The national Chocolate Day celebration was instituted in 2005 to coincide with Valentine’s Day which falls on February 14 every year.
This year’s theme dubbed, “My Chocolate Experience” focused on the need for Ghanaians to patronize and consume locally made chocolate and other cocoa-based products to promote our heritage, agro-tourism and promote healthy living.
In his speech, Managing Director of the Cocoa Processing Company, Nana Agyenim Boateng said, in season of love, where people share gifts and hampers to loved ones, there’s no perfect way to show the heights of your love than with chocolate from Ghana. “It says it all,” he added.
However, he noted that the local chocolate market has seen low patronage as compared to consumption of imported chocolate to the country over the past decade.
According to him, Ghanaians consume only 400 grams of chocolate daily compared to other developed countries that consume twice the number.
The global chocolate market is worth some 103.28 billion dollars and has been estimated to reach approximately 161.56 billion dollars by 2024. In 2017, it is estimated $45 million worth of chocolate was imported into the country.
Ghana’s major producer of Chocolate, the Cocoa Processing Company produces 2000 metric tons of chocolate annually, yet low patronage has proved to be challenging hindering value addition over the course of time, thus the necessity for campaigns to boost local consumption.
Nana Boateng emphasised the need to inculcate the habit of consuming cocoa and locally made chocolates into Ghanaians. He consequently urged parents to give their children chocolates and other cocoa based products to boost their energy as well as improve brain function.
Chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants, reduces cholesterol levels, good for the heart and blood circulation, reduces stress, improves memory in old age, helps in digestion, increases alertness and general vitality. Cocoa has over 300 compounds with three of them being Travino-Anti Oxidant, Troboman and Magnesium. The health and nutritional benefits are just enormous.
The National Chocolate Day is a Ghana Tourism Authority in partnership with the Ghana Cocoa Board, the Cocoa Processing Company and under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.