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HISTORY OF CHUPA CHUPS
Chupa Chups® lollipops have been sweetening the lives of millions since 1958, but the real beginnings of the world’s best-loved lollipop trace back in the mid 19th century, when Josep Bernat, the grandfather of the founder of the Chupa Chups® Group, opened a small sweet factory in Barcelona.
The business was destroyed during the Spanish civil war, but the art of candy making survived and was passed down through the generations. In 1950, one of Josep Bernat’s grandsons, Enric, opened his own small confectionery factory and business boomed. Later he took the control of a food and confectionery company, Granja Asturias S.A, producing over 200 products.
In 1958 Enric hired a French consulting firm to study sweet-eating habits. He had noticed that sweets did not appear to be designed for children as the sweet consumption invariably resulted in a very sticky mess. After the research that showed that 67 per cent of consumers were children under 16, Enric Bernat decided to create a sweet that could keep both the children and their parents happy, a product that would be like “eating a sweet with a fork”. This idea revolutionised sweet eating habits in Spain and the product that was to become Chupa Chups® lollipop was born.
The very first name of the lollipop was GOL, Spanish for "goal", due to the lollipop's resemblance to a football. But Enric Bernat was not totally convinced with this name and decided to change the name into "CHUPS". Later the name was changed into Chupa Chups®", as young consumers, singing the song created to advertise the lollipops, began asking for Chupa Chups (Spanish word for Lick a Chups) instead of the actual "Chups®".
It was also during this period that Van Melle started its far-reaching international expansion by opening commercial units and factories in Brazil, the USA, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Its growth in other international markets continued throughout the 1990's with the opening of the eastern European borders.
During this time the company set up commercial facilities across the whole region and built a production unit in Poland. In the late nineties Van Melle set its sights on the emerging Asian markets, where it once again displayed remarkable operational foresight. As well as creating commercial units, the company also set up large-scale production facilities in Indonesia, China and India. To improve its home market position Van Melle acquired Klene, a Dutch company famous for its liquorice products.
The Chupa Chups® brand name was finally registered in 1962 and in 1964 the company adopted the same name, eventually changing from Granja Asturias S.A. to Chupa Chups, S.A.
As the product kept developing and expanding into markets all over the world, it needed a more universal design. So one day in 1969 Enric Bernat travelled to Figueras, 150 km north of Barcelona, in order to pay a visit to the world famous Salvador Dalí.
Over lunch and in less than one hour this great artist sketched out on a piece of newspaper what was to be the basis of the Chupa Chups@ logo still in existence today. The brand name was centred in the middle of a simple and attractive design based on a daisy. In the 60s Enric Bernat created a strong distribution network in Spain: an immense fleet of 600 Seat cars were used to distribute the Chupa Chups® lollipops among 300,000 outlets all around the country.
Every one of these cars was decorated with the Chupa Chups® design so that people could recognise them in the streets and also simply advertise the product.
Innovation in technology has always been a strong feature of the Chupa Chups® group.
Enric Bernat decided to manufacture his own machinery to produce his products and, since the first production lines were put in motion, this machinery has been updated and renewed to ensure the highest standards are consistently met. Nowadays a huge percentage of Chupa Chups® lollipops still manufactured using the most up-to-date technology at the main plant in San Esteve Sesrovires near Barcelona.
With the introduction of SMINT® in 1994 and Cremosa® in 2003, in addition to the well loved traditional lollipops, the Chupa Chups® has enlarged its product portfolio to meet the increasingly demanding needs of its adult and health conscious consumers.