pladis adds GODIVA to its £3bn portfolio of iconic brands

  • Move expands 180-year-old start up’s portfolio of iconic snacking brands
  • GODIVA to benefit from pladis’ growth agenda
  • Steve Lesnard joins pladis as President of GODIVA, bringing an expertise in premium brands and retail to the business.

pladis, one of the world’s fastest growing snacking companies, has announced the integration of the GODIVA brand into its portfolio, where it will sit alongside other iconic brands steeped in history, including Ülker, BN and British-born brands McVitie’s, Carr’s and Jacob’s – that have been part of the fabric of British society for generations.

The integration of the GODIVA brand brings additional scale and consumer excitement to the rapidly growing pladis business in America and Greater China. It joins key brands Flipz and Turtles, which are both on significant growth journeys driven largely by innovation, winning market share. In fact, Turtles is on the cusp of becoming a $100m brand in America while Flipz has already broken this threshold at $125m for 2023.

This is the latest strategic move by pladis, adding to its £3bn total annual net revenues (prior to GODIVA’s addition) and creating a 16,000-employee base worldwide. Since 2019, when Salman Amin joined pladis as CEO, the business has consistently grown, achieving a 40% net sales increase since 2018.

The £3bn company started the integration of GODIVA in 2023 and, having nearly completed the process, has appointed former Nike, The North Face, and Sephora leader Steve Lesnard as President of GODIVA, effective 1 May 2024. Lesnard will grow and sustain GODIVA’s position and expertise in the premium chocolate category, leveraging ongoing support from pladis to take GODIVA and its legendary chocolate to new heights.

Lesnard has over 25 years of global brand and business management experience leading high profile business growth, global brand campaigns and revolutionary product launches. He joins pladis from Sephora, where he served as Global Chief Brand Officer and President of Private Label, helping the business come out of the pandemic and get back into double digit growth globally, driving brand elevation and innovation around the world.

London-based pladis is led by CEO Salman Amin, who comments, “pladis is a 180-year-old start up. It combines iconic snacking brands with a start-up’s mentality and agility to offer products that continue to meet people’s evolving snacking preferences. Synonymous with artisanal and beautifully curated chocolates since it was founded in Belgium almost a century ago, GODIVA is a perfect fit within pladis’ global portfolio of beloved brands. I am delighted to welcome Steve Lesnard to the team to drive growth while upholding GODIVA’s beautiful legacy.”

Under Amin’s leadership, pladis plans to accelerate GODIVA’s sales by 2026, with the greatest push coming from GODIVA’s two biggest markets, the United States and China.

Commenting on his appointment, Steve Lesnard said: “I’m thrilled to join pladis as President of GODIVA. I’ve always regarded GODIVA as one of the industry’s – in fact the world’s – iconic brands, delivering exciting innovation while remaining true to its rich, almost century old heritage. I’m energized by the opportunities GODIVA has, to continue benefiting from pladis’ industry-leading insights, extensive retail customer relationships, innovative R&D, and highly focused, profitable growth strategy.”

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