Seven Big Island Companies Finalist for Inaugural Taste Awards

Seven Big Island companies or individuals are finalists of the inaugural Taste Awards presented by the Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA).

Taste Awards

They were nominated by members of the statewide HFMA and supporting organizations. The winners of eight different awards will be announced Saturday, June 14 on Oahu.

The finalists include:

  • Big Island Abalone of Keahole-Kona for Product of the Year
  • Big Island Bees of Captain Cook for Innovate Hawaii Manufacturer of the Year-Small Company
  • Glow Hawaii Inc of Waikoloa for Community Service Award
  • Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company of Kawaihae for Innovate Hawaii Manufacturer of the Year-Small Company
  • KTA Superstores with island wide locations for Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award
  • KTA Superstores with island wide locations for Innovative Marketing Award
  • Nina Tanabe of Hilo for Advocate of the Year
  • UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources for Supplier of the Year
  • In addition, FCH Enterprises for Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award. FCH operates a Zippy’s in Hilo.

Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association (HFMA) announced today that it will hold its first-ever Taste Awards to honor outstanding companies in Hawaii’s food manufacturing industry. Co-sponsored by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, the awards will recognize individuals, companies and products that have demonstrated exceptional performance, innovation and contribution to the manufacturing industry and to the community.

The Taste Awards gala reception will be held on Saturday, June 14, at the newly renovated Pomaika`i Ballrooms at Dole Cannery from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The event will feature a “Battle of the Chefs” where celebrity chefs will create signature dishes using locally manufactured products. Event attendees will indulge on several one-of-a-kind dishes prior to a formal dinner reception followed by the awards ceremony. Many locally made foods and drinks will be showcased as part of the evening’s festivities.

“We’re very excited to launch the Taste Awards,” said Byron Goo, President of the HFMA board of directors. “It’s long overdue for our industry to recognize the best of the best. There’s a lot of hard work and so many wonderful stories to tell about the local companies that produce the great food products found throughout Hawaii’s homes, stores and restaurants.”

Awards will be presented in nine categories, including:

  • Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Innovate Hawai’i Manufacturer of the Year (2): Large-Company and Small-Company categories
  • Start-up Manufacturer of the Year
  • Product of the Year
  • Advocate of the Year
  • Supplier of the Year
  • Community Service Award
  • Innovative Marketing Award

“We believe food manufacturing will be one of our state’s key economic drivers for decades to come,” said Richard Lim, director of the State of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT). “Hawaii’s food manufacturers will invest millions of dollars over the coming years into their businesses. So we want to both congratulate and thank HFMA, its members, and this year’s finalists for their contributions to our state’s economy.”

According to data compiled by DBEDT, food is the largest manufacturing sector using local products as inputs in Hawaii, generating over $900 million in annual revenue for the state’s economy. HFMA’s member companies represent 30 percent of food manufacturers in the state including numerous kama‘āina companies and household names such as Hawaiian Host, Hawaiian Sun and Aloha Shoyu, as well as exciting new startups.

Tickets and sponsorships for the Taste Awards are still available. To purchase tickets call 422-4362 or visit Proceeds from the event will benefit the Kapiolani Community College Culinary Arts Program.

About Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association

Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association is a non-profit organization that was established in 1977 and is currently the only statewide food manufacturing association in the United States. With more than 125 member organizations, 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. For more information, visit

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