Ghana’s efforts to promote the consumption of locally manufactured products are being hampered by deceptive branding and re-packaging of imported goods.
This is one of the key concerns of Michael Kottoh, Managing Partner of Konfidants, an international advisory firm, on the country’s ailing made-in-Ghana agenda.
He says some products on the shelves of supermarkets tagged to have been produced in the country are foreign-made; a situation he wants importers to desist from.
“Majority of them are food items and products like cooking oils, tomato paste, canned fish branded with native Ghanaian names that look like made in Ghana products, but when you check it, you realize that they are actually imported. A lot of importers are beginning to brand goods with local names and repackaging them in Ghana.There is also another practice where you find products carrying Made in Ghana label but are actually wholly imported and only locally packaged with virtually zero Ghanaian production content. Most of the Sugar, Salt and oats labelled as Made in Ghana in the supermarkets fall within this category. ” he said.
In the third edition of the Konfidants Made-In-Ghana survey of Ghana’s leading retail supermarkets, Ghanaian products in supermarkets saw a marginal increase.
Across all 11 supermarkets considered, made-in-Ghana brands constituted 31% of the 20 selected product categories, while foreign brands comprised 69%.
The made-in-Ghana share was 18% in the 2019 survey and 26% in the 2020 survey.
The report noted that the improved performance of made-in-Ghana products is not due to a significant increase in the absolute count of Ghanaian brands on the shelves, but rather a significant decline in the number of foreign brands on the shelves compared to previous years; a situation likely caused by Covid-19 global supply chain disruptions
But to reverse this worrying trend, Michael Kottoh believes more needs to be done to support local producers and improve the local production value chain to get the buy-in of Ghanaians to patronize made-in-Ghana goods.
“We need a lot of campaigns to sensitive consumers to the fact that Made in Ghana goods are becoming better and more competitive, and that buying Made in Ghana is patriotic. One of the trends we’ve seen is that branding and packaging of Ghanaian products is improving; there are some product segments where Made in Ghana brands have better packaging than foreign brands”.
He called on banks to roll out SME-friendly invoice financing solutions that can enable SMEs to supply higher volumes to the supermarkets without having to wait two to three months to be paid.
Michael Kottoh was speaking on the Citi Business Festival’s forum on surviving the uncertainties of consumer markets.
The forum had the CEO of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Afua Asabea Asare, former Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, and the Retail Banking Director of Absa Bank, Charles Addo as panelists.
The Citi Business Festival is an extensive program of business events and on-air activities providing inspiration, business ideas, and information to persons who are starting, building, or growing their businesses.
The on-air series have been airing on the Citi Breakfast Show on 97.3 Citi FM every weekday.
Live fora are also scheduled on Citi TV every Tuesday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.