Who is the Cupid of Africa? – Evidence from Chocolate sales

OK folks, it is Valentine’s Day! This means that chocolate will be on the cards across the world as a romantic gesture. Therefore, annual chocolate sales could partially inform us a bit about the ‘romantic’ status of each country.

Before I prove my hypothesis, let’s get a bit of background on who are the producers of chocolate (hint: it is not your significant other). But, first let’s talk about cocoa production – the central ingredient of chocolate. Africa is the leading producer of cocoa, particularly the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria. Trailing Africa is South America and Southeast Asia (see the Chart below).


Now that we know the cocoa producers, one would generally assume that these countries will also be the leading producers of chocolate – WRONG. The United States, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Argentina are the leading producers of chocolate (see the Table below). While Africa is a leading producer of cocoa, there isn’t a single cocoa producer featured amongst the top chocolate producers.

Chic sales

Luckily, romance is in the air and all hope is not lost for Africa. I will use the trade data as a form of assessing the key buyers of chocolate in Africa, and these will then qualify as the MOST ROMANTIC countries in the continent. In the data analysis, I use Trade Map statistics, imports by value for 2016 (see the Chart below).

chock chart

Surprise, Surprise!!! South Africa, followed by Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Morocco are the top five most romantic countries in the African continent. Given the realities illustrated in this data, I therefore conclude that South Africans demonstrated a sweet taste making South Africa the MOST ROMANTIC country in the continent.

*Don’t take this blogpost too serious – have a bit of chocolate and savour this romantic moment! You too can be romantic, even if you are closer to the tail-end of the ranking (see the last Chart).


Follow me on Twitter (@WandileSihlobo)

Author: Wandile Sihlobo

Wandile Sihlobo is an agricultural economist and head of agribusiness research at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) in South Africa. He is a columnist for Business Day and Farmers Weekly magazine. Sihlobo is a member of the South African Agricultural Economics Association. He has previously served as an economist at Grain South Africa. He holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Stellenbosch University.

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