Why do Haribo gummybears suck in America?

Every time I go to Germany, I stock up on pounds and pounds of gummybears. It’s truly the best candy ever created, and my friends never understand why I don’t simply buy Haribos at the grocery store. They’re small, and hard, and flavorless. Screw those things.

Why are they different?

I don’t know if this is the full answer, but some time I ago I skimmed an article in a magazine (something about trade) about how international companies have to adapt their products to local markets, and one example they gave was Haribo gummibears: the Germans want their food natural, so they only use natural colours, therefore, the bears look muted.
The Americans want bright things (for some reason they associate this with tasty), so they use something else and the bears look bright and artifical.

Also, the ingredients laws (of what’s allowed and not allowed) probably differ between Germany and the US - for example several years back, Haribo proudly proclaimed that it uses Beeswax as seperator. Most of the other ingredients are also natural. (Though if you want really natural, you have to eat Apple bears - made not from gelatine, but from fruit juice and apple pectin. They look even more drab, only brown and orange and dirty yellow available, and taste less sweet. But more healthy! ;))

WAG: If the gummibears aren’t produced in the US, but shipped (I don’t know which is true), they might have dried out from long journey.

Nope, the Haribo we imported for German fund raisers (we traded going to Germany and hosting German students for GAPP every year) were nice and squishy and good. And we’re talking about Gummi bears that got held up in Spain and random states on the East coast for weeks to months at a time.

I’d assume it is an ingredient thing like you said may be possible.
Edit: or not, I can’t find any info on such with specific regards to Haribo. I’m guessing maybe they just buy Haribo by the ton and have them sitting in their warehouse for eons.

Pectin is more natural than gelatin?

Um. Yes, worded badly. The apple bears appeared in the Organic stores first, because a certain group of health-conscious/ organic-buying people also - for health or ethical reasons - are vegetarians of several kinds, and therefore rejected gelatine.

It might also be that at that time, organically produced gelatin wasn’t available in large enough quantitites - many people prefer Agar-Agar.

BTW, the German Wikipedia article says

2005 Haribo produced daily about 100 million Gummibears in 18 locations spread across Europe to ensure the delivery in over a 100 countries …

So apparently, no production in the US, only for them.

Have you tried ordering them at Haribos directly? (Seems to be Java: if the link doesn’t work, start at the homepage.)

Note: I don’t work for Haribo, I won’t get a commission, and I think Thomas Gottschalks ads for them are really dumb.

Because they stick to your teeth if you chew them.

One of my local grocery stores also carries kosher Haribo gummi bears, which IIRC are made in Spain; their flavor profile is somewhat different from both the American and German gummi bears.

I spoke with a relative of mine who lives in Germany, and his thought was that there are different flavoring and coloring agents that are legal in different countries, so depending on where the gummi bears are made, the flavors would differ slightly even if they’re basically intended to taste similar.