Crises no problem for chocolate consumption: Ülker
Ayşe Arman ISTANBULPeople’s chocolate consumption remains unaffected during times of crises, according to Murat Ülker, the chairman of Yıldız Holding which owns Ülker, the largest food company in Turkey.
“Nothing changes in the chocolate and biscuit consumption of the people,” he said during an interview with daily Hürriyet.
Speaking of the acquisition of Godiva, the international chocolate giant, in 2007 for $850 million, Ülker said he had told himself as early as 2002 that he wanted to buy the company if it ever went on sale.
The owner of 77 factories bought United Biscuits, a U.K.-based sector giant, on Nov. 3, 2014.
When asked about the success of the company, he granted credit to his late father, Sabri Ülker, along with his uncle, the other founder.
Ülker, who holds a large collection of paintings, said he keeps many of the pieces at the company’s headquarters in Istanbul, offering employees the chance to hang them on the walls of their rooms.
The chairman, who said even his children buy Ülker products with their own money, is one of the richest people in the country but is known for his humble lifestyle.
He said he has not used a watch since starting to use mobile phones that display the time. He also drives a relatively moderate car, telling Hürriyet that he bought his son a second-hand vehicle.