Top 10 Things Made in Hawaii

Without question, Hawaii produces some of the best foods and drinks — from coffee to rum, to shortbread cookies. It’s no surprise that the State of Hawaii knows a thing or two about surfboards too! Some of these products aren’t just made in Hawaii, they are only available in Hawaii.

This is the perfect article for you if you’re looking for the best place to learn about the best Hawaii made products. As you’ll see below, you’ll also get a chance to explore a little bit of Hawaii’s history and information about upcoming brands produced in the beautiful State of Hawaii.

01

Hawaii Grown Coffee

Hawaii is the only State in the U.S. that produces its own coffee and has been doing so since the early 1800s. Coffee grown in Hawaii is world renowned and some of the most exclusive coffee varieties because of it. Nearly every mass-market coffee shop in the world sells Kona coffee along with varietal staples from the regions of Costa Rica, Italy, Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Kenya.

Not all Hawaii coffee is the same. Much like Napa or Sonoma wines, Kona has a lot of brand recognition, but some sub-par quality products do slip under the radar just by being associated with the region. Only coffee marked “100% Kona Coffee” is reliable. Although Kona coffee has made the biggest name for itself in the global industry, all of the major Hawaiian Islands produce their own coffee, and a lot of it is award-winning Hawaii coffee. The mineral-rich volcanic soil in Hawaii provides the perfect scenario for growing coffee beans. There are about 800 coffee farms on the Big Island, and nearly 50 on the other islands.

Hawaii visitors and residents have the rare opportunity to buy beans directly from the grower. Some popular coffee plantations include Hula Daddy Kona Coffee, Maui Grown Coffee, Malulani Estate, Waialua Estate Coffee, Pele Plantations, and Rusty’s Hawaiian to name a few.


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02

Hawaii Beer

Three emerging beer companies brew beer in Hawaii; Kona Brewing Company , Maui Brewing Company and Kohola BreweryKona Brew’s 2010 induction into the Craft Brew Alliance and Maui Brew’s 2015 alliance with Stone Brewing Company (Maui Stone Craft Beverages) have catapulted the availability of Hawaii made beer all over the mainland.

Hawaii has a thriving and expanding beer business that extends well beyond these three brands. There are currently about 15 Hawaii breweries, with new ones popping up regularly. As of 2012, Hawaii ranked 27th in the nation for craft breweries per capita. Other notable breweries include Big Island Brewhaus out of Waimea, Aloha Beer Company out of Honolulu, and Primo Brewing out of Honolulu and Maui Brewing Company.

For beer brewed in a tropical climate, most would assume the most popular beers to be light in style, like lagers and pilsners. Kona Longboard Lager is probably the most recognizable Hawaiian beer worldwide. However, some of the favorite Hawaiian beers include porters and stouts rich in Hawaiian flavors of coffee, chocolate, and coconut. Try the Coconut Hiwa Porter from Maui Brewing Co. or the White Mountain Porter from Big Island Brewhaus for a true taste of Hawaiian craft beer. Many of these brands are available throughout the Hawaiian Islands, on the mainland and even worldwide. If you’re a beer lover planning a trip to Hawaii, make sure to seek out beer tours and brewpubs in Hawaii.


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03

Maui Babe

It would be a challenge to find a female in her teens to mid-thirties who hasn’t heard of Maui Babe browning lotion. This Wailuku based coffee tinted tanning lotion is considered one of the best in the business and is certainly one of a kind. It’s made from coconut oil, coffee, aloe, and kukui nut oil. It’s the top-selling tanning oil in Hawaii, and consistently ranked among the “Top 6 Best Outdoor Tanning Lotions” worldwide (presscave.com, 2016).

Maui Babe is now sold internationally in Canada, Australia, South Africa, Mexico, Japan, and even in Saudi Arabia. One would expect to find a giant warehouse with hundreds of employees on a visit to the Maui Babe HQ in Wailuku. Surprisingly, only six people run the show. Founder, Joe Rossi, started the company by mixing the lotion in his Maui home and passing out samples on Maui beaches. The entire production is still very mom-and-pop, adding to its Hawaii-made appeal. Maui Babe has since expanded its product line to include both indoor and outdoor tan accelerators, sunblock and after sun lotion.


