A third-generation candy maker, Bernat took over an ailing Spanish
confectioner and axed most of its 200 products to focus on producing a
single line of quality lollipops. The first Chupa Chups went on sale in 1958
with a product logo by Spanish artist Salvador Dali, a friend of Bernat.
“I looked at candy and I was surprised that there was no candy made for
children, when they are the main consumers of candy. It did not fit well in
their mouths, it got their hands dirty and caused problems for their
mothers. This is why I had the idea of putting it on a stick,” said Bernat.
The name Chupa Chups is from the Spanish verb “chupar,” which means to lick or suck a lollipop.
Within five years, Chupa Chups lollipops were on sale at some 300,000
outlets around Spain. The company instructed shopkeepers to place the
lollipops as close to the cash register as possible – a break from the
traditional policy of keeping candy in glass jars behind counters, far from
During the 1980s, Chupa Chups launched an international expansion drive.
Now, 90 percent of its sales are abroad. The company makes 4 billion
lollipops a year and sells more than 50 flavors tailored to tastes in 170
countries from Spain to China and the United States. It has factories in
five nations and employees some 1,700 people.