Central Pacific Financial Corporation

08/05/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/06/2020 15:51

Central Pacific Bank, Mana Up, and The Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association Secure New Retail Opportunities in Japan for Hawaii Small Businesses

HONOLULU, HI | August 5, 2020 - Central Pacific Bank (CPB), Mana Up, and the Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA) forge new retail opportunities for Hawaii small businesses to sell products in Japan with Prince Hotels and Resorts and Natural Lawson convenience stores. Both deals are a result of the group's discovery mission to Tokyo in February 2020, which explored ways for Hawaii entrepreneurs to establish relationships and expand their businesses into the Japan market.

'Economic growth and diversification for Hawaii must include cultivating key markets like Japan, and I'm impressed by Mana Up and HFMA's steadfast commitment to seeing these international opportunities into fruition despite the COVID-19 pandemic,' said Paul Yonamine, Executive Chairman, Central Pacific Bank. 'We see this foray into the Japanese market as a pilot, to strengthen the network and infrastructure, and to generate momentum for more Hawaii small businesses interested in growth overseas.'

The Tokyo Hawaii Project is a Hawaii-themed fair held at five Prince Hotels and Resorts properties in Tokyo during July and August. Japanese guests and customers can enjoy authentic Hawaii experiences including Hawaii regional cuisine, special

events, and the opportunity to shop Hawaii products like Western Aloha, Meli Wraps, Laha'ole Design, and Lei Palm face masks provided by Mana Up and beach slippers made of natural rubber from HAYN. The initiative also received marketing and financial support from the KizunAloha Coalition, a cross-sector group of more than 20 companies, government agencies, and nonprofits which formed in April 2020 to support Hawaii's economic recovery by engaging and fostering good will with the Japanese market throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hawaii Fair by Natural Lawson will run from August 4 through September 7 at more than 140 Natural Lawson convenience stores throughout Tokyo. Each store will feature a Hawaii-themed display having an assortment of products available for purchase by Japanese consumers. Mana Up and HFMA businesses taking advantage of this opportunity include Hawaiian Chip Company, Kauai Kookie, and Manoa Chocolate, just to name a few.

'Although Japanese visitors can't physically come to Hawaii due to the current travel restrictions, Mana Up is proud to partner with CPB and HFMA to bring local Hawaii products to Japan,' said Meli James, cofounder of Mana Up. 'Whether it's through these new Japanese retail channels, House of Mana Up online or at Royal Hawaii Center in Waikiki - Mana Up is committed to sharing the unique stories of Hawaii's entrepreneurs and the premium brands they've built. Friends of Hawaii from around the world can learn more about the makers and artisans behind their beloved Hawaii experiences.'

For more information:

About Mana Up and the Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association

Mana Up (www.manauphawaii.com) is an initiative to build Hawaii's next 100 product companies earning $10 million or more in annual revenue. Mana Up has a 12-week accelerator program offered biannually to enable Hawai'i product entrepreneurs to scale their businesses.

The Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association (www.foodsofhawaii.com) is a non- profit organization of approximately 150 members, that has been promoting Hawaiian grown or manufactured products since 1977. The HFMA works to increase the understanding and appreciation of the unique flavors, quality, and care that go into the production of Hawaii's fine foods and beverages represented by our membership.