Local Stores Hope to Attract Buyers at Military Food Fair - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Stores Hope to Attract Buyers at Military Food Fair

Mark Honda Mark Honda

by Diane Ako

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - The American Logistics Show at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Coral Ballroom featured more than 100 (making it the biggest show ever) companies showcasing their wares with the intention of getting their products into the military system. This show reaches far beyond the military. The expo presents a golden opportunity for local businesses to learn how to improve their packaging, labeling, products, and potentially dramatically increase their sales.

The buyers will touch, taste, and smell more than 1,000 products grown, produced or made in Hawaii. It is a look behind the scenes of what appears on commissary shelves in Hawaii and in some cases around the world.

In 2006, the military purchased more than $122 million of consumable and household necessities from businesses in Hawaii. More than $13.5 million of these products were unique Hawaiian items like coffee, chocolates and nuts. Nearly $7 million were locally procured produce.

Some examples of companies who will be exhibiting: Manila Asian (Philippine grocery items); Wholesale Unlimited cookies, Jade local crackseed; P in Paradise Hawaiian made sauces; KTM services oriental snack foods and holiday candies and Hawaii Coffee Company, which is selling their products to the military in Southeast Asia and on the Mainland.

Patrick Nixon, the CEO and Director of the Defense Commissary Agency, is in Honolulu for the show. Nixon oversees one of the largest grocery distribution systems in the world-selling to military personnel. He is on the cutting edge of the retail grocery industry and what military shoppers are purchasing. Nixon oversees the operations and business processes of an agency that employs more than 18,000 people and includes a headquarters, three regions and 262 commissaries located in 13 countries around the world. Commissary annual sales totaled more than $5 billion in fiscal 2006.

The lucky stores who get picked up will have their wares placed in 5 commissaries in this state. If their products are popular there's a chance to branch out internationally. The vendors will find out in 48 hours if they got selected.

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