In 2007, when the Ulker Corporation decided to buy Godiva and enter the world-wide global food industry for the huge price of 850 million dollars, it triggered other Turkish companies to follow suit in order to find their place in the global market.
At that time Ulker’s CEO Murat Ulker stated that they had consulted a Muslim scholar and received permission to produce chocolate liqueurs. Ulker pointed out that they had acted in accordance with Islamic beliefs in selling these products outside Turkey.
A decade after these statements, Ulker has decided to remove liqueured products from the well-known Belgian chocolate brand Godiva’s product list.
Belgium is known for its chocolates to the extent that chocolate is a symbol of the country. One of its biggest and oldest chocolate brands, Godiva, quietly stopped chocolate liqueur production last April.
This decision caused a huge reaction in Belgium. The Belgian newspaper La Liberte described the move as the creation of a “Halal Godiva”, and other Belgian media outlets have expressed belief that this action had taken to please the Muslims. But what was the main reason behind Ulker’s decision?
According to information I obtained, Ulker made the decision due to a decline of interest in this kind of product. Ulker has also recently started to spread to new markets such as Japan, South Korea and other Asian countries as well as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arabian Emirates.
This decision by the Ulker Corporation for political and economical purposes could help them to grow in new markets in Muslim countries.