“In good times the auto manufacturers and other industries laughed at us,” one owner of a North Rhine-Westphalia candy factory told the paper. “They said: ‘Why are you making sweets? You can't make any money with that.'”
But now many candy makers are reporting increased sales and are considering hiring more employees as Germans eat through their recession woes and carmakers announce they're cutting production, the paper said.
"Products like gummy bears remind adults of their childhood," Hans Riegel, head of German favourite gummy bear maker Haribo, told Die Welt. "That's when most of the patterns of enjoyment are formed. The children stay true to us."
Haribo, along with cookie maker Griesson, expects a five percent increase in sales in 2009. Meanwhile bonbon maker Katjes expects a 10 percent increase and plans to add 19 new products to its line this year. Chocolate firms Stollwerck and Sarotti also expect to cash in on the comfort food craze with double-digit sales increases, the paper reported.
“In difficult economic times, consumers abstain from buying a new car or a vacation, perhaps, but not from sweets,” Katjes head Bastian Fassin told the paper. “Sales are stable at the least and there won't be any schedule cuts or layoffs.”