Students of Budapest Metropolitan University worked on the marketing challenges of 16 Hungarian SPAR suppliers

This spring the SPAR Supplier Academy got featured in the curriculum of the Budapest Metropolitan University. The students of the university got the chance to work on the real-life marketing issues of the participating SMEs of SPAR’s two popular supplier improvement programmes over the course of the last six months.

SPAR Hungary’s Supplier Academy has been supporting Hungarian food producers and enterprises for a long time and this year a new line of support has been added to their programmes. The suppliers who participate in the company’s Hungaricool and Regional Treasures programmes got the opportunity to receive marketing advice from the students of the Budapest Metropolitan University. The applicants got a chance to present the marketing challenges and issues their companies were facing. “Most of our suppliers that participate in our programmes find themselves in a very similar situation. They have to make some serious business decisions that will have an effect on the future of their enterprises and brands and therefore, they can really use some professional advisory,” said Attila Tollas, regional procurement team leader at SPAR Hungary who worked with full-time and part-time marketing students on the challenges of 16 different companies. As a result of the programme SPAR Hungary didn’t only help Hungarian small and medium-sized enterprises to develop and progress but also provided students with a chance to improve their practical skills. The entrepreneurs were really glad to be able to involve young people with fresh eyes and different views in their decision-making process. The students enjoyed the joint work too, since they appreciate the importance of practical and real-life tasks as opposed to just theoretical learning.

“As part of the practice-orientated courses at METU we prepare our students for professional challenges and therefore they often work on different projects, some of which are mock projects and some with real companies involved during the semester,” explains Dr. Rita Lukács, head of the Institute of Marketing at Budapest Metropolitan University. She also added: “With their help the participants of the course got the chance to practise finding the solutions of real marketing challenges over the course of the semester. In these cases, their responsibility was much higher as opposed to working on mock case studies, because they helped building the marketing strategies of 16 real SMEs as part of their course a METU”.

SPAR Hungary announced a winning team amongst full-time and part-time students as well. The best project prize by full-time students was awarded to the one prepared for Virágbéke Méz Manufaktúra Kft. and the best presentation that got the highest score of the part-time groups was prepared for Funky Forest.

“I find the cooperation of SPAR and METU an outstanding opportunity as well as the option to get professional advice from students, so it was a no-brainer that I would apply,’ said the lead beekeeper of Virágbéke, Attila Gál whose enterprise is one of the participants of the Regional Treasures programme. “We are really pleased that the team working on our brand was announced to be the winner. We gained some really useful insights into the honey consumption preferences of the different age groups,” he added.

“As one of the winners of the Hungaricool product competition, we welcomed this new opportunity and were glad to provide the students with professional details. We were also very grateful to receive their invaluable suggestions and recommendations,” added Katalin Sarkadi, head of marketing at Funky Forest.

SPAR Hungary also gave out consolation prizes to the participating full-time and part-time students which means that there were altogether 20 students from METU to receive awards from SPAR.  The winning teams can be really proud of their achievements and were also invited to be featured on SPAR’s ‘I Love Hazai’ podcast.