Ghanaians celebrate Valentine's Day with craze for chocolate

Source: Xinhua| 2021-02-15 01:25:06|Editor: huaxia
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ACCRA, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Apart from red clothing, flowers, teddy bears, and wine, another thing Ghanaians share with their loved ones during the Valentine's Day celebration is chocolate, and other cocoa products.

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, some traditional vendors of Valentine's Day wear have adopted online sales to boost their sales during the season.

"Sales have gone down because of COVID-19. But because we are online, people buy online and we deliver to them through dispatch riders. The COVID-19 has affected sales, but the online is helping to bring some sales," said Francesca Osei, a Sales Assistant at Antil Luxuries, a fashion shop at Hatso, a suburb of the capital.

Since 2007, Ghana has celebrated Valentine's Day as National Chocolate Day to promote the consumption of chocolate and other cocoa products among the population. The idea has caught on with Ghanaians, as many buy chocolates and other cocoa products for their loved ones on Feb. 14.

A make-shift Chocolate City was created near the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange, named after the man who first brought cocoa to Ghana in 1879, to showcase various products from cocoa ahead of Sunday's National Chocolate Day celebration.

Ghana is the second-largest cocoa producer in the world with an annual average production of 850,000 metric tons. And the government believes that to end the effects of price fluctuation on the world market, it is critical to nurture a local market for cocoa consumption.

"The government has indicated that we need to process about 50 percent of the cocoa that we produce. So there is the need to tell people about the good use of cocoa," said Benjamin Teye Larweh, Principal Public Affairs Officer at Ghana Cocoa Board.

"The patronage has been high this year. People have bought into the idea such that there is even a shortage of chocolate products," he said.

"Chocolate is a natural way of expressing love for people, so chocolate is a good gift to share with friends and family on Valentine's Day," said Jessica Arthur, a national service person, who was attracted to the Chocolate City through social media promotions.

In the streets, chocolate vendors have run out of local brands of chocolates to serve their customers.

"I have been selling chocolate for two years. This time, people are not buying chocolates as they used to do in previous years. We don't get the locally-made, because it has run short on the market, and has become expensive," Akwasi Opoku, a vendor, said. Enditem