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

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.

A press conference was held on 29th September 2017, 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.