Photo courtesy of Finavia

Groceries Waiting for you at the Airport?! Check out Helsinki’s Next Great Idea…

Picture this: your plane touches down, you collect your baggage and you walk into the arrivals hall where you are met by… your groceries for the week! No longer do you have to drive home, dreading the emergency post-vacation trip to the grocery store. Your car is already fully loaded with the week’s breakfasts, lunches and dinners!

Once more, Helsinki Airport is raising the bar of passenger-friendly services and amenities. The airport has partnered with the country’s largest and most recognized grocery store (Alepa Kauppakassi) and an online grocery service (Foodie.fm) to provide passengers with exactly this convenience.

The concept is unbelievably convenient. A minimum of three hours before you arrive at HEL, you place your order online. Touching down at the airport, you then head over to the Alepa shop in the arrivals hall (2B of Terminal 2) where you unlock your locker with a code that was texted to you. Inside the locker, you will find your entire order, packed away in a cool box. Best of all – pickup is available 24/7. It’s that easy! The service itself costs 5 euros, plus the cost of groceries.

Of course if you’d rather just browse, you can also walk into the pre-existing Alepa grocery store and shop there (open: Mon – Sat, 6am – 1am). The store not only stocks the standard roster of groceries – it sells classic Finnish delicacies and a number of other useful products that travelers often forget at home.

Helsinki Vantaa is one of the few airports to try out this in-airport grocery store idea – and the first in the Nordic countries. Both Munich and Frankfurt in Germany also offer up grocery stores to travelers – though both airports lack the online ordering option. Zurich too has a small grocery store – though it is often criticized for overly inflated prices.

This service will be piloted for the next six months, ending mid-March, 2015. During this time, it will be tested, developed and assessed for future use. It is one of multiple new shops slated to be trialed in the airport over the coming two years, as Helsinki Airport prepares itself to be the new central hub for Europe-Asia travel. We can’t wait to see what is next!

What do you think about airport grocery shopping? Is it a luxury worth having – or would you rather just order takeout when arriving home, and shop the following day?

Photo Credit: Finavia

Lindsay Seegmiller

Lindsay Seegmiller is a Canadian-based freelance travel writer, passionate about exploring the untouched corners of the world. A lifelong backpacker and a perpetual airport sleeper, she has seen her fair share of airport floors around the world. While most of her travels have taken her to the bleak airports across Africa, she loves her jaunts through European airports and very much hopes to get to Singapore Changi’s koi garden one day.

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  • I hate to pay more as necessary – NEVER would pay 5 € extra! And that surely on TOP of higher prices as at a Discounter….

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