Updated: October 5, 2022
The Maui Food Technology Center facilitated the participation of five Maui vendors in the 94th Tokyo International Gift Show held in Tokyo in Sept. 7-9.
Tokyo International Gift Show is Japan’s largest B2B Lifestyle and Gift Trade Show. Held at the Tokyo Big Sight Exhibition Hall in Tokyo, this year’s event attracted about 133,000 buyers, wholesalers, and distributors.
The Department of Business and Economic Development and Tourism sponsored the Hawaiʻi Pavilion at the show. Hawaiʻi-made products were on display in 22 booths along with a large display of manufactured foods from Hawaiʻi. Selected food products as well as Hawaiian plate lunches were available for sale.
MFTC showcased the following Maui companies in their booths:
- HumBOWbarks – pet bows, bandanas, and lei
- Kawai Ali’i Designs – custom jewelry made with gemstones, shells, and crystals
- Maui Upcountry Jams & Jellies – tropical jams and mustards
- Maui Wine – tropical wines
- Mise Kimono – clutches, tote bags and accessories made from kimono and obi
None of these companies attended the show in-person due to COVID-19 travel restrictions; however, businesses were greatly appreciative of being able to participate in the show at a reasonable cost due to support received from Maui County’s Office of Economic Development.
MFTC Board Member Nina Tanabe, MS, CFS, who helped coordinate the Maui booths onsite said, “There are a number of benefits to participating in TIGS. These include being able to meet many diverse buyers, importers, and distributors; you can test and/or launch new products; network and build relationships; and promote your brand. Hawaiʻi businesses can also participate at an affordable cost as the State of Hawaiʻi subsidizes the pavilions.”
According to DBEDT, this year’s attendance was one of the smallest showings at TIGS by Hawaiʻi companies (previously 200,000 pre-pandemic), but they are confident that once COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted, Hawaiʻi companies will return.