Ghanaian chocolate targets South Africa’s health and wellness market
Ghanaian artisanal chocolate brands went to The Plant Powered Show in Johannesburg to explore new African commercial linkages for their plant-based chocolate and cocoa.
About 70% of the world’s cocoa is produced in Africa – mostly Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. But in the global chocolate industry, their market share is less than 6%.
Fairafric Ghana aims to change this narrative by adding value to Ghanaian cocoa beans at origin and to offer ‘made in Ghana’ chocolate to European and African markets, boosting local job creation and incomes along the way.
Meanwhile, Amonu Chocolates is working hard to develop the demand for locally produced chocolate in Ghana. Their products are proudly wrapped in traditional Ghanaian Akan Adinkra symbol designs to promote choco-tourism and honor the role Ghana has historically played in the cocoa sector.
It is in this spirit that the two brands travelled to The Plant-Powered Show in Johannesburg, South Africa, earlier this month with support from the Ghana Export Promotion Authority and the International Trade Centre’s Alliances for Action, under the Netherlands Trust Fund V programme in Ghana. Some 5,000 people attended the event, offering a key visibility opportunity to the growing brands.
The goal? To tap into the health and wellness market and bring Ghanaian products to a new African market.
Aimed at those looking to live and enjoy a healthier, more conscious and sustainable lifestyle with a smaller environmental footprint, the three-day Plant Powered Show features top chefs and mixologists hosting live cooking demos and masterclasses. Health and wellness experts also spoke, while a marketplace filled with plant-based food, drink and lifestyle products were available to test, sample and buy.
Leveraging the ‘made in Africa’ movement to enter the South African market
Chef Greg Henderson, executive chef of the Royal Portfolio Collection, specializes in indigenous foods and the culinary heritage of African products. At the show, he gave a masterclass on product development and was excited to have the opportunity to work with Ghanaian chocolate. Fairafric and Amonu Chocolates’ plant-based products were successfully integrated into his recipes, with 30 class participants looking on.
‘The question I’ve been asking myself throughout this event is, why didn’t we do this a long time ago?’ said 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.’
Both brand representatives attending the event mentioned that the show opened their eyes to the demand for African origin chocolate products. They received encouraging feedback from consumers at their stand, which attracted marked interest from the show’s crowds. A highlight of the event was the Chefs Association of South Africa expressing interest in potential collaborations.
Amonu Chocolates is well-established in Ghana, and currently stocked in London by My Runway Group (Black in Carnaby). They aim to increase their export ranges and activities. Attending The Plant Powered Show will go a long way in extending their export footprints in South Africa, said Lucia Acheampong, Amonu’s general manager.
The Netherlands Trust Fund V (NTF) (July 2021 – June 2025) is based on a partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands and the International Trade Centre. The programme supports MSMEs in the digital technologies and agribusiness sectors. Its ambition is two-fold: to contribute to an inclusive and sustainable transformation of food systems, partially through digital solutions, and drive the internationalization of tech start-ups and export of IT&BPO companies in selected Sub-Saharan African countries.