Godiva

Godiva – Current Features – Issue 125


Mesmerizing customers with its exquisite range of chocolates and expanding product portfolio, Godiva celebrated its 90th anniversary last year. RLI speaks with CEO Mohamed Elsarky about the celebrations, and how the company will continue to excite, evolve and grow…

The story of Godiva began in 1926 in the city of Brussels, where Pierre Draps Senior handcrafted praline chocolates in the workshop of his home and the smooth, creamy Godiva praline chocolate was born. Over 90 years later the company has almost 800 stores in operation across the globe in countries such as Abu Dhabi, Belgium, Canada, China, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, UK and the US to name a few. Through its Global Travel Retail business, Godiva has a presence in more than 100 countries. Last year was a particularly important year for Godiva as it celebrated its 90th anniversary, offering the company an opportunity to re-establish its brand credentials through its unique brand stories, heritage and to once again demonstrate the Godiva Art of Belgian Chocolate making as well as enjoying the anniversary festivities.

“We have continued our story by highlighting one of our iconic products, our gold ballotin.”

Mohamed Elsarky, Chief Executive Officer, Godiva

“We have continued our story by highlighting one of our iconic products, our gold ballotin. This spring, we launched our Gold Icons Collection, featuring some of our most iconic chocolate shapes, but in a modern and colourful way and with unexpected flavor combinations, such as Passionfruit Pink Peppercorn and White Chocolate Lemon Olive Oil,” explains Mohamed Elsarky, CEO of Godiva. The company has also turned its attention to its Chocolixir products, as well as its freshly-made items such as its soft serve and new chocolate filled berries in the US. Much more than a gifting brand, Godiva is a brand that can be enjoyed on a regular basis and in many different forms.


DELIGHTING THE SENSES

Most recently store expansion has focused on China, but in total some 50 stores have been opened around the world in the past 12 months including its first stores in Thailand. Alongside new stores, new store formats are also being added to create a more lifestyle-based experiential café feel, enticing customers to linger a little longer. In the short-term future, the company is looking to expand into new markets such as Australia, India and Latin America, to increase its distribution footprint as well as evolve the product portfolio for its unmatched core gifting to chocolate treats.

“Our US-based chef, Thierry Muret for example, is a chemist with a background in crystallography, which contributes to his unique and innovative approach.”

Mohamed Elsarky, Chief Executive Officer, Godiva

Staying at the cutting edge is key, and to do this the chefs of Godiva are located in regions close to chocolate, food and retail, in cities such as New York, Tokyo and Shanghai. “Our US-based chef, Thierry Muret for example, is a chemist with a background in crystallography, which contributes to his unique and innovative approach,” explains Elsarky. “We also use trend research to stay current and conduct consumer research with special focus on millennials to understand what drives relevance with our future generation of chocolate lovers.” Whilst chocolate is almost universally enjoyed, markets are different and Godiva tailors its product offerings to markets and diverse cultural needs where relevant. White Day (Women’s Day) in Japan is an important holiday for Godiva, whilst in the UAE; it offers a collection of Ramadan chocolates.


For the full article, please see the July/August 2017 issue or subscribe here