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05

Hawaii Liquor

The Caribbean associates with rum, while Russia undoubtedly associates with vodka. Pineapples, coconuts, coffee and sugarcane are natural resources of Hawaii. Hawaii is gaining ground in the world of distilleries and where most utilize sugarcane to make vodka, rum, whiskey and liqueur.

The most recognized of these distilleries is Ocean Vodka. Ocean Vodka produces Maui made organic vodka from sugarcane and deep ocean mineral water. This family business started in 2005, sells their vodka in 36 states, Canada, South America and Asia. Ocean Vodka has since expanded production to include rum, whiskey, and liqueurs and produced on Hawaii Sea Spirits Organic Farm and Distillery.

Other Hawaii distillers also produce a product from Hawaiian sugarcane, although they make rum, not vodka. Manulele Distiller’s popular Kō Hana Hawaiian Agricole Rum is making waves in the craft cocktail industry. Kauai’s Kōloa Rum also produces seven local rums in award-winning Hawaiian flavors, like coconut.

Hawaii is also home to three other distilleries: Haleakala Distillers, Old Lahaina Rum and Island Distillers. The distillery industry in Hawaii is still in its infantile stage, but expect major global contributions in the next few years.


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06

North Shore Goodies

Almost everyone who has spent any amount of time in Oahu or visited an ABC store in Hawaii knows about North Shore Goodies’ Coconut Peanut Butter. If you don’t already know, you do now! It only has 35 calories per serving and is made from only two ingredients: coconuts and peanuts. This popular Hawaii peanut butter brand first started out at Oahu farmers markets, and has quickly made a name for itself throughout the islands.

This family run Hawaii made company started in the North Shore of Oahu with one single product. They have since expanded their operation to include over 55 products. North Shore Goodies now sells a variety of other foods including flavored peanut butters, jams, salad dressings, coffee and syrups.They limit all products to 3-4 ingredient, specializing in Hawaiian flavors like coconut, lilikoi, guava, macadamia nut, pineapple, vanilla bean and ginger.

North Shore Goodies still holds a strong tie to their farmer’s market roots, making multiple appearances a week in Oahu, and handing out addicting samples religiously. Their products are available online and at over 50 stores in Hawaii, locations as far as Alaska, Connecticut and even Japan.


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07

Surfboards

Native Hawaiians have been making surfboards since the 1700s. Boards once weighed over 150 pounds, were 10-16 feet long, and made of solid local wood with no fins. Wow, surfboards have changed some since them! In ancient Hawaiian days, surfing wasn’t just a recreational activity, it was deeply ingrained in Hawaiian culture and ritual.

Hawaiians like to keep their surfboards local. Town & Country, Kazuma and SOS Surfboards (Sean Ordonez Shapes) are three of the best brands in the Hawaii made surfboards industry. Town & Country is an Oahu based surfboard shaping company founded in 1971, rich in the history and heyday of Waikiki longboard surf culture. Their characteristic yin-yang logo is respected worldwide in the surf community. SOS is probably the most recognized big wave board shaper in the world, and is the best place to go if you’re looking to get a custom Maui-made surfboard. Kazuma Surfboards, founded by owner and shaper Matt Kazuma, has been making custom surfboards in their Haiku, Maui store for over 25 years. The factory is open to the public and Kazuma encourages customers to come watch the shaping process firsthand.

There are dozens of other Hawaiian surfboard brands like Tropix and Hawaii Surf Factory, as well as countless amateur and semi-amateur surfboard shapers.


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08

Pineapple

The second most visited attraction in Hawaii after the Pearl Harbor Memorial is the Dole Pineapple Plantation. This pineapple plant was imported to Hawaii as early as the late 1700s, and was once the top producer of pineapple in the entire world. Today it consists of only a fraction of a percent of global pineapple production, but still holds immeasurable symbolic value for the State of Hawaii.

Aside from Dole, other pineapple plantations like Maui Gold Pineapples grow sweet and nutritious, vitamin C rich Hawaii pineapples. Hawaiian pineapple is known for its extra sweet flavor and low acidity. Both the Dole Pineapple Plantation on Oahu and Maui Gold Pineapple offer tours highlighting the historical significance of pineapple in Hawaii, and fun facts about pineapple history and production. For example, it takes about 19 months to grow a pineapple, but only has a 2-3 day window of prime ripeness.

