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Trade

Gourmandise Chocolates wants to open a branch in Ghana still this year

Operating in the market for about a decade, the first brand of Angolan chocolates, Gourmandise Chocolates, has seen its production constrained by the difficulty in importing raw material. However, despite the obstacles, the company wants to expand its business, still this year, to Ghana.

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In 2020, the company experienced troubled times with the arrival of covid-19. Turnover dropped by half, the number of orders dropped, and obtaining raw materials to continue production was also constrained.

However, despite the obstacles, the company has in its sights the expansion of the business. Gourmandise wants, still this year, to open a branch in Ghana. "It is a project already in progress. If everything goes as planned, still this year will have our brand on sale in Accra," said the owner of the company, Song Livramento, quoted by Expansão.

Along with the expansion of the business across borders, the company intends to extend its brand to other provinces of the country: "It would be last year, however, we had to postpone our plans and, if all goes well, between the end of this year and next."

In 2019, Gourmandise had a significant increase in production, but despite the growth, the numbers are still constrained by the import of processed cocoa: about 80 percent of the cocoa used by the brand in the manufacture of chocolates comes from abroad, since the country cannot produce cocoa in sufficient numbers to meet demand.

According to the owner of the company, the list of cocoa suppliers is led by Ghana. Quoted by Expansão, the person in charge made it known that the company's equipment was imported from the United States of America and Europe.

However, Gourmandise also uses domestic products, such as cashinde tea, tamarind, coffee, and ginger, among other products to make the filling for the chocolates.

He also revealed that Gourmandise's main clients are companies, florists, and a number of individuals who place orders frequently, adding, that after covid-19 appeared, the number of orders dropped.

"In the beginning it was difficult to have to close the store and then manage the safety of our workers and customers, because there was always the fear of the methods used not being enough," the owner advanced.

However, the company's biggest challenge is connected with cocoa imports. With the pandemic, shipping fees were increased, leading the company to rethink the products and their prices. Also the devaluation of the kwanza has not helped with the importation of raw material, he revealed.

Song Livramento also made it known that the prices of the chocolates vary according to their type and packaging, stating that the prices can vary between 3000 and 26 thousand kwanzas.

He said that the company, which briefly suspended the works in order to undergo a management restructuring, estimates that the chocolates will be sold again between April and May this year.

With an initial capital of 20 million kwanzas, Gourmandise Chocolates hopes to recover the investment over the next two years. In 2019, the numbers seem to have moved in that direction: the company had a turnover of around two tons of chocolates (corresponding to about 20,000 100-gram chocolate bars). Its turnover also improved, having been fixed at one million kwanzas between February and December.

However, last year the numbers suffered a drop due to the covid-19 pandemic. The company had half the turnover recorded in the previous year, having saved 500 thousand kwanzas.