Godiva Chocolatier

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Godiva Chocolatier
Type Private [1]
Industry Confectionery production
FounderJoseph Draps
333 West 34th Street, New York
Area served
ProductsFood and Beverage ( Chocolate and Coffee)
Parent Yıldız Holding
Website www.godiva.com

Godiva Chocolatier (pronounced "goh DIVE uh" in the U.S. or "guh DEE vah" in Belgium) is a Turkish owned chocolate maker which is jointly owned by Turkish conglomerate Yıldız Holding and MBK Partners. [1]

Founded in 1926, and purchased by the Turkish Yıldız Holding in November 2007. Later MBK Partners bought a stake in 2019. [2] [3] [4] [5] Godiva owns and operates more than 600 shops in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia and is available via over 10,000 speciality retailers. [6]


Godiva was founded in 1926 in Brussels, Belgium, by the Draps family who opened their first shop in the Grand Place in Brussels under its present name, in honour of the legend of Lady Godiva. [7] The first shop outside Belgium was opened in Paris on the Rue Saint Honoré in 1958. In 1966, the company's products reached the United States, where they were sold at shopping centers. The following year, Godiva was sold by the Draps Family to Campbell Soup Company. In 1972, the first Godiva shop in North America was opened on New York City's Fifth Avenue. [8]

Lady Godiva, 1897 painting by John Collier

By 2007, Godiva had annual sales of approximately $500 million. In August of that year, Campbell Soup Company announced it was "exploring strategic alternatives, including possible divestiture, for its Godiva Chocolatier business"; the company said the "premium chocolate business does not fit with Campbell's strategic focus on simple meals". [9]

In December 2007, Campbell announced that it entered into an agreement to sell Godiva to Yıldız Holding based in Istanbul, Turkey, which is the owner of Ülker group and the largest consumer goods manufacturer in Turkey. [2] [10] The acquisition was completed in March 2008, for $850 million. [11]

Godiva continues to own and operate more than 450 shops worldwide. [12] The company issues six seasonal mail-order catalogs a year in the US and also accepts online and telephone orders for their products. Godiva chocolate is also sold in local malls and mini shops.

Godiva opened (May 2012) Café Godiva [13] in London's Harrods department store. The 40-plus table venue features Godiva's chocolate beverages, pastries, and chocolates. The company also has a store in the Harrods Food Hall.

Godiva is a participating member of the World Cocoa Foundation and Cocoa Horizons Foundation. The company is a partner of Save the Children, and began The Lady Godiva Program which partnered with FEED Projects in its first year. [14]

In 2016, Godiva celebrated its 90th anniversary and opened its 100th store in China. [15] In 2017, the business opened its first store in Australia, inaugurated its Pierre Draps Chocolate Research & Development Centre in Brussels, and opened its North America flagship store in Rockefeller Center. [16] [17] In 2018, Godiva opened its first café in Brussels, the birthplace of the brand. [18]

In February 2018, Godiva took out a full-page ad in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun financial newspaper, suggesting the retirement of the giri choco practice. [19] In Japan, as part of the giri choco practice, women are expected to buy chocolate for their colleagues, friends, bosses and sometimes family members on Valentine's Day. The public's reaction to the ad was generally seen as favorable. [20]

Godiva has been involved in the controversy over chocolate manufactures use of child labor in the production of chocolate. [21]

New interim CEO of Godiva is Nurtac Afridi as of October 2020. [22]


In 2016, Godiva had approximately 650 retail stores throughout the world. [23] Godiva's global presence increased rapidly, especially in countries like China and Japan.

Godiva has two factories, one in Brussels, and another in Reading, Pennsylvania, US. [24]

Legal disputes

Lawyers of the company have sent a series of letters warning the Lady Godiva public house in Geneva, Switzerland, that they are infringing upon their intellectual property, with the latest asking them to cease and desist from using the name. Pru Porretta, MBE, who was behind the revival of Dame Goodyver's Daye in Coventry, England, where a procession through the city's streets includes her representing Lady Godiva riding a horse commented "I think it's very sad. Godiva was a great woman who challenged her husband to stop the terrible things that were happening to the people. I'm sure Lady Godiva wouldn't care for a company which seems to be taking something that wasn't theirs originally and wants to use it for themselves and nobody else. It's about our rich heritage. I would say it's morally wrong". [25]


Godiva's Milk Chocolate was found to be heavily contaminated with nickel in a laboratory test done by the German consumer institute Stiftung Warentest in 2018. [26]


See also


  1. ^ a b "Chocolatier Godiva to sell Asian-Pacific operations to MBK Partners". CNBC. February 20, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "TURKEY/US: Ülker Group to buy Campbell's Godiva | Food Industry News | just-food".
  3. ^ "Lady Godiva becomes Bride of Istanbul". Archived from the original on November 17, 2015.
  4. ^ "A Giant Step by Ülker: World's Number One Premium Chocolate Brand is Now Ülker's". Archived from the original on June 16, 2008.
  5. ^ "Yildiz buys Godiva for $850m". Trend-news.com. Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  6. ^ History of Godiva Archived 2007-09-18 at the Wayback Machine from the company's "Careers" website
  7. ^ The History of Godiva Chocolatier, from the company's website
  8. ^ Godiva Chocolatier, Inc. from a profile in International Directory of Company Histories via findarticle.com
  9. ^ Campbell To Explore Strategic Alternatives For Godiva Business Archived 2007-08-19 at the Wayback Machine, a Campbell's press release via shareholder.com
  10. ^ GEOFF MULVIHILL. "Turkish company buys Godiva". HighBeam Research. Archived from the original on 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  11. ^ "Yahoo Finance - Stock Market Live, Quotes, Business & Finance News". finance.yahoo.com.
  12. ^ "Godiva, Everywhere". Godiva. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  13. ^ "Godiva Chocolate Cafe". Godiva UK. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  14. ^ "Sustainable Practices". www.godiva.com. Retrieved 2018-01-08.
  15. ^ "At 90, Godiva Proudly Looks Back as It Charts a Path Forward". Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  16. ^ "Godiva Belgium chocolate opens first Australian store | Australian Food News". www.ausfoodnews.com.au. Retrieved 2018-05-25.
  17. ^ "Godiva Chocolatier". Rockefeller Center. Retrieved 2018-05-25.
  18. ^ "Godiva's Latest Box of Chocolates Is a World Tour of Flavors". Food & Wine. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  19. ^ "Godiva Causes a Stir in Japan by Urging Women to Stop Buying Chocolates for Male Coworkers". www.adweek.com.
  20. ^ Adelstein, Jake. "Why Godiva Japan Took Out A Full Page Ad Asking People Not To Buy Valentine's Day Chocolate". Forbes.
  21. ^ "Fair Trade Chocolate: How Sweet are Your Sweets for Valentine's Day?". Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  22. ^ Chocolatier, GODIVA. "GODIVA Announces Upcoming Departure of CEO and New Interim CEO". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  23. ^ "Godiva: number of retail boutiques worldwide 2008-2016 | Statistic". Statista. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  24. ^ "Inside The Scrumdiddlyumptious World Of Godiva". Delish. 2016-04-04. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  25. ^ "Lady Godiva angry at chocolate claim". BBC News. 13 October 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  26. ^ "Stiftung Warentest: Diese Schokolade schneidet am besten ab". Göttinger Tageblatt (in German). 2018-11-21. Retrieved 2020-10-12.

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