Today, the relationship between Optima and the bears is one of complete harmony. To be precise, gummy bears. This was not always true. In 2006, the "SoftCan" foil pouch developed by Optima in collaboration with Huthamaki celebrated its premiere at Fachpack in Nuremberg. Two years later, at Interpack 2008, the "SoftCan" was filled with the popular "Gold Bears" for promotional purposes and handed out to visitors. It was a huge success!
What better than to enhance this relationship even further? The well-known gummy bear manufacturer was receptive. Intense discussions were had. Several thousand product samples found enthusiastic recipients in stores that were willing to participate in the trial run. For the longest time, the project seemed to go well, until the owner and namesake vetoed it at the last minute. He believed gummy bears don't belong in foil pouches and should only be packaged in bags. Period. The project was rejected! The disappointment, at first, was huge, but other customers expressed interest in the innovative packaging: ALDI for coffee pads, Illy for ground coffee.
A few years later, Optima and the lovable little animals would come together again in the form of the big cousins’ of the classic gummy bears – vitamin bears. This time the dealings with the manufacturer went off without a hitch. By contrast, handling the bears themselves proved to be not entirely without problems. Since they are soft, sticky and quite malleable , the appropriate sanitary filling, with the exact number of gummy bears was a challenge that required a great deal of expertise. Sophisticated processes using multi-head scales and moving hoppers finally succeeded in domesticating the bears, as one article in the customer magazine O-COM put it at the time. Like in the fairy tale, in the end, Optima and the bears lived happily ever after.