Finland: S Group and Kesko latest developments

Date : 01 October 2018

S Group helps smaller businesses by launching Finland’s ‘Finnish Success Critics’ competition, while Kesko partners with ResQ Club to reduce food waste.

S Group supports small and medium local businesses

S Group has opened the ‘Finnish Success Critics’ competition, which has organised in conjunction with Foodwest. The competition gives smaller businesses the chance to ultimately be listed by S Group. Companies with a Finnish Business ID and a turnover of less than €15m are eligible to enter.

Applications are open until 30 November 2018. After the closing date, the organisers will choose their favourite 20 product ideas from the list of applicants. From the 20, a panel of external judges will select five to seven product ideas to continue into the final round. Companies in the final round will be given support to develop, package and market their product during Q2 2019. Winners will see their products added to S-Group's grocery stores in August 2019.

Similar competitions are being run by other retailers in Europe. In April 2018, Albert Heijn launched ‘Product Pitch 2018’, which enables start-ups to compete for a place on the retailer’s shelves. Both initiatives help teach smaller businesses how to grow and develop and underline the retailer’s support for local businesses.

Kesko cuts food waste through app

Kesko announced its collaboration with the app ResQ Club in May 2018. Since then, the companies have been working together to tackle food waste. Kesko stores collect items approaching their expiry date and compile them into shopping bags. The bags are then made available on the ResQ Club app and sold at a reduced price. More than 40 Kesko outlets have reduced their food waste by nearly a sixth since the partnership began.

According to retailer Harri Mattinen, who owns three K-Market stores, the reduced shopping bags have been well received by customers. Mattinen said, “On busy days, the bags sell out in a matter of minutes. Families that are less well-off are a significant customer group for this, and it makes me happy to be able to help them in such a tangible way.”