Godiva Chocolatier

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Godiva Chocolatier
IndustryConfectionery production
FounderJoseph Draps
Headquarters333 West 34th Street, New York, New York, United States
Area served
ProductsFood and Beverage (Chocolate and Coffee)
ParentYıldız Holding

Godiva Chocolatier (pronounced "guh-DIE-va") is a Belgian manufacturer of chocolates and related products. Godiva, founded in 1926, was purchased by the Turkish Yıldız Holding, owner of the Ülker Group, on November 20, 2007.[1][2][3][4] Godiva owns and operates more than 600 retail boutiques and shops in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia and is available via over 10,000 specialty retailers.[5]

In addition to chocolates, Godiva also sells truffles, coffee, cocoa, biscuits, dipped fruits and sweets, chocolate liqueur, shakes, wedding and party favors and other items arranged in gift baskets. Godiva's signature package is the Gold Ballotin (French for "small, cardboard box of chocolates"). Godiva also produces seasonal and limited-edition chocolates with special packaging for major holidays. Godiva also has license agreements for the production of ice cream, cheesecake, coffee pods and liqueur that comes in several chocolate-related flavors. Products are also available in sugar-free and Kosher varieties.


Godiva has been involved in the controversy over child labor production of chocolate[6]


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

On December 20, 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 the Turkish food industry.[1][10] The acquisition was completed on March 18, 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 USA 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 Harrod’s 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]

On 1 February 2018, Godiva took out a full-page ad in the Nihon Keizaki 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]


In 2016, Godiva had approximately 650 retail stores throughout the world.[21] Godiva's global presence increased rapidly, especially in countries like China and Japan.

Godiva also has 2 plants. One operating in Brussels, Belgium, and another operating in Reading, Pennsylvania.[22]


Godiva Chocolatier offers a wide range of products such as chocolate strawberries, coffee and cocoa, and wrapped chocolates.[citation needed]

Chef Chocolatiers[edit]

Godiva has a team of 4 chefs that are in charge of Godiva’s markets: Europe, USA, China and Japan.

Founder (Pierre Draps)[edit]

Pierre Draps Jr. was born in the Brussels borough of Koekelberg where the first Godiva store opened.[23] Pierre Draps's father, Pierre Draps Sr, who started making the now world famous pralines in 1926. Pierre Jr and his two brothers, Joseph and François, soon joined their father in the business. Pierre Jr. started making chocolates in Brussels, Belgium, for sale to local shops.[24] His shop in Brussels' Grande Place was a success, and over the next decade, several other outlets were opened around Belgium.[24]

Pierre Jr. named the company Godiva because he was inspired by the ancient legend of Lady Godiva of Coventry.[25] Godiva still uses recipes developed by Pierre Jr.'s father today.[25]

In 2012, Pierre Draps Jr. passed at the age of 92.[23]

Legal issues[edit]

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".[26]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b Ülker Group to buy Campbell's Godiva
  2. ^ Lady Godiva becomes Bride of Istanbul Archived November 17, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ A Giant Step by Ülker: World’s Number One Premium Chocolate Brand is Now Ülker’s Archived June 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Yildiz buys Godiva for $850m". Trend-news.com. Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  5. ^ History of Godiva Archived 2007-09-18 at the Wayback Machine. from the company's "Careers" website
  6. ^ "Fair Trade Chocolate: How Sweet are Your Sweets for Valentine's Day?". Retrieved 2018-09-20. line feed character in |title= at position 22 (help)
  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; 533 words. "Turkish company buys Godiva". HighBeam Research. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  11. ^ Campbell Completes Sale of Godiva Chocolatier to Yıldız Holding for $850 Million[dead link]
  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".
  20. ^ "Why Godiva Japan Took Out A Full Page Ad Asking People Not To Buy Valentine's Day Chocolate".
  21. ^ "Godiva: number of retail boutiques worldwide 2008-2016 | Statistic". Statista. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  22. ^ "Inside The Scrumdiddlyumptious World Of Godiva". Delish. 2016-04-04. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  23. ^ a b ""Mr Godiva" has eaten his last chocolate". flandersnews.be. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  24. ^ a b "History of Godiva Chocolatier, Inc. – FundingUniverse". www.fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  25. ^ a b "12 Things You Didn't Know About the Luxury Chocolate Brand Godiva". The Daily Meal. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  26. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-29596513