For decades, the bread industry has been a cornerstone of Ghana’s culinary culture, but recent developments are reshaping its landscape. The rise of a sprawling factory along the Accra-Tema motorway has ignited discussions about the future of this staple industry and its local players.
Traditionally dominated by local producers, the bread industry is now facing an influx of large-scale production, prompting concerns about the potential sidelining of smaller players within the community.
Historically priced at GH¢5 a decade ago, the cost of a loaf of bread in Ghana has experienced fluctuations due to exchange rate shifts and global market disruptions, such as the Ukraine conflict. These shifts have led local bakers to navigate the delicate balance between production costs and retail prices in order to reach a breakeven point. Escalating production expenses have forced producers to pass on the increased costs to consumers, resulting in some local bakers shutting down while others hold on, hoping for more favourable conditions.
The bread industry’s significance is not just culinary—it also plays a crucial role in Ghana’s economy by generating employment opportunities throughout its value chain.
Citi News observed retailers near the Kpone barrier working tirelessly to engage potential customers, reflecting the resilience driven by economic conditions despite thin profit margins. However, some hawkers mentioned that the current high prices make it challenging to sell a significant quantity of bread in a day, impacting their earnings.
Amidst the changing industry dynamics, Hot Oven Bread has managed to establish a notable market share in the Greater Accra and Volta regions. Nevertheless, the company has faced significant challenges during its five-year existence, particularly due to the global economic crisis, resulting in rapid and substantial price increases.
Fred Kwashie, the accountant of Hot Oven Bread, emphasized the industry’s profitability while highlighting the challenge of high raw material costs, which are largely imported. Kwashie advocates for protecting local players in the industry from foreign competition, expressing concerns about the government’s ability to shield them from powerful foreign players.
From small-scale operations to industrial levels, the bread industry has evolved to include established brands like Hot Oven and A1 bread, as well as emerging players like Amigo Bread, located along the motorway.
Amigo Bread, a subsidiary of BB Bakery under the Three Dreamer Manufacturing Company Limited, aims to revolutionize the sector through advanced machinery. Bismark Ofei-Ansah, the Executive Director, believes that despite challenges such as high production costs, there is a robust demand for bread, warranting expansion. Ofei-Ansah calls for government intervention to address critical issues like power, water, and taxes.
As debates continue about the entry of local and foreign participants into the bread market, Paapa Baah, Administrator of Bread Academy, advocates for inclusive growth. While concerns persist about foreign competition, many believe there’s ample space for both local and foreign players within Ghana’s evolving bread industry.
With a shifting landscape and a mix of challenges and opportunities, the bread industry in Ghana remains a dynamic sector that is adapting to new realities while staying rooted in its culinary and economic significance.