Shifting the Landscape of Cocoa and Chocolate
Amidst the rich cocoa-producing landscapes of Africa, particularly in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, the global chocolate industry tells a tale of disproportion. While around 70% of the world’s cocoa hails from this continent, their market presence in the global chocolate sector is a mere sliver, standing at less than 6%.
Changing the Paradigm with Local Value Addition
In a bid to rewrite this narrative, Fairafric Ghana has embarked on an ambitious journey of adding value to Ghanaian cocoa beans right at the source. Their mission: to introduce ‘made in Ghana’ chocolate to both European and African markets, while simultaneously fostering local job opportunities and augmenting incomes within the cocoa community.
Reviving a Local Taste for Chocolate
Simultaneously, Amonu Chocolates has been diligently working to cultivate a heightened demand for locally produced chocolate within Ghana itself.
Their product packaging proudly adorns traditional Ghanaian Akan Adinkra symbol designs, not just to bolster choco-tourism but also to honor Ghana’s enduring role in the cocoa industry.
Unveiling African Brands on an International Stage
These two pioneering brands converged at The Plant-Powered Show in Johannesburg, South Africa, earlier this month.
This pivotal event, supported by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority and the International Trade Centre’s Alliances for Action, witnessed the convergence of over 5,000 attendees, providing a strategic platform for these burgeoning brands to bask in the spotlight.
Navigating New Horizons in Health and Wellness
Their collective aspiration? It involves tapping into the burgeoning health and wellness sector, aiming to introduce Ghanaian products to a fresh African market.
The three-day Plant Powered Show, meticulously designed to cater to those actively pursuing a conscious and sustainable lifestyle, provided an expansive stage filled with live cooking demos, masterclasses led by top chefs and mixologists, as well as insightful presentations by health and wellness experts.
Within the vibrant ambiance of the event, a bustling marketplace prominently displayed an array of plant-based food, beverages, and lifestyle products, inviting attendees to engage in ample opportunities for testing, sampling, and making purchases.
The Power of the ‘Made in Africa’ Movement
Chef Greg Henderson, celebrated for his expertise in indigenous foods and the culinary legacy of African ingredients, assumed the spotlight as he led a masterclass on product development. The limelight brightly illuminated the seamless incorporation of Fairafric and Amonu Chocolates’ plant-based offerings into his culinary masterpieces, utterly captivating an engaged audience of 30 participants.
“The question I’ve been asking myself throughout this event is, why didn’t we do this a long time ago?” expressed Michael Marmon-Halm, managing director of Fairafric Ghana.
“South Africa is clearly a great market for Fairafric, and we’re gearing up to establish our made-in-Africa brand there soon.”
Unveiling Promising Opportunities
Both brand representatives were deeply affected by the profound insights gleaned from the show, unveiling a robust demand for African-origin chocolate products. Their exhibit not only generated enthusiastic feedback from show attendees but also captured the attention of the Chefs Association of South Africa, thereby suggesting promising avenues for potential collaborations.
For Amonu Chocolates, already established within Ghana and showcased in London through My Runway Group, the event marks a turning point. Lucia Acheampong, Amonu’s general manager, noted that their participation in The Plant-Powered Show, Johannesburg would significantly expand their export avenues within South Africa, further extending the reach of their delectable creations.