One innovation is the collaboration with the Budapest Metropolitan University to offer the SPAR Supplier Academy as part of its curriculum. Over a period of six months, university students had a unique opportunity to address real-life marketing issues faced by 16 small-scale suppliers.
SPAR Hungary’s Supplier Academy is committed to supporting Hungarian food producers and enterprises. As an extension of their programmes, suppliers from both the Hungaricool and Regional Treasures initiatives were able to obtain expert marketing advice from the students at Budapest Metropolitan University. Each applicant presented the marketing challenges and issues they were encountering in their respective companies.
The collaboration empowered participating enterprises to grow and provided students with invaluable practical experience, further enhancing their skills and competencies. The entrepreneurs were delighted to engage young talents with fresh perspectives in their decision-making processes. In turn, the students appreciated the opportunity to work on practical, real-life tasks, which complemented their theoretical learning.
In the face of unprecedented challenges such as the pandemic, energy crisis, and inflation, Hungarian enterprises, particularly small businesses in the food industry, have faced significant obstacles in recent years. Recognising the importance of supporting domestic families and small food businesses, SPAR Hungary launched the Hungaricool product competition in 2019. Additionally, since 2021, the Regional Treasures programme has been connecting shoppers at SPAR with products from domestic small-scale producers.
To understand the needs of businesses participating in these programmes amid the current economic climate, SPAR Hungary conducted a survey. The results revealed that 76% of respondents identified the importance of learning effective negotiating skills while staying competitive (64%) and developing price strategies (64%) were equally significant. Furthermore, 60% emphasized the role of brand communication during economic recessions, and 40% sought knowledge on expanding their customer base. Trade events were also valued for practical knowledge, networking opportunities, and exposure to current trends.
To address these needs and challenges, SPAR Hungary offers suppliers access to a SPAR Marketing Bootcamp. The 2023 event attracted over 100 suppliers, providing them with diverse professional training sessions and insightful discussions on navigating the uncertain economic landscape.
Attila Tollas, SPAR Hungary’s Regional Procurement Team Manager and a speaker at the SPAR Marketing Bootcamp, stated, “During the Bootcamp, we focused on reflecting on the economic situation, with several presentations dedicated to this topic. Additionally, we delved into all four aspects of the traditional marketing mix, as we recognised the demand for comprehensive knowledge in this area.”
The two-day event creates a platform where suppliers can connect, share experiences, and find solutions to common problems. The positive feedback SPAR Hungary received indicates that the retail company is moving in the right direction.
Participants praised the SPAR Marketing Bootcamp which offers tailored marketing, strategy, and communication materials for the food industry, provided by SPAR and invited experts. The networking opportunities are considered particularly invaluable, building connections with fellow entrepreneurs.
Source: SPAR Hungary
Read more about SPAR Hungary.
The first SPAR Supermarket opened in Hungary in 1992, following the acquisition by ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG) of a majority stake in General Kereskedelmi Rt. SPAR Hungary is one of the country’s largest employers, with a network of company-owned and independently-run stores operating nationwide.