Finnish retailer K Group has launched a new digital platform that will enable small, local producers to showcase their goods and explore growth opportunities.
It will give them exposure to buyers who choose groceries for more than 1,200 K Group stores and simplify the process of closing contracts with retailers.
Jani Rantala, Kesko's director of grocery development, said, "The introduction of the platform will reduce the manual recording of product data in different systems.
"When a store decides to add a product to its range, the product information is transmitted from the platform all the way to the online store with a single click. This eliminates many tedious intermediate steps and the value chain from the small producer to the end customer is streamlined."
The new platform allows small producers to list their entire selection, free of charge, K Group noted.
For its part, K Group traders have access to a wide range of products from all over Finland.
Jyväskylä's Hangaround & Nobody Brewing microbrewery was one of the first to try the service.
Founder of the brewery, Pekka Korhonen, said, "Our entire range is available on the platform and we actively maintain product information.
"As a small operator, the nationwide nature of the service is important to us, as it enables us to reach stores outside our local area. I hope that K-retailers will take an interest in our beers and feel free to contact us."
K-grocery stores offer approximately 50,000–60,000 local products and recent research has unveiled that local products have established their place in Finnish consumers' shopping baskets, despite food prices currently being the focus.
A recent survey conducted by K-group found that 76% of respondents buy Finnish products to support domestic production, while 52% opt for products from local, small producers.
Timo Jäske, Kesko's vice-president for responsibility in the grocery trade, said, "A wide selection of products from small producers is a way for K-stores to bear responsibility for the local economy, food culture and jobs.
"We bring retailers and small producers together in many different ways and share best practices for small producers to work with stores."
© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest supply chain news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.