Ghanaian chocolate brands took the spotlight at the 2022 edition of South Africa’s premier wine festival, Winex, which attracted over 3000 guests.
The 3-day festival, which took place from October 26 to October 28 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, included over 150 exhibitors comprising boutique wineries, olives and olive oils, specialist meats, cheese and chocolates from Ghana.
Ghanaian exhibitors, Bioko Treats, Nissi Chocolates, KABI Chocolates, Gablin Chocolates, 1957 Chocolates, Allsave Chocolates, Sekoe Chocolates, Niche Chocolates, Honico and Adansi Sweets Chocolates received high patronage for their products which were touted as among the best in the world.
The trade mission was realized through the partnership of Duam Communications, Jon Williams Consult and the WineX organization.
The mission’s objective was to foster more robust trade and economic relations between the South African wine industry and the Ghana cocoa industry.
Bill Bedzrah, the Corporate Business Manager of Jon Williams Consult and the Head of the Trade Delegation said “in the competitive world of Cocoa Confectionaries, European brands owned by multinational companies have consistently monopolized the industry in Africa, and we must work as Africans to change this dominant position of the European chocolate brands in Africa.”
Mr. Bedzrah, added that the trade mission was facilitated by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the South African High Commission in Ghana.
Michael Fridjhon, the CEO of WineX, commended Ghanaian chocolate manufacturers for producing a variety of high-quality flavours of chocolates ranging from exotic ginger, coconut and almond varieties which blends with the South African wine varietals.
“The perfect symbiotic wine pairing condiment,” he said.
The CEO of GEPA, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, encouraged the Ghanaian chocolatiers to take advantage of international exposure to build strong relationships which will enable them to export more.
The Deputy CEO of GEPA, Samuel Dentu, expressed optimism that the event would be the launchpad for Ghana to break into the South African market in the hopes of pre-positioning Ghanaian chocolates at the peak of consumer preference in anticipation of the full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).
Gladys Amoah, a representative of Niche Chocolates, said her company will continue to prioritise quality in line with Ghana’s enviable reputation as one of the few producers of premium quality cocoa in the world.
The CEO of SEKOE Chocolates, Eric Agbozo, stated that the lack of funding and technical challenges experienced by Ghana’s artisanal chocolatiers had made it difficult for them to expand and compete in the international market.
He called on various stakeholders in Ghana, especially the financial sector, to create targeted financial facilities and products that would grant easy and affordable access to financing growth of SMEs in Ghana.
He expressed hope that the government, through GEPA would continue to support more trade missions abroad to showcase the best of Ghanaian products.
The chocolatiers also called on Ghanaians to patronize locally-made chocolate as a patriotic duty and a way of contributing to the nation’s economic development