09 November, 2012

Fazer Chocolate Factory Tour

I'm not sure about the rules. Are you allowed to complain about something that's free? I think maybe I am. At least I'll try and be impartial.

I went to Fazer this week, on a tour. It was free. I was looking forward to it.

It's outside of Helsinki so you either pay extra to get there by public transport or you walk about 20 minutes from the Helsinki transport border.

We watched a few short YouTube-style videos, maybe 5-10 minutes long, plus a bunch of powerpoint slides, that I think were about the history of Fazer and the tour itself. The tour guide number 1 was great, he used slow and clear Finnish so that I understood maybe half of what he said. My eyes glazed over whenever he mentioned numbers and dates, though (everyone knows that once you start talking numbers it's like a whole different language).

Good: seeing the old tv ads for Fazer. I love old ads. Even if I don't understand them, the black and white and the animations are cool.

Good: we got one free Angry Birds lollipop to eat.

Then we did the "tour".

Bad: Tour guide #2 spoke complicated and fast Finnish and I understood not one single word during the tour. Nobody in the group did, I don't think. And she knew we were only learning the language.

Bad: the tour comprised walking along a hallway for about 10 whole minutes, stopping 3 times to look at pictures of machinery on the walls. We got to poke our heads into one room where they kept factory uniforms. Wow, white aprons, exciting.

Bad: they say you can eat as much as you like. They failed to mention that it would be a postage-stamp square of rye bread and then about five minutes at the chocolate sample area. And then while you're still deciding whether to try the lemon or the praline, you get told you have to leave. No, you can't take it with you (that's ok) but damnit, I wanted to try the lemon.

Good: The shop is, indeed, cheap. Chocolates are about 25-50% off. Sweets are not very cheap, and I don't think they sell bread or cookies at all.

Good: You get a few samples in a free showbag. I just love pear-flavoured chewing gum (not) but they were free.

Bad: It was all over in an hour, including the shop, the cloakroom, and standing around waiting for it to start.

Bad: there was absolutely no tour of any part of the factory. Not even through a glass window or anything. Not even of shelves of finished, packed, hygienic products. What's a factory tour when you just look at videos and pictures? Answer: it's not a tour, it's a slideshow.

Verdict: 3/10.