Strawberries coated with chocolate are displayed at chocolate shop Godiva inside the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert in central Brussels, Belgium, July 17, 2017..
(photo credit: REUTERS/FRANCOIS LENOIR)
Godiva, the fabled Belgian chocolates producer, has recently come under the fire of the critics after it announced in April of this year that it would discontinue the production of its alcohol-filled pralines in order to appeal to a "wide universal audience."
This week, Belgian media announced that the liquor-filled pralines have been taken of the shelves in all 80 countries the company sells sweets in.
Soon thereafter, social media was abuzz with speculation that the sweets conglomerate made the change in order to increase its sales in the the Islamic and Arab world
– seeing as the consumption of alcohol is forbidden (haram
) in Islam.
Critics were also quick to point out that a decade ago, the company changed hands and had been transferred to the ownership of the
Turkish company Yıldız Holding.
Outraged lovers of Godiva's liquor-filled sweets took to social media to express their dismay, going so far as to discuss the option of boycotting the company. They even took to calling the sweets “Halal chocolates," referencing what they believe is the real reason behind the company's decision to stop manufacturing the chocolates in question.
“They are no longer Belgians,” claimed some offended former-clients.
This is not the first time Belgians have been complaining about traditional foods are being tweaked to match the changing demographics of a pluralistic Europe. In 2015, the makers of Sirop de Liège
, a Belgian favorite since 1902, announced they will seek a Halal certificate to gain access to the Islamic markets of Indonesia and Egypt.
Just like in the Godiva case, clients felt the change is an unwelcome one, leading some to post angry comments on Facebook stating they will throw away their syrups and that it's outrageous to "force" non-Muslims to eat Halal foods.