Hawaiian pineapple is available in pre-inspected boxes for those that want to take some Hawaii sweetness home with them. It makes a great gift, and while pineapple is no longer a big cash crop in Hawaii, it still remains as the most identifiable symbol of the Hawaiian Islands. Check with your airlines, most will check pre-inspected pineapples for free.


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09

Macadamia Nuts

Nothing says Hawaii like Macadamia Nuts. Most of Hawaii’s Macadamia Nuts are grown on the Big Island. In fact, Macadamia Nut trees are actually not native to Hawaii. Sorry folks! They were brought over from Australia in the 1800s. Despite this, Hawaii remains one of the largest producers of Macadamia Nuts worldwide.

Mauna Loa has made a name for itself as the tastiest source for anything made with Macadamia Nuts in Hawaii. Since 1976, they have been making a huge impact in the Hawaii-made foods industry. Also, Oahu’s Hawaiian Host produces Hawaiian Macadamia Nuts roasted with Maui onion, Hawaiian honey, Kona coffee and other sweet and savory flavors. Throughout all Mac Nut brands, chocolate covered Macadamias are among the top sellers, and on that note, Hawaii is the only US State that also grows its cacao.

There are also countless smaller macadamia nut businesses like Kona Coast Macadamia Nut, Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company and Bad Ass Macadamia Nut Company. Today, Macadamia Nut production in Hawaii includes 700 farms and eight processing plants. Hawaii made Mac-nut goods are readily available at farmer’s markets, ABC Stores, Foodland, Safeway, Costco, Walmart, select mainland retailers and online.


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10

More Hawaii Made Products

When spending time in the Hawaiian Islands, it’s easy to see how each island has their own unique flare, vibe, and special qualities. On each of the Hawaiian Islands, it’s possible to find one-of-a-kind Hawaii made products and gifts.

Some of the most popular Hawaii made items include locally made beauty products, soaps, candles, honey, bikinis, and more. Keep your eyes peeled as you visit popular sights and in-the-know locales throughout Hawaii; Maui, Oahu, Big Island, Kauai, Lanai, and Molokai.

For example, when visiting Hawaii spas, make sure to check out their gift shops. You’ll most likely find that many of the Hawaii made spa products used in their treatment menus will be available. A few popular Hawaii made spa products include Malie Organics of Kauai, Queen Bee of Maui, and Lanikai Bath & Body from Oahu.

When you find yourself perusing hotel and resort gift shops, locally owned boutiques, and even big box retailers like Target or Walmart, check out their ‘Hawaii’ sections to find locally made candles made by companies like Paradise Candles of Hawaii, or Hawaii made soaps made by North Shore Soap Factory. In fact, if you find yourself on Oahu’s North Shore, plan ahead and visit the North Shore Soap Factory store in Waialua.

Last, but not least, there are two more Hawaii made products that you must seek out when in the islands. Locally made honey, and bikinis! Two of the most popular items for Hawaii residents are surely these two things. There’s a slew of beekeepers and bikini makers throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Head to any small town and find organic grocery stores and bikini shops lining the roads.

For local honey, definitely try to find Big Island Bees. Their products can be found at small grocery shops like Down to Earth and Mana Foods on Maui, or at Whole Foods store locations.

If you’re seeking a new fit for the beach, we love Pakaloha Bikinis. They have two storefront locations on Maui, and two on Oahu. What makes their Hawaii made bikinis so awesome is that #1) they’re sold as separates, and #2), they have the most comfortable and durable fabrics. Whether you’re looking for a bikini to surf in, or one to suntan in, they’ve got you covered.

For more information about these Hawaii Made products, please visit each vendor online:

Malie Organics: https://www.malie.com
Queen Bee Maui: http://queenbeemaui.bigcartel.com
Lanikai Bath & Body: https://lanikaibathandbody.com
North Shore Soap Factory: http://northshoresoapfactory.com
Paradise Candles of Hawaii: http://www.paradisecandlesofhawaii.com
Big Island Bees: https://bigislandbees.com
Pakaloha Bikinis: https://pakalohamaui.com

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There are thousands of products made with pride in Hawaii! If you’re on vacation in Hawaii during one of the awesome ‘Hawaii Made Festivals’ that take place annually on each Hawaiian Island, we definitely suggest that you check them out!

What are your favorite products made in Hawaii?

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