Riding into the hearts of chocolate aficionados everywhere, Godiva Chocolatier makes and sells premium chocolate concoctions, including bonbons, truffles, flavored coffee, cocoa mixes, cookies, ice cream, and liqueurs. Godiva's chocolate products are available worldwide at its about 450 boutique stores, in department and specialty stores, through mail order, and from its website. The company began operations in North America in 1966 as an importer and distributor of Godiva chocolates from Belgium. It entered China in 2009 with a chocolate shop in Shanghai. Godiva is owned by Turkish confectioner Ülker Bisküvi Sanayi, which acquired it from Campbell Soup in 2008.
Yildiz Holding of Turkey shelled out $850 million for the high-end chocolate maker. Godiva became part of Yildiz-owned Ülker, the largest food company in Turkey, with foodstuffs that include cookies, dairy products, and chocolate and other confectionery. While well-known in the Middle East, Ülker was catapulted to the world stage as a player alongside the likes of Nestlé, Mars, Hershey, and Barry Callebaut. Former parent Campbell purged Godiva to concentrate on its core products.
Under a new parent, Godiva is looking to China's growing taste for luxury as a lucrative market for its chocolate shops by expanding beyond its presence in Shanghai to Beijing and Guangzhou.
In addition to tapping new markets, Godiva continues to roll out new products and is concentrating on expanding its line of truffles. The chocolatier now makes individual chocolate bars, chocolate-covered fruits and nuts, and packaged chocolate biscuits. It also extended the reach of its liqueur line, made in conjunction with Diageo, by adding a caramel and milk chocolate product.
In supermarkets Godiva sells a namesake coffee that comes in several varieties. They're sold at national retail food chains, including Safeway, Stop & Shop, and Giant. Available only through the Bakery Shop section on Godiva's website, the company sells chocolate brownies, cupcakes, and layered cakes. – less