIBO products produced in HARIBO’s factory in Turkey are made with beef gelatin and are certified HALAL.  Products from all other HARIBO factories are made with pork gelatin.  You can find the country of origin on the back of your bag.

    Comment by Josh on 1/15/14 at 5:11 am #

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