K Group is the 2nd biggest grocery retailer in the Finnish market. They’ve been celebrated for being the most sustainable trading sector company in the world by World Economic Forum and are the only Finnish company to have made it on the list every year since 2005. Despite this achievement, K Group has struggled to communicate the responsibility they’ve taken around their business practices to consumers. In this conversation, we speak with Customer Insight Director Heidi Jungar to explore how Kesko has approached this challenge including what sustainability in retail means to them, how they are taking responsibility, and what grocery shopping will look like in the future.

  • 11:00 K Group’s sustainability and conservation programs
  • 14:25 Insights around what drives consumer buying decisions towards sustainability
  • 19:10 How K Group gives customers their data back
  • 21:10 K Group’s vision for the future grocery store
  • 36:00 Vision for future food system

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Episode Transcript

Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host  1:45 

Can you start by talking about what K Group is and where it lies within the Finnish landscape of retailers?

Heidi Jungar, K Group  1:51 

Yes. K Group is actually the biggest retailer in Finland and the third biggest in Northern Europe, with sales over 13 billion. We work within the grocery trade, car trade, and building and technical trade and have over 42,000 employees. Within grocery retail, we work only in Finland, but with the building and technical trade, we are in eight countries. And in Finland, we have three different food chains varying from hypermarkets to corner stores.

Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host  2:26 

And what’s the market share that you guys have?

Heidi Jungar, K Group  2:29 

It’s approximately 37%. And we’ll be glad to say that it’s growing. So, we are on the rise.

Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host  2:37 

And your stores, you only do the retailing in Finland, but you have operations in eight other countries?

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