The first Tasteful by Sauna from Finland workshop brought old and new faces together through different activities. The participants were delighted about the opportunity to taste diverse flavours and to generate new ideas for future collaborations, connecting sauna with food and beverages in attractive, joint offers.
The workshop launched the new concept Tasteful by Sauna from Finland, which aims to incorporate Finnish food and kitchenware companies into the authentic sauna experience to open up markets with innovative products and service options. The ultimate taste experience, completed by original flavours and an appealing presentation, is a significant part of the Finnish sauna culture and to be highlighted through the new concept. Finnish recipes, menus and settings make the authentic sauna experience memorable and are a unique selling point for service providers. The new collaborations containing sauna-themed products from different Finnish companies and targeting various customer groups will help the companies to enhance their visibility and to enter international markets.
The event was hosted by the team of Sauna from Finland and took place in Hotel Alba, in Jyväskylä, on 3 September 2020. The group of participants was composed of both longstanding members of Sauna from Finland and newly interested businesses, including representatives of product manufacturers, focusing on food, cooking and tableware products, as well as service providers such as travel companies. Participating companies that were not able to appear in person were instead represented by their nicely arranged products.
Tasting New Flavors and Networking
The programme of the workshop began with the presentation of two examples given by representatives of Hotel Alba and Saunatour from the Kuusamo area, who provided insight on the taste experiences that their businesses offer in the context of their sauna services.
“Hearing how this concept is implemented in another business, such as between the sauna turns of the Saunatour, was very inspiring,” comments Juha Ahonen, the property manager of Savutuvan Apaja, and ponders whether his business could adopt a similar way.
After that, the hosts provided some information about the basic ideas of the new concept and the present participants introduced their businesses, including their current products and services as well as their interests in new sauna product projects. The next item on the agenda was to taste a variety of foods, have a closer look at the specific products, such as tableware, packaging and cooking products, and engage in conversation. New ideas were born, finding ways how a range of products from different businesses could be combined in a comprehensive offer in order to reach a wider audience. Tommi Lindholm, chef and ice cream maker at Art Food Heaven, tells, for instance, that their jelly could be offered together with the preserved meat from Säilyke Herttua or a new sorbet flavour could be created in collaboration with Jyväshamppu and sold together with the soapstone dishes from Hukka Design.
Creating Sauna Menus and Food Packages
These thoughts were deepened in a brainstorming activity, in which the participants worked together in small groups to develop concrete ideas for four different sauna product packages, which sauna service providers can offer their customers according to their wishes and needs: Sauna Product Box, Sauna Food Box, Sauna Picnic Basket and Sauna Menu. The participants considered different ways how their own products could be combined to target various customer groups and also what other types of products could or should be added. The results of the brainstorming were presented and discussed with the whole group.
Jillul Manik, Sales Executive at Kupilka, particularly liked this brainstorming idea cafe, which was a new activity compared to previous events, and is looking forward to meeting even more potential business partners at the coming events. Seppo Raijas, CEO of Hukka Design, agrees and emphasizes that “this workshop was definitely very useful in terms of networking and brainstorming and serves as a good foundation for future projects”.
Satu Freyberg, the Head of International Marketing at Sauna from Finland, is excited about the results of the workshop and sees them as a great starting point for the development of the Tasteful by Sauna from Finland concept:
“We were very glad to have so many food and tableware products present, and even gladder to see how the workshop generated new ideas and co-operations between the companies. The workshop created a great foundation for each of the sauna food packages, and the next step is to develop them further and introduce them to the pilot customers in Finland and abroad.”
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