Gummi Bears Solve a Sticky Problem
|International Herald Tribune, 17 April 2001 (www.iht.com)|
LINZ, Austria – From the foothills of the Alps, a British food exporter is shipping the world’s most popular ursine candy to the chewy treat’s next horizon – a vast territory stretching from Jewish communities on the Mediterranean shore to Muslim neighborhoods in the tropics of Singapore.
While gummi bears are childhood staples in Europe and the Americas, aversion to the pork-based gelatin that gives the candy its trademark rubbery texture has long ruled them out in regions where religious law governs the daily diet. These lands are becoming an international battleground for candy giants such as Haribo AG of Germany, inventor of the original gummi bear back in 1922 and maker of its latest innovation: A gelatin-free gummi acceptable to religious Muslims and Jews.
“It means that we can go on being the global leader,” said the factory manager, Andreas Nickenig. “We can’t go into these markets with our current product.” Helping to open the market is Neville Finlay, an exporter from Great Britain who will ship Haribo’s new lineup under his own brand, Finlay’s Finest. Finlay foresees combined Muslim and Jewish sales of $2 billion annually – at least as big as Europe.
The gelatin-free gummis are softer than their rubbery animal-based cousins but come in the same 46 shapes – from traditional bears to Coke bottles, airplanes and glow worms – as well as new ones. For Israel, there are “alphabet gummis” molded with Hebrew letters to look like Scrabble tiles. Gelatin-free gummis cost 20 percent more to make than meat-based ones. But the difference is narrowing as prices for beef and pork gelatin are pushed up by dwindling supplies because of the scare over mad cow disease in Europe.
Haribo shipped its first 40-ton batch of gelatin-free, kosher gummis to Israel and the United States last month – but not before going through a few hitches. “The first time we made it, we got a marmalade you could spread on bread,” Finlay said. “And at the other extreme was something you could fill a swimming pool with and drive a truck across.” As well, the first order of Hebrew packaging was printed backward, because the local supplier did not know the language is read right to left.
To make kosher gummi bears, a rabbi must oversee production and inspect every ingredient to make sure it passes muster. Every cooking vessel, collection bin and conveyer belt must be scrubbed down with boiling water to wash away impurities before kosher production begins. For halal shipments, a Muslim cleric stands in.
versenden – Bären-zäher Leckerbissen
typische gummiartige Konsistenz – bestimmen
Gigant – Erfinder
Warenangebot – Marke
geformt – Spielstein
schrumpfende Vorräte Schreck – BSE
akzeptabel sein – Gefäß – Behälter – Förderband – reinigen -Unreinheit
Where companies go to grow
|International Herald Tribune (www.iht.com) 13.03.2002|
Bavaria broke all records for foreign high-tech investment in 2001. The number of foreign-owned high-tech companies in the state came to 1,029, up 11 percent over the previous year’s figure, itself an all-time record for Bavaria — or for any other region in Continental Europe.
As Peter Friess, CEO of gotoBavaria, the state’s media, information and communications technology agency explained: “When selecting an out-of-country site for its production, R&D and distribution facility, a company looks to see where its competitors, customers and suppliers have set up shop. It pays even closer attention to how these foreign-based operations have been faring after being founded.” He adds: “Along with our unique selling points, it is precisely this track record of growth that accounts for Bavaria’s success in securing further and follow-up foreign investment.”
In founding gotoBavaria, the state government gave it a lean structure and an extensive brief: to get the world’s technology, information, media, entertainment and security companies going to Bavaria and growing there. The agency has risen to the occasion. In 2001, its first year of full-fledged operation, gotoBavaria helped 12 high-tech companies set up shop in the state, got dozens more of such “goings to Bavaria” rolling and helped hundreds of resident foreign corporations expand.
One factor enabling gotoBavaria to win the Germany-wide competition for what the Süddeutsche Zeitung called “the largest prize in foreign direct investment this year” was the agency’s wide range of services. “We help our customers come to Bavaria and find premises, staff, customers and whatever else they need,” says Friess. “But our services don’t stop there. One-third of our time and effort is spent staging get-togethers and providing other post-investment services. At these events, our companies forge ties to Bavaria’s other innovators in a variety of fields.”
It sounds like every high-tech company’s dream: to have a fully equipped office waiting for it in the heart of Europe’s hottest high-tech city. Even better than the equipment … are the neighbors: specialists willing and able to provide the services and information needed to get the company going in the Continent’s largest market — and beyond.
|Rekord brechen –Investition
sich entwickeln – gründen
ins Rollen bringen
gemütliches Beisammensein veranstalten