One of Ghana’s top wine importers, Mimi Osei Agyemang, owner of Mimi’s Wine and Liquor, said the wine and liquor business is gradually picking up but much needs to be done by the government to manage the stabilization of short-run exchange rates so as to help with pricing of the products.
Positive developments in Ghana’s hospitality and retail sectors, she said, also account for increasing sales potential at the high end of the market.
According to her, although she mostly imports her goods on duty free, the Dollar to Cedi conversion affect pricing which translate into increase in prices.
Ghana’s wine imports dipped from $26.6 million in 2013, to $15.7 million in 2018, during several years of currency weakness and economic malaise. Exports of U.S. wine to Ghana are on a downward trend in the same period from $3.1 million to $0.2 million.
While the premium wine business showed continued success in 2022, overall wine consumption showed a second year of negative growth. Future sales weigh on the industry’s ability to appeal to a new generation of consumers.
According to Mimi Osei Agyemang Ghanaians are now developing an interest in wines and her desire to promote African brands pushed her into importing more of South African brands which she believes are also of great quality and taste.
She revealed that consumers younger than 60 have a lower share of wine consumption compared to what they did some years back and that those older than 60 are the population bands where there is still growth.
Speaking in an exclusive interview, Mimi Osei Agyemang who imports her wines from South Africa, Italy, USA and Germany said she deals in wine, liquor, champagne, and communion wine.
She mentioned that Ghana’s wine imports dropped from $26.6 million in 2013, to $15.7 million in 2018, during several years of currency weakness and economic malady as Exports of U.S. Wine to Ghana are on a downward trend in the same period from $3.1 million to $0.2 million.
This however has stabilized and ultimately increased as incomes continue to rise and some consumers shift away from other alcoholic beverages.
For her, whipping up the interest of Ghanaians in wine brands has become her priority considering the benefits it brings and for that matter, she does wine tasting to engage people and let them have a tase of her wines.
“I import wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Merlot and Pinotage all from South Africa and a little of the USA wines,” she said.
Mimi’s Wine and Liquor which started the past two years, sees itself in the next five to ten years as a wine producer in Ghana.
According to Mimi Osei Agyemang, she is in talks with her South African partners for more ideas on how to successfully implement that vision.
Although she said that could be difficult considering the fact that grapes are not grown in Ghana, she is determined to achieve that in the next ten years.
“We don’t grow grapes in Ghana, so difficult to produce wine in Ghana. I am in talks with my partners who will import the grapes to Ghana so I get the machinery to build a factory here in Ghana,” she said.
She also expects to expand her shops to Kumasi and other parts of Accra.
Her shop is located at Odorkor few minutes drive from Gloryland Hotel.
By PROSPER AGBENYEGA