Monday, February 11, 2008
Josep Bernat, the paternal grandfather of the founder of the Chupa Chups® Group, was recognised as the first confectionery maker in Spain on opening a shop in one of Barcelona’s most thriving commercial areas. This shop soon turned into a small sweet factory where his 6 children worked. The business was sadly destroyed during the Spanish civil war, but the art of candy making survived and was passed down through the generations.
In 1950, at the age of 26, one of Josep Bernat’s grandsons, Enric, having accumulated experience working for other confectioners decided it was time to go it alone.
He opened his own small confectionery factory called Productos Bernat and business boomed. Together with Nuria Serra, his new bride and daughter of another Barcelona confectioner, they set about laying the foundations of their new venture.
In 1954, Domingo Massanes, a family friend and owner of a food and confectionery company, asked him to take control of Granja Asturias S.A.; a flagging company producing over 200 products derived from apples. On accepting the challenge, the enterprising Enric negotiated a unique contract; if he was able to pull the company out of its difficulties, he would be entitled to 50% of its income and shares. Under his guidance, just one year later Granja Asturias S.A. began to achieve profits and in 1958 thanks to his unusual contract and the success of the company, Enric Bernat controlled the full 100%.
Enric had noticed that sweets did not appear to be designed for children as the sweet consumption of the day invariably resulted in a very sticky mess - and very desperate parents. After the research then showed that 67 per cent of consumers were children under 16, Enric Bernat decided to think about creating a sweet that could keep both the children and their parents happy. His idea was simple but radically different to anything available in the Spanish market at that time. He wanted to create 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. Now owned by an Italian group.