K Group enters into cooperation with Alibaba to open a food online store in China

K GROUP PRESS RELEASE 29.9.2017 AT 08:30 1(2)

K Group enters into cooperation with Alibaba to open a food online store in China

The aim of the cooperation between K Group and Alibaba on this project is to export Finnish food brands to the growing market in China. At the same time, Kesko will learn from a global pioneer in e-commerce.

K Group has become the first Finnish grocery retail operator to enter into food e-commerce in China. Through this project, the route to China's expanding market will become easier for Finnish operators in the food industry. A number of Finnish food industry actors, such as Paulig, Fazer and Kiantama, are involved in the opening of the online store. The online store is being realised in cooperation with the e-commerce company, Alibaba.
"We have strong international trade expertise in the Far East and Asian markets and have imported food and non-food products from China for a long time. Thus, exports are a natural next step for us. Pure and healthy Finnish food is now and in the future our competitive advantage. At K Group, we wish to play our part in promoting the export of Finnish food products to international markets. China has the world's largest and most advanced e-commerce food market, from which we will learn valuable lessons. We will develop the online store with our partners in an agile way and in a start-up spirit," says Mikko Helander, K Group's President and CEO.

The delivery of goods to China has already begun and from this day onwards, consumers in China can now order these products from Alibaba's online store. The range offered by the online store will expand in the coming months and joining in the co-operation will be, among others, Valio, Raisio, Finn Spring and Roberts. In addition to the Finnish branded products, Pirkka - K Group's own brand - will be part of the range. Finpro (Food from Finland) is also involved in the project as a partner.

"Finnish food stands for first-class quality, purity and safety, attributes that are key to making purchase decisions by Chinese consumers. Products from Finland are getting more and more popular in China and we are pleased that Kesko's Tmall Global store enables the 466m annual active consumers on our e-marketplaces to access and experience amazing Finnish food," says David Lloyd Managing Director, UK, Ireland and Nordics at Alibaba Group.

Finnish language press conference today at 10.30
A press conference will be held today, Friday 29 September, at 10:30 at Kesko's headquarters, Mannerheimintie 117. Present at the event will be Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Jari Leppä; K Group President and CEO, Mikko Helander as well as representatives of Finland's food industry.

For further information:
Ari Akseli, Vice President for Commerce, grocery trade division, tel. +358 105 323 490

Karoliina Partanen, Communications, Vice President, grocery trade division, tel. +358 105 320 744


Main news media


K Group

Kesko and K-retailers form K Group, whose sales total over €13 billion. K Group is the third largest retail operator in northern Europe and it employs approximately 45,000 people. Kesko operates in the grocery trade, the building and technical trade and the car trade. Its divisions and chains act in close cooperation with retailer entrepreneurs and other partners. Kesko's net sales are €10 billion and it employs approximately 28,000 people. Kesko has nearly 2,000 stores engaged in chain operations in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus and Poland. Kesko is a listed company and its shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. The company's domicile and main premises are in Helsinki. Kesko is the world's most sustainable trading sector company (The Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World). www.kesko.fi

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