74% of products at Ghana’s biggest shops imported – Survey

Accra Mall

Research and advisory firm Konfidants has released the second edition of its survey of Made-in-Ghana (MIG) goods in the country’s leading supermarkets.

The survey, which focused on 19 product categories with high local production potential, was conducted in December 2020 across 11 supermarkets namely: Shoprite (Accra Mall), Game (Accra Mall), Palace Supermarket (Palace Mall), Koala (Osu), Maxmart (37), City Dia (La), Melcom (North Kaneshie) and Marina Mall Supermarket (Airport), China Mall (Spintex), Baatsonaa Total (Baatsonaa), Airport Shell (Airport).

Summary of findings

A total number of 7,983 brands (from the 19 product categories) were counted across the 11 retail outlets included in the survey. Out of this number, 5943 (74%) were foreign brands, with only 2,040 (26%) being Made-In-Ghana brands. This is however an improvement on the maiden survey in 2019 when only 18% of selected goods surveyed were Made-in-Ghana.

Across all the supermarkets, the best performing category of Made-In-Ghana goods is Water (with 60% Made-In-Ghana share), followed by Eggs (with 55% MIG), Fruits & Vegetables (52% MIG) and Spreads (44.74% MIG).

The upset of this year is the sharp decline in Made in Ghana eggs from 93% in 2019 to 55% in the current survey. This could reflect the widely reported challenges local poultry farmers experienced with accessing poultry feed during the last quarter of 2020.

Notable Observations

  • While processed/manufactured goods constitute the majority of goods surveyed (84%), only a small percentage of them are Made-In-Ghana (23%). On the other hand, unprocessed goods, which make up 16% of all goods surveyed, have a Made-In-Ghana share of 40%. The report however noted that a large percentage of unprocessed Made in Ghana  goods (84%), had been either pre-cut or packaged, a step in the right direction of value addition, albeit small.
  • A trend observed during the surveys is one of “Ghananization” (giving foreign made products Ghanaian native brand identity) of imported Fast Moving Consumable Goods such as cooking oils, tomato paste, canned fish etc. This potentially creates  a false Made-In-Ghana identity for products that are fully foreign produced. (Made abroad but with local Ghanaian brand name identity).
  • Some supermarkets have dedicated Made-In-Ghana stands. However, some of these stands were quite small and tokenistic especially as they occupied only small parts of the outlet and were often negligible. The report recommends  that a more impactful approach would be to have dedicated Made-In-Ghana shelves for each product or product category in the outlets. This will ensure that Made-In-Ghana products are all across the outlets and not in one negligible stall or shelve.
  • In the 2019 survey, Made-In-Ghana products were cheaper than imported products in 73% of the products compared. In this edition, Made in Ghana products are still price competitive although the overwhelming pricing advantage observed in 2019 has shrunk.
  • Evidence from the two surveys shows a sustained improvement in the quality of packaging of Made in Ghana goods in all product categories as MIG goods are catching up with foreign brands in packaging.  
  • The findings show that one of the biggest obstacles to local producers supplying the supermarkets is the fact that supermarkets can take up to three months to pay suppliers (this is standard practice for supermarkets around the world). For some local producers, the long payment periods, tend to create cashflow crisis for their businesses which they would rather avoid.

How individual supermarkets performed

Of the 11 outlets that were surveyed during the exercise, Max Mart recorded the highest Made in Ghana share with 34%. Game and Airport Shell recorded the next highest percentages with 32% each and were also the only other outlets to cross the 30% Made in Ghana threshold.

Source: Konfidants

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