Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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Godiva is arguably the best known today of the large chocolate factories that emerged in Belgium in the late 1870s, arising mostly out of small, artisanal shops that served a fancy clientele. Mechanization and improvements in packaging and marketing led to the growing popularity of chocolate as its price declined. By the 1920s, chocolate had become a common treat that all social classes enjoyed. In the late 1940s, average per capita consumption was 1.1 kilos; by the 1970s, it had grown to 4.2 kilos per person, and it is close to 10 kilos today.