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Ghana’s food ingredient imports soared to $133m in 2023

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Ghana imported $133 million worth of key ingredients for food preparation and processing last year, according to the USDA’s Food Processing Ingredients Annual Report on Ghana.

This represents a 48 percent increase from the $89.2 million recorded in 2022.

These imports primarily consist of wheat flour, food additives and spices, bakery goods, food colouring, and sweeteners.

The report also noted that U.S. exports of food processing ingredients to Ghana reached $2.21 million last year, a 52 percent increase from $1.45 million in 2022.

This makes the U.S. the 12th largest supplier of food processing ingredients to Ghana, with a market share of less than three percent.

The report suggests that imports will continue to grow due to Ghana’s underdeveloped food processing sector, which struggles to meet the rising demand for locally produced food ingredients.

The USDA noted that there are fewer than 200 agro-processing firms registered and certified by the Food and Drugs Authority in Ghana.

Despite the increasing demand for processed foods, inefficient production and inadequate quality of local raw materials hinder the development of a robust processing industry.

“Retail outlets stock lots of processed foods because of growing demand, changing eating habits and diets of the growing urban and middle-class population. This represents an opportunity for U.S. exporters,” the report said.

The USDA explained that rapid urbanization and economic growth are driving the emergence of a middle class that favors Western brands, products, and lifestyles.

“Most consumers in Ghana are price-sensitive, but the quality is never overlooked and the growing middle-class values premium products. The country offers expanding market opportunities due to its remarkable record of political stability and relatively liberal import policies,” it added.

The USDA concluded that these achievements position Ghana as a potential gateway to the larger West African market for U.S. exports.

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