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(Photo credit: Sidel)

Aseptic PET bottling

Sidel and Niche Cocoa team up to serve millions of school children in Ghana

Sidel Parma, Italy

Niche Cocoa Industry Ltd., Ghana’s largest fully integrated cocoa processor, recently signed a deal with Sidel with the intention to advance into previously uncharted territory: beverage production. The company are planning to support Ghana’s School Feeding Programme by providing 5.6 million pupils with ready-to-drink (RTD) chocolate milk, aseptically packaged in 250 ml PET bottles, for 100 school days per year. In this, Niche Cocoa are relying on Sidel’s long-standing expertise in aseptic PET bottling as well as their capabilities in packaging design to manage a greenfield project.

As one of Africa’s fastest growing economies in 2019, Ghana continues to perform well economically with the GDP expected to grow even further in 2020. The country’s economy is largely based on two export goods: gold and cocoa. In fact, Ghana is the world’s second biggest cocoa producer after Ivory Coast, with the world’s highest-quality bulk cocoa beans coming from the country. Currently, annual per capita chocolate consumption in Ghana is only 0.5 kilograms. This picture is most likely to change rapidly due to a growing local demand for premium consumer products that require high-end refining and marketing.

While Carbonated Soft Drinks (CSD) are strongly rooted in local consumption routines, healthier beverages, like juices and milk, currently occupy a smaller segment of the beverage market. The challenge that Niche Cocoa and other market players are facing now is, on the one hand, to reach consumers with conveniently packaged products at prices they can afford, and, on the other hand, to attract end users via packaging design and educate them on good nutritional routines to build additional market share.

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