Promoting Ghanaian food for the Finnish/European market

In my last writeup, I discussed how I heard that one could buy the typical Ghanaian Asaanaa drink from a food shop in Finland. 

I mentioned how a Ghana “big brother” of mine had bought the Asaanaa drink and told me about it. 

I decided to share information about it and to help encourage ideas about food and business/investment opportunities for entrepreneurs and other business-minded people. And today, I continue with this kind of endeavour.

Palmwine and ‘Asaanaa;’ drinks in Finland 

My further chats with some Ghanaians in Finland revealed that one could also buy bottled palm-wine (nsaafuo/nsafufuo) from an “African” shop here in Helsinki owned by a Nigerian. I know palm-wine is also popular among Nigerians and I understand they call it “Palmi”. I think the bottled palm-wine drink is imported from Ghana.

This means that it is not only Asaanaa that has found its way into the Finnish market, but also the bottled palm-wine had already been in the shop.  

As I said the last time, my interest in all these Ghanaian foods is how Ghanaian Diaspora companies and Ghanaian immigrants in Finland generally could make a business in more Ghanaian food products for the Finnish/European market. 

Other potential Ghanaian products 

I have already said in my last post that some Ghanaian shea butter body lotion products are making quite an impact in the Finnish market. 

I have also sometimes seen pineapples from Ghana in some Finnish grocery shops. Yams and plantains can also be found in almost all African-Asian shops. 

I have just remembered that some Ghanaian friends told me some time ago that one could also buy from some Asian-African shops here cow-skin (what we call in Ghana as “coat” or kawuro) as well as stinking fish that looks and almost tastes like our own Ghanaian “opaa momone”. I think these packaged products are imported from Asian countries.  

So, my point is that we should think of promoting Ghanaian food products. As someone on a Ghanaian social media platform I belong to rhetorically asked, who says one cannot pack Ghana products like neem tree and prekese for the European market? 

As I wrote the last time, other potential products that could attract Finnish and other European markets are our own alata samina (soap), sobolo drink or the flower/hibiscus for making the drink, prekese, kokonte/cassava flour, and many more.

I am sure there would be a big patronage for such Ghanaian products as Ghanaian food is popular among Ghanaians here. Moreover, many Finnish people love African food. Whenever Ghanaian groups participate in food fairs here, many people patronise the jollof rice, “red-red” (fried riped plantain and beans stew), waakye, and ginger drink.

Collaboration 

Again, all that is needed is for Ghanaian Diaspora companies and entrepreneurs to find the right kind of collaboration within the community or with Finnish/European companies.

So, over to you those with business minds to take this up.

As I have written here before, the attention of Finnish authorities and business leaders on Ghana and Ghanaian products for business and investment is high.

The COVID-19 situation may have slowed things down but life goes on and so must business thrive, especially so with border restrictions that were imposed in the thick of the pandemic gradually being eased now.  

Growing Ghanaian diaspora communities 

The Ghanaian diaspora in Finland has been growing as in other places in Europe and elsewhere in the world. 

There are more than 1,600 Ghanaian immigrants living in Finland and possibly well over 10,000 in all Scandinavian countries. I am sure Ghanaian products will always find a good market. 

The Ghanaian products for the Finnish market and in other European countries will also allow Ghanaian immigrants to have access to their “home country food”, as one of my friends puts it.

There are many Ghanaian immigrant families in which the children very much enjoy “Ghanaian food” when they can have it, even though they have been born here in Finland and have never been to Ghana. 

Like I said the last time, that is how most of us living abroad make use of the two worlds we find ourselves in.  Thank you. 

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