Local companies get international shot

Mark Honda
Mark Honda
Philip Sakowitz
Philip Sakowitz
Erik Ludwick
Erik Ludwick

By Kristine Uyeno - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - It's a chance for local companies to go worldwide. Today, a variety of Hawaii businesses displayed their products at the American Logistics Association Hawaii Food Show at the Hawaii Prince Hotel.

It gives them an opportunity to get their products in military commissaries across the globe.

"Jams and jellies and juices, and it was selected for international and west of the Mississippi," said Mark Honda with Hawaiian Sun.

The Defense Commissary Agency chose those products from last year's food show.

"Excited. It's all brand news business and it triples our sales," said Honda.

That's what these other businesses are hoping for. This is the annual opportunity for buyers to touch, smell and taste Hawaii products as they consider adding new items for sale in the commissary system.

"By law we're not allowed to advertise, so when we are looking for a product it's a matter of the quality of the product, but also how you have the energy to promote the products," said Philip Sakowitz with the Defense Commissary Agency.

The guys at La Gelateria hope their gelato, scoops up success.

"Basically an Italian ice cream. Ice cream has a higher fat content than gelato so more flavor comes through in gelato than would in ice cream," said Erik Ludwick with La Gelateria.

They're competing with 80 other businesses, like this Big Island company. They hope their Atebara Chips and cookies make it big, and not just for them.

"We've got a lot of family farms in Hilo that are helping us grow taro and sweet potato and a lot of other products being grown on the Big Island and I think it'll really help not just our company, but them too and in general, Hilo too," said Nimr Tamimi with Atebara Chips.

Companies will find out by the end of Friday, if the military will help sweeten their business.

If chosen, the products will be sold in the local commissary first, then possibly in others across the world.