Gummy Bears have been around for quite a while ... heck, I remember getting "care packages" from Germany with Gummy Bears when I was little (think 1970's). I don't think they truly took off in this country until the 1980's ... this is when gummy bears flourished in our culture.
Thought gummy bears were only chewy foods? Wrong! They became SO popular that a cartoon was created in their honor ... I'm pretty sure there were gummy teddybears too ... heck, maybe even gummy-bear trading cards.
Personally, I was fine with just the gummy-bear chewy candy ... but that's just me.