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A Hong Kong branch

Godiva Chocolatier is a manufacturer of premium chocolates and related products, originally founded in Belgium. Godiva owns and operates more than 450 retail boutiques and shops in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia and is available via over 10,000 specialty retailers.[1]

Besides chocolates, Godiva also sells truffles, coffee, cocoa, biscuits, dipped fruits and sweets, "Chocolixir" beverages, wedding and party favors and other items arranged in gift baskets. Godiva's signature package is the Gold Ballotin (French for "small, elegant box of chocolates"). Godiva also produces seasonal and limited edition chocolates with special packaging for all 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.

Godiva chocolates are relatively expensive, even compared to lesser-known brands that are considered to be of higher quality, like Valrhona or Michel Cluizel.[2]

Contents

History

Godiva (god ee' va) was founded in 1926 in Brussels, Belgium, by Joseph Draps. Draps opened his first boutique in the Grand Place in Brussels under its present name, in honor of the legend of Lady Godiva.[3] The first Godiva shop outside Belgium was opened in Paris in 1958. In 1966, the company's products reached the United States, where it was sold at luxury department stores. In 1972, the first Godiva boutique in North America was opened on New York's Fifth Avenue.[4]

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".[5] On December 20, 2007, Campbell announced that it entered into an agreement to sell Godiva to Istanbul, Turkey, based Ülker. The acquisition was completed on March 18 2008 for $850 million.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ History of Godiva from the company's "Careers" website
  2. ^ International Herald Tribune, "Valrhona May Be Best, but Not Most Expensive : For Chocolate Lovers, Offer a Taste of Paradise" by Conrad de Aenlle. December 18 1999.
  3. ^ The History of Godiva Chocolatier, from the company's website
  4. ^ Godiva Chocolatier, Inc. from a profile in International Directory of Company Histories via findarticle.com
  5. ^ Campbell To Explore Strategic Alternatives For Godiva Business, a Campbell's press release via shareholder.com
  6. ^ Campbell Completes Sale of Godiva Chocolatier to Ülker for $850 Million

External links

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