About six months after the initial spike in demand and clamor for fruits of all types, to boost the immune system of Ghanaians to ward off COVID-19, some retailers of fruits say they have experienced a surprisingly significant drop in sales.
Even though there was an increase in purchases in the first few weeks after the Coronavirus was recorded in Ghana, that surge in demand was negated by the restrictions on movement as well as the closure of thousands of offices across the country.
The offices served as a source of health-conscious clientele.
Faustina Amissah, a fruit retailer at Asylum Down in Accra said even though she used to make GHS300 sales a day pre-COVID, she’s now grateful to average GHS100 a day after going through days when she only sold GHS40.
“Because of the pandemic, peoples’ salaries have been slashed. Before COVID-19, people used to do a lot of shopping within the first few days of receiving their salaries. From the middle of the month onwards, people become cash strapped and it affects the sales we make. The situation has improved. I used to make sales of GHS40 a day but now I make sales between GHS100 and GHS150 and that is good.”
For the consumers we spoke to about their fruit consumption habit in the early days of COVID-19 compared to 6 months after the pandemic struck, the responses could not have been more varied.
Sam Mensah who is an entrepreneur says his budget for fruits has increased significantly.
“Formally in a week we spend maybe GHS50 to GHS100 on fruits, but these days we do more. Sometimes when I visit my fruit suppliers I spend between GHS150 and GHS200.”
Seth Tetteh, a health professional, however, says his discipline when it comes to fruit consumption has waned.
“Roughly, if you want fruits consistently you won’t spend less than GHS 20, and I used to do that but now I’m spending less, spending around GHS 5 from time to time.”
For Abiba Mohammed at the 37 fruits and vegetable market, she’s not giving up hope of attracting more people to her stand even though she understands it will take some time for things to return to normal.
“People are still living in fear of the virus even though our case count has reduced. So we’re pleading with Ghanaians to overcome their fears and come and purchase our goods. We’re doing our best to adhere to the safety protocols. Some even stand at a distance when interacting with us about what they want to buy.”