As a follow-up to the successful Hawaii Fair by Natural Lawson last year, Mana Up has once again partnered with Natural Lawson for its second Hawaii Fair.
This year’s Hawaii Fair by Natural Lawson began on March 16, and will continue through Monday, April 26 at more than 142 Natural Lawson convenience stores throughout Tokyo. Lawson, a major convenience store franchise in Japan has four different styles of stores–one of them being Natural Lawson, which boasts a healthier selection of products from food to cosmetics. During this limited time, these locations will feature five companies that graduated from Mana Up’s Hawaii-based accelerator program.
This is the second Hawaii Fair that Mana Up has collaborated with Natural Lawson, following a successful first run in August 2020. Among the products available in the festive Hawaii-inspired pop-ups are Mānoa Chocolate bars, Tea Chest Hawaii assorted specialty organic teas, Kaimana Jerky ahi jerky varieties, and Liko Lehua fruit butters. This Hawaii Fair opens the door for Kaimana Jerky’s first entry into the Japan market. There will also be additional popular Hawaii omiyage items such as macadamia nuts and cookies from other local brands.
The opportunity to work with Natural Lawson was a result of a special business trip to Japan, organized by Central Pacific Bank for the benefit of Mana Up and Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association in early 2020. “It’s exciting to be able to continue expansion of our local companies to global markets by bringing Hawai‘i back to Japan,” says Paul Yonamine, Executive Chairman of Central Pacific Bank.
Natural Lawson also invited Mana Up’s alumni company Wrappily to create the promotional design at all participating stores. Wrappily is a Maui-based eco gift wrap company that also has a Tokyo office. “I wanted to express the happiness Japanese people feel when visiting Hawaii,” says Sara Smith, founder and CEO of Wrappily. Smith created original flowers with her wrapping paper and arranged them to form a lei shape. Since Japanese origami is widely loved by Hawaii’s keiki, the design also symbolizes the melding of cultures of Japan and Hawaii.
“We are thrilled to work with Natural Lawson again and be able to connect with Hawaii enthusiasts in Japan this way. We see a major opportunity to expand local products to Japan because of the affinity Japanese people have for Hawaii, and this is one significant step in that direction,” says Meli James, cofounder of Mana Up.
The Hawaii Fair offers those who are passionate about the Hawaii brand in Japan to savor a local experience through our foods and learn the individual narratives of these entrepreneurs behind our islands’ premium products. For more information, visit www.manauphawaii.com and https://www.lawson.co.jp/lab/natural/index.html.
About Mana Up
Mana Up provides a six-month accelerator program for Hawai‘i-based product companies. Through addressing production, operation and marketing challenges and helping to build leadership skills, Mana Up elevates Hawai‘i businesses to the next level. Mana Up is supported by Kamehameha Schools, DFS Hawaii, Castle & Cooke Hawai‘i, Hawaiian Airlines, American Savings Bank, Ulupono Initiative, Dole, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, Hawaii Technology Development Corporation, Innovate Hawaii, Pineapple Tweed, The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Foodland and Spire Hawaii.