November 4, 2020

Finnish food filling up shelves and stomachs in China

woman shopping in China
China has recently emerged as the second most important destination for Finnish food exports.
Alamy

Finnish food products were recently added to the shelves of Chunbo, an online-first retailer with 22 brick-and-mortar shops in China.

Chunbo and Business Finland launched their collaboration last month with a bang, with an event at the Embassy of Finland in Beijing. The event was streamed live to around 15 million viewers on the retailer’s website, Esa Wrang, the head of the food programme at Business Finland, revealed the commerce-oriented newspaper Kauppalehti.

Featuring products from companies such as Aqua Nordics, Fazer, Kesko, Linkosuo and Myllyn Paras, the online shop is expected to account for most of the sales.

“Chunbo are focused on healthy and sustainable food products,” said Wrang. The origin of food is very important for them, and they test the products in their own laboratory. The target audience is very fitting indeed for safe Finnish food.”

“The sales will start with 22 Finnish products,” he added. “The selection will expand to 50 by the end of the year.”

A growing appetite

Valio lactose-free products

Valio has had a presence in China for more than 30 years.

Valio

China has recently emerged as the second most important destination for Finnish food exports, overtaking the likes of Estonia, Germany and Russia. The value of food exports to the country stood at 81.4 million euros between January and July, signalling an almost 100-per-cent increase from the corresponding period in 2019.

The increase was attributable especially to the meat and dairy exports of Atria, HKScan and Valio.

Several Finnish food producers have also found new customers and generated sales through years-long collaboration with Alibaba.

“We’ve steadily gotten new customers, and the number of followers on our social-media channels has grown. There’s clearly demand for the products in China,” said Harri Hovi, the head of commerce at the grocery trade division of Kesko. “We’ve grown our selection steadily and launched new products tailored for Chinese markets.”

Good News from Finland is published by Finnfacts, which is part of Business Finland.

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