According to the survey conducted in August, Finns want to prefer products and services that provide work for Finnish people. At the same time, searching for information on the product origin and country of manufacture has clearly increased.
What is striking about the results is the unanimity of Finns: as much as 77 per cent feel it is important that during the coronavirus epidemic Finns should be urged to buy Finnish products and services, which provide employment to Finnish people. This was seen as an important factor across the board in all respondent groups, from young people to the elderly. As many as one third of Finns say that the coronavirus epidemic has changed their attitudes towards the origin of products and services.
“We keep hearing pessimistic news about the economy regarding temporary lay-offs and redundancies almost daily. It will benefit the whole of Finland if we concentrate our purchases on those produced by Finnish work so that we can take care of each other and keep the wheels of the country turning,” says Tero Lausala, Managing Director at the Association for Finnish work.
One third of the respondents (31%) said that they now look more for information on the Finnish origin and the country of manufacture of the products they purchase. This was especially evident among women.
“When purchasing both groceries and home and speciality goods, the significance of supporting local entrepreneurs, Finnish raw materials, products manufactured in Finland and products that provide employment to Finnish people has increased in particular,” says Lausala summing up the results of the survey.
Supporting domestic production takes place with the shopping basket
Finns already valued Finnish products before this. K Group sells more than EUR 4 billion of Finnish food each year. Nearly 80% of the food products sold at K-food stores are of Finnish origin.
“The coronavirus epidemic has further increased appreciation for Finnish products. The change in attitudes is also visible in people’s purchasing behaviour. Our sales data shows that people have selected products with a mark of origin for their shopping baskets far more frequently than before. Appreciation for Finnish products is probably more broadly associated with the idea of coping with the situation, and it is directly reflected in purchase decisions. It is easy to identify products with a mark of origin as Finnish products, says Ari Akseli, EVP, President, grocery trade division at K Group.
The sales of products marked with the Hyvää Suomesta (Produce of Finland), Avainlippu (Key Flag) and Sirkkalehti labels increased in K-food stores during the early part of the year. The sales increase has been in the range of 10 to 20 per cent. The retail sales of products with the Design from Finland label has grown as much as 30 per cent, which means that customers have placed their trust in strong Finnish brands in particular during the state of emergency. In grocery stores, products with a mark of origin have been more frequently selected, such as soaps and bathing products, sauna products, cooking equipment, household cleaning agents, bakery products, biscuits, and dog food.
“Young people in particular are willing to support Finnish work through their purchases. The biggest change in purchases has taken place among those under 35 years of age,” Akseli says.
The trend in preferring local products has also been noticed in the purchases made by customers of the building and home improvement stores. Consumer customers have purchased products related to redoing and renovating their homes and gardens, such as timber suitable for garden construction, paints, and yard and garden products, such as soil, paving stones, mulches and seedlings. The share of Finnish products is very large in all of these product categories.
“A significant share of K-Rauta’s sales comes from Finnish products. You could say that our customers carrying out building or renovation projects are doing a responsible act to support employment in Finland, because sales of these products have a significant impact on increasing employment. All the timber sold at K-Rauta stores has been felled and processed in nearby areas. Purchasing domestic timber means work in forestry, sawmills, transport companies and construction sites across Finland,” says Olli Pere, Chain Director at K-Rauta.
The results of the purchase behaviour 2020 survey of the Association for Finnish work are based on an internet panel survey carried out by Taloustutkimus on 4 to 7 August 2020. The survey had 1,200 respondents aged 15 to 79 years. The trend data in the bulletin is based on K Group’s customer data from January to August 2020 compared to the previous year.