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We’re looking to make our company more accessible with CPG: GODIVA CEO

Godiva CEO Annie Young-Scrivner joins Yahoo Finance’s On The Move panel to address how the company plans to grow its CPG business.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: Annie Young-Scrivner is the CEO of Godiva. She is joining us from New York. Annie, thank you so much for joining us. I know that Godiva is making a push into more of the consumer-goods sector-- in other words, that you would be able to buy-- more readily accessibly buy Godiva products at the grocery store, for example. Why have you guys seen this as a growth area, and what kind of strategy are you adopting?

ANNIE YOUNG-SCRIVNER: Thank you for having me. And, you know, we have done a great job with formal gifting, and we're expanding to meet more consumer need states now-- so casual gifting, for sharing, for self.

And one of the biggest opportunities that our customers have shared with us is make it more accessible. And one of your guests earlier talked about consumers are shopping all channels. And for us, to get further distribution is a huge opportunity. Premium chocolate, particularly in the consumer-packaged-goods segment, has been growing faster over the last five years versus the traditional segment.

And we also know that it's $18 billion. And Godiva, we want a big bite out of that category.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Hey, it's Adam, and chocolate lover here. Where are you finding most people, though, purchasing-- especially in the pandemic. I mean, you can do it online, but in grocery stores? I'm thinking selfishly because the one across the street, I'm going to go look to see if they're the little gold boxes that you can get the Godiva chocolate in.

ANNIE YOUNG-SCRIVNER: Adam, you're right. Especially during this whole COVID piece, people are shopping at their local grocery store. Their drugstores. And we, in fact, launched a new product during this whole pandemic for all those chocolate lovers out there. We know that when you're eating a candy bar or a chocolate bar, you don't consume the whole thing, unless you're me.

So one of the things that we did is we designed a bar-- that's right here. You could find this in your local store-- in which it comes in individual pieces. So you can have one anytime, and you could share a piece with Julie anytime. So it's great for self-consumption. It's great for sharing. And it was very interesting to launch this during this whole shutdown.

DAN HOWLEY: So, Annie, I've got to ask. You know, you see all of these different companies coming out with new types of chocolates. I eat candy too much, far too much. But, you know, they're coming out with all different types of flavor profiles and interesting changes to the way they're wrapping and putting out their chocolate. I'm talking about the mainstream companies like a Hershey or something.

So how do you see Godiva competing in that kind of space where, you know, you have the traditional gold box? How do you get people interested, and how do you provide them with the kind of different types of flavoring and textures that those brands might be able to offer en masse?

ANNIE YOUNG-SCRIVNER: So I love the fact that you eating chocolate, and no one can have too much chocolate. And just remember all the health benefits of that antioxidant every time you take a bite.

But what I would say is consumer is craving for authenticity, quality. And one of the things that we have done for almost 95 years is to use a culinary expertise of our chefs that's sprinkled across the globe and making sure that the flavor profile is right. But at the end of the day, it is the quality of the ingredients, and it's how it tastes.

So we are definitely mixing different unique flavors but also making sure that, you know, the favorites, whether it's just plain chocolate with a little salt or Americans love salted caramel, is available.

MELODY HAHM: Annie, I actually don't eat too much chocolate by itself, but I actually love Godiva's chocolate-truffle coffee. I understand you were previously at Starbucks as CMO, and then prior to that you spent 20 years at Pepsi. So when you think about transitioning from the beverage industry to now chocolate, what are the other sort of product mix and categories that you're looking at? I imagine that you're kind of having to stay innovative and creative during this time.

ANNIE YOUNG-SCRIVNER: It's a great question, Melody. One of the things that we've thought about is as we expand the brand, how do we ensure that we stay authentic? So coffee paired with chocolate makes a lot of sense. We're also getting into teas. And then also with our Belgian heritage, looking at baked goods.

We shared with Yahoo Finance about six months ago that we're going to open 2,000 cafes. Part of that is to get into these new categories so that we can engage with our consumers more frequently. We've also really opened up our digital platforms to ensure that we can connect.

So any of our stores now, you can use our app. You could do curbside. You could do mobile order and pay, and you can deliver to your home.

JULIE HYMAN: Annie, finally I want to ask about Halloween because I don't think there's going to be much of a Halloween this year. I don't know how reliant Godiva is on traffic around that time, but what are your expectations?

ANNIE YOUNG-SCRIVNER: You know, for us, Halloween is one of the seasons that we have not gone into. And so for us, we believe that the digital piece and also now the consumer-packaged segment is going to be a big one.

We had an extraordinarily strong Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, which we are now leveraging all that data to go figure out how do we prepare for a holiday? We think that digital is going to be a big piece, and where consumers are shopping in the grocery store is going to be a big piece as well. And we're very happy that the malls are reopening now.

JULIE HYMAN: Annie Young-Scrivner is CEO of Godiva. Thank you very much, Annie. Appreciate it.