Maui Soda & Ice Works and Roselani Ice Cream Begin 2017 on High Note

January 17, 2017, 8:43 AM HST · Updated January 17, 3:25 PM
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    2016 was a year of positive change for Maui Soda & Ice Works, Ltd. and its Roselani Ice Cream division. Company executives say the 2017 forecast also looks bright for the iconic Island family-owned and operated company, which this year marks its 129th year of doing business on Maui.

    Equipment upgrades and the continuation of “green” initiatives and innovations led the way in 2016. A complete Photo Voltaic system was installed in December at a total cost of $655,000.  The system is expected to save the company approximately 22% of its monthly electricity bill which translates to more than $100,000 a year.

    The Roselani Ice Cream manufacturing facility was the beneficiary of a partnership with the State of Hawai’i’s High Technology Development Corporation/Innovate Hawai’i program. “We spent $275,000 to improve our production facilities – chiller, condenser, converter of heat exchanger,” said recently-named company president Cathy Nobriga Kim. “The result is a refined and much more energy-efficient process. And thanks to the state’s program to help manufacturers, we were able to receive a 20% reimbursement on our investment. We are, obviously, extremely grateful for the support.”

    A recycling initiative started in 2012 has made significant strides as well. “We continue to work to reduce our trash footprint. Everyone from management down to our warehouse personnel now routinely separates recyclables and uses our trash compactor. We have reduced our trash by more than one third,” said Nobriga Kim.

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    The company reports that Coca-Cola product lines continue to expand. “Our portfolio has a wide range of variety with something to satisfy every taste and need, from those who look for refreshment in the traditional sense, to low or no-calorie products, sparkling fruit juices, Minute Maid juices, a wide array of waters, sparkling waters, and flavored waters,” said Nobriga Kim.

    In 2016, the Yup! line of shelf-stable milk beverages – under the Fairlife label – was added, including three flavors – vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. And the Gold Peak Tea brand expanded its product offerings to include flavored coffee drinks.

    One of the most anticipated additions to the portfolio will take place next month when Dunkin’ Donuts branded ready-to- drink coffee beverages will be added to the Coca-Cola portfolio. It marks Dunkin’ Donuts’ first entry into the ready-to- drink coffee category, which has enjoyed very strong growth over the past five years and represents $2.3 billion dollars in annual sales according to Nielsen.

    Company representatives say the public can watch for a new 2017 so-called “lunchbox” package of Dasani water – 15-10 oz. bottles to the case. “The perfect size for a lunchbox.”

    Total sales – for both beverage and frozen divisions –were $24.3 million in 2016, on par with the previous year; projections for 2017 sales indicate slight growth.

    The company’s patriarch and Chairman of the Board, David “Buddy” Nobriga marked his 90th birthday in December 2016 and still comes to work at the Wailuku plant every day.

    Established in 1888, Maui Soda & Ice Works, Ltd. is today one of approximately 24 independent Coca-Cola distributors in the country and supplies Coca-Cola products and other beverages to the Islands of Maui and Lāna’i.

    Maui’s Own Roselani Ice Cream has been manufactured from scratch since 1932. The company supplies its ice cream to supermarkets, convenience stores, and other retail outlets as well as scooping parlors, restaurants, hotels and resorts statewide with a total repertoire of more than 40 flavors.

    Roselani Haupia

    Roselani truck

    Roselani production.

    Roselