Food Category in Africa: Ghanaians are Torn Between Fruits and Vegetables

Updated: 4 days ago



June 8th, 2021 17:00 PM


  • The COVID-19 pandemic has led to Ghanaians eating more vegetables and fewer fruits.

  • Global supply chain issues during the pandemic made products harder to procure

  • Inflation, low purchase power mean consumers will continue to eat fewer fruits.



The COVID-19 Pandemic has Led to Ghanaians Eating more Vegetables and Fewer Fruits.

According to the Kasi health and wellness index, a survey-based indicator tracking consumer habits related to their health and wellness, consumers in Ghana seem to have changed their diet since the pandemic started. In fact, when asked about their weekly intake of fruits and vegetables back in 2019, Ghanaians were consuming more fruits than vegetables. The COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in vegetable consumption and a decrease in fruit consumption among Ghanaians.

In 2019, 64% of those surveyed indicated they were eating two or more servings of fruit a day, but in 2020 that percentage plummeted to 46%. In 2019, 60% of those surveyed indicated they were eating two or more servings of vegetables a day, and in 2020 that increased to 68%.

Global Supply Chain Issues During the Pandemic Made Products Harder to Procure.


By March 2020, the pandemic was worldwide and had hit nearly every country on earth. The response from many countries was shutting borders, restricting travel within the country, and pausing exports. While these measures were put in place to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, they significantly impacted global imports and exports. For a country like Ghana, where less than 3% of fruit consumption is homegrown and that statistic halves for the northern part of the country, there is a heavy reliance on fruit imports to supplement the sale of fruit. While fruits were already more expensive than vegetables before the pandemic, the global supply chain issues and lower purchasing power due to lost wages would have further exacerbated the difference. Furthermore, vegetables are more likely to be homegrown in Ghana, which would lead to Ghanaians choosing to eat more vegetables and fewer fruits.

Inflation, Low Purchase Power Means Consumers Will Continue to Eat Fewer Fruits.


Generally, vegetables are more popular than fruits in Ghana. However, a well-balanced diet requires both fruits and vegetables, not including starchy vegetables like plantains, making up a significant portion of Ghanaian vegetable consumption


According to the World Health Organization, at least five portions of fruits and vegetables, excluding starchy vegetables, are needed daily for a healthy diet. A leading global risk to health is unhealthy diets. Consuming a healthy diet is one of the most important things people can do to take care of their minds and bodies. A well-balanced diet “helps to protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.” In the time of COVID-19, a compromised immune system and suffering from NCDs lead to a worsened impact on a person’s body if they contract COVID-19. Fruits also contain plenty of good vitamins that keep the body healthy and immune system in good fighting order.


To ensure that Ghanaians are staying happy and healthy, retailers should emphasize the importance of a well-balanced diet to sway consumers. Retailers should focus on selling locally grown fruits to make it more affordable and more likely that there will be fewer supply chain issues. Finally, retailers need to get creative with the promotion and sales of fruits and vegetables. While the COVID-19 pandemic will eventually end, the importance of a well-balanced diet including fruits and vegetables will never end and will protect against NCDs and other health issues. A well-balanced diet will always be worth it in the end because being healthy is priceless.

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