Chocolate company Godiva is about to launch its first café in Japan. The Godiva Café Tokyo, located in the GranRoof Front of Tokyo Station, will open its doors to the public on November 26th.

Enticing drinks on the menu include Godiva’s ‘Chocolixer’, which has been popular in Japan since it was introduced in 2006, cacao milk, cacao espresso, and cacao café latte.

In addition to the range of top-quality cacao-based concoctions that you expect from Godiva, the café will also offer drinks made in its ‘Infinimix’ machine, which melts chocolate with high-temperature steam, producing an exceptionally smooth chocolate drink.

Every drink is served with a Godiva chocolate, and if the taste entices you, the café sells a wide variety of Godiva goods, from chocolates to specialty coffees.

As well as the offerings you would expect from a café, Godiva’s new outlet also has a restaurant menu, offering various types of croissants and waffles, as well as light meals such as salads, quiches, soups, pasta dishes and stews.

Of course, all eyes will be on the desserts, which are suitably sumptuous. They were created by Godiva chef Yannick Schvolow and include four types of chocolate mousse, chocolate muffins, chocolate chiffon cake and chocolate terrine.

The opening of Godiva’s Tokyo café is part of the company’s ambitious expansion plans for Japan, which it has identified as having lots of potential for growth. It says it plans to open about 50 stores across the country by 2025.

The emphasis is very much on quality, not only in terms of chocolate, but the interior design of the outlet, which it calls ‘modern European.’ “I paid particular attention to ‘quality’ so that I could feel the ‘elevate’ in the concept,” said the interior designer responsible for styling the new outlet.

Godiva currently has 450 stores worldwide. Although usually considered Belgian, the company moved its headquarters to New York City over fifty years ago. Since then, it has gone on to become a multinational brand and is currently owned by a Turkish conglomerate.

The demand for small scale luxury in the form of ‘treats’ looks set to continue rising in low growth advanced economies like Japan. With the middle class facing stagnant living standards for the foreseeable future, many consumers are reluctant to splash out on big ticket items, but still need to reassure themselves that they can afford to buy luxury goods.

This is good news for chocolatiers. In Japan, Godiva is appealing to customers with the catchphrase ‘elevating my everyday,’ and promising a cafe that ‘delivers a little special everyday,’ in the hope that consumers will incorporate the purchase of low-cost luxury goods like chocolate into their daily routines.

Godiva made headlines in February 2018, when it took out a full-page ad in the Nihon Keizai Shinbun, Japan’s leading financial newspaper, suggesting that people stop buying ‘giri choco’, the practice whereby women are expected to buy chocolate for male colleagues, friends and bosses on Valentine’s Day. Though seen by some analysts as a shot in the foot, the company’s ad was broadly welcomed by the public.

The Godiva Café Tokyo is open daily between 0800 and 2200. It can be found in the basement of GranRoof Front at Tokyo station. For a map, see here.

For more details, visit their official website or call 03 6810 0750. You can also check out their Instagram account.

By - George Lloyd.