GODIVA – Bursting with Belgian heritage

Inspired by the passion and craftsmanship of its founder, Belgian master chocolatier Pierre Draps, and the fierce determination of its namesake Lady Godiva, GODIVA has built an authentic and legendary company centered around its premium quality chocolate. Here, RLI speaks with the company’s Global CEO, Nurtac Afridi, about the evolution of the business and the new pleasures customers can expect in the future.

Encompassing a rich history spanning nearly 100 years, GODIVA has maintained an unwavering commitment to the quality of its premium products, signature packaging and time-tested production techniques that have earned the highest accolades from the Belgian Royal Court.

What sets GODIVA apart is the taste of their couverture chocolate – a rich, well-balanced, indulgent taste that comes from the high cocoa content of their chocolate and the unrivaled recipes that have been passed down from the founder.

This dedication to the art of chocolate continues today, thanks to the work of their master chefs and dedicated employees. Today, extraordinary GODIVA products are available in over 100 countries around the world, and their journey to exceed consumer expectations continues.

GODIVA is a global icon in the world of chocolate and in addition to its presence in e-commerce, mass grocery and retail stores around the world; they also operate brick-and-mortar locations in select markets, tapping into local needs and cultures to delight consumers.

GODIVA Cafe at Yalikavak Marina
Yalikavak, Bodrum, Turkey

“For example, our GODIVA Delight locations are a unique offering from our Asia business, using a combination of GODIVA’s signature soft serve ice cream paired with local flavors, such as black sesame and matcha,” says Nurtac Afridi, Global CEO by GODIVA. “Similarly, our signature GODIVA coffees in our Middle Eastern markets provide favorite gathering places where consumers have the opportunity to linger and enjoy the regional coffee or tea ritual with GODIVA chocolate. Additionally, we have a long-standing presence in the global travel retail industry, which we see as an invaluable gateway to winning the hearts of new consumers around the world.

In recent times, the company has seen strong household penetration and continued growth in new channels, particularly in North America, Greater China and EMEA. Examples of this include 31% growth in North America and how the past year has seen the strongest household growth gains among millennial consumers, with sales increasing by double digits for this range. target.

GODIVA Cafe in Izmir (Turkey)

When we ask Afridi about the company’s development pipeline for the next two years, she explains that their growth strategy is based on their investment in innovation. They continue to increase the availability of their premium chocolate. An example of this is that recently in the US they launched individually wrapped artisan caramels coated in GODIVA chocolate and they made a version of their iconic Classic Gold box available in their consumer packaged goods (CPG) channels.

Additionally, they are expanding their offerings of GODIVA cookies (cookies in the US market) to global food retailers, making them individually wrapped for sharing and easy to find on market shelves. Of course, high-end gifts will always be at the heart of the brand’s offering, and they’re always finding new ways for consumers to celebrate life’s most special moments with GODIVA.

Speaking longer term, Afridi says they plan to expand their health and wellness offerings, tapping into different dietary needs while still maintaining their signature quality.

“For the remainder of 2022, we plan to expand into Germany and France and increase our presence in the Middle East. We are also expanding our omnichannel approach in these regions while continuing to invest in locally relevant physical formats, such as GODIVA Delight or GODIVA Cafes, in the rest of EMEA and Asia.

Interior and products of GODIVA cafe in Izmir (Turkey) copy
Interior and products of GODIVA cafe in Izmir (Turkey)

To maintain its position in the market, the company listens first and foremost to its consumers, as this helps and informs them about what they want, and then the company acts on their ideas. They are creating a wide network of availability of their chocolates on different channels, and this strategy is working.

Additionally, they are engaging with their younger consumers on social platforms, expanding their footprint with new retail and licensing partnerships, continuing to reinvigorate their product selection, and being purpose-driven.

Their recent innovations have also included the expansion of the GODIVA wonder through licensing partnerships. This has included expansions into the world of retail ice cream, home-baked cookies, holiday decorating kits and even luxury “chocolate diamonds”. “Our Global Executive Chef Thierry Muret has worked closely with each partner to ensure that GODIVA’s commitments to innovation, premium ingredients and quality are reflected in every offering that touts our partnership,” says Afridi. .

GODIVA Delight Cafe Exterior – China

The GODIVA is Chocolate campaign was launched just recently, which marked a significant expansion of GODIVA’s premium appeal in the global market with exciting, relevant and creative concepts that help position the brand in the everyday lives of their consumers. . As part of this campaign, the brand has partnered with internationally acclaimed actor Chris Evans to be the voice of the new global marketing campaign GODIVA is Chocolate.

The company’s vision for a sustainable and thriving cocoa industry is one where farmers thrive, communities are empowered, human rights are respected, and the environment is conserved and enhanced through regenerative practices.

This starts with ensuring traceability and transparency throughout their cocoa value chain. To date, GODIVA has been able to source 97% from just two countries: Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, and they have made key investments with partners on the ground to ensure smallholders are empowered. to both build agriculture and get a diversified income stream.

“In the years to come, we look forward to sharing more as we support our suppliers in creating living income and workplace remediation programs. Through our partnership with Earthworm Foundation, we have seen the landscape of cocoa processed through training programs and the establishment of innovative credit creation schemes such as Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs),” says Afridi.

“These cooperatives are part of GODIVA’s mission to empower women around the world, as VSLAs give women in cocoa-growing communities access to financial resources to pursue their own projects and become entrepreneurs building a better world. wonderful,” concludes Nurtac.

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