A trip to a store introduces the world of retail to school children

A trip to a store introduces the world of retail to school children

Where do the products in a grocery store come from? Why should you read product packages? How can you tell what foods come from Finland? What everyday choices can you make to feel good? School children from all around Finland get to visit the world of food retail and learn how food gets into S-market stores. The trip is organised as part of a study module designed by S Group and the Finnish Food Information (Finfood) association.


The purpose of the ‘Trip to the Store’ concept is to support learning outside the classroom in line with the national curriculum, and encourage schools to discover new learning environments outside the school grounds as well.

“A trip to a grocery store gives school children a chance to learn consumer skills in practice, which is not possible in a classroom setting. The trip will also feature some teamwork exercises and offer the children a chance to participate in designing school activities. The trip is best suited for 3rd–4th graders,” says Anni-Mari Syväniemi, Executive Director of Finfood.

The ‘Trip to the Store’ is based on A Group’s Food Manifesto, which was announced in summer 2017 and aims build a bright future for Finnish food. One of its themes is a promise to promote healthy eating among children. This inspired the idea of schoolchildren’s trips to grocery stores.

“It’s important to teach children and young people about food retail. For example, knowing how food gets to the stores and what happens to products that are not bought helps understand how food is produced and its lifecycle generally. It also makes us appreciate food more. Visiting a grocery store and interviewing its staff encourage kids to learn consumer skills and to see the store as a place of work as well, says Communication Manager Outi Hohti from S Group.

Pilot trips were organised 2018 in a couple of cooperatives. The feedback was so positive tat the project is now being extended to cover the whole of Finland.

“Making these trips happen is easy with the freely available ready-made material prepared by teachers. The ‘Trip to the Store’ concept supports a variety of skills and fits many of the objectives set for different school subjects, such as environmental studies, language studies and mathematics”, says class teacher Liisa Lavonen from the Arabia Comprehensive School.

“The enthusiasm of the kids is evident in the questions they ask – from each other and the store’s employees. After the trip the students are always eager to know when we’ll go again and what kind of research we can do next time,” says Lavonen.

More information: Anni-Mari Syväniemi, Executive Director, Finfood, anni-mari.syvaniemi(at)ruokatieto.fi, tel. +358 50 5118 909

Outi Hohti, Communication Manager, SOK, outi.hohti(at)sok.fi, tel. +358 50 3883 133

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