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Doug Krizner: The Campbell Soup Company is expected to divest one of its most famous brands: Godiva. Campbell’s is apparently looking to sell the Belgian chocolate maker, because it doesn’t quite fit its new image. From London, Stephen Beard reports.
Stephen Beard: Godiva chocolates, named after the Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who rode naked through the streets of Coventry, is apparently proving a bit of an embarrassment for the parent company.
Campbell now regards the brand as shamelessly indulgent and out of step with its other healthier products. Campbell is now focusing on “wellness” with low-sodium soup, whole grain bread and fruit juice.
Selling off Godiva makes good sense says Jenny Wiggins of the Financial Times, but not because of the image problem. The real embarrassment, she says, is that Godiva chocolate is not as exclusive as it used to be.
Jenny Wiggins: When it was introduced into the U.S. in the ’60s and ’70s, back then it was considered a very luxurious kind of product. Today we have all kinds of specialist chocolate chains and consumers actually do have a lot more choice.
Nevertheless analysts reckon there’ll be a lot of interest in Godiva and it could fetch up to a billion dollars.
In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.
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