Big Island Honey Firm Has "Sweet Success"
Honolulu - A Big Island company has cracked the Taiwan market for its organic honey. Big Island Bees in Kealakekua sold 30 cases of its product following exposure at Food Taipei 2008, where samples were given out to hundreds of customers who visited the Hawaii booth. The show ran from June 18 to 21 and attracted 42,000 buyers, many of whom were looking for healthy, up-scale products.
The booth was organized by the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism's (DBEDT) Taipei office, headed by Executive Director Alex Lei.
"Each year we offer Hawaii producers the opportunity to display their wares," said Lei. "We help by offering samples and handing out literature. This year we had nine companies, including those with deep seawater, Kona coffee, Hawaiian salt and honey. The honey was quite a hit!"
Kevin Kraft, the President of Tradewinds Global, a Honolulu-based export-assistance company, represented Big Island Bees.
"I've been trying to sell Big Island Bees' honey to Taiwan for the last year-and-a-half without success," he said. "I would like to thank DBEDT for making this happen."
Big Island Bees is owned by Garnett Puett, a 4th generation commercial beekeeper, and his wife, Whendi Puett Grad. They specialize in single-floral, organic honey, produced by 190 million bees inhabiting 3,800 hives.
"It's exciting to see our product sold to Taiwan," said Whendi Grad. "Usually we're the ones buying Chinese products! This first sale will provide a good test for how much honey we can sell."
"We are always delighted to see a Hawaii company do well," said Lei. "It opens the door for other Island firms, especially in the high-end gourmet market where customers value quality, and are willing to pay more for something they really like."
Kevin Kraft is convinced that Lei is right. After the show, he hopped a plane for Taiwan to market other Made-in-Hawaii products.
Source: HI State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism
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