The consumption of locally made chocolate remains low despite the celebration of the National Chocolate Day for over a decade.
According to the Cocoa Processing Company(CPC), Ghanaians consume only 400 grams of chocolate daily compared other developed countries that consume twice the number.
In Ghana, Val’s Day is called the National Chocolate Day with the aim of increasing local consumption of locally made chocolate to encourage the processing of cocoa for value addition.
However, the local chocolate Market has low patronage compared to higher consumption of imported chocolate.
In 2017, $45 million worth of chocolate was imported into the country.
The global chocolate market is worth some 103.28 billion dollars and has been estimated to reach approximately 161.56 billion dollars by 2024.
Ghana’s major producer of Chocolate, the Cocoa Processing Company produces 2000 metric tons of chocolate annually.
However, the company has been faced with numerous challenges including the use obsolete machines and lack space.
Although a few private companies have started local processing of cocoa, that is not enough to meet local demand allowing for the high importation of foreign-made chocolate.
Despite Ghana being ranked the second for cocoa production and the country with the finest cocoa beans, there is little processing and consumption of Ghana’s main cash crop.
James Ekow Rhule, Head of Public Relations at Cocoa Processing Company, says Ghana is now nurturing its chocolate market.
“If we intensify education for local consumption of our own products I believe we can have a great share in the speedy growth of the Chocolate market globally. But we all have to work towards it because Ghana has huge prospects, ” he said.
Currently the Cocoa Processing Company Exports to neighbouring countries in very low quantities.
Mr. Rhule added that the company is exploring various types of chocolates to match up with the high demand for foreign chocolate.
“We all have to change our attitude towards products made here to grow our markets. The prospects are there, we only need to promote the products.”
On his part, Acting Chairman of National Chocolate Day Committee, Dr. Edward Amporful said an intensification of the education on the health benefit of chocolate which include a reduction of heart-related problems can make some impact.
Dr. Amporful is hopeful that will boost the chocolate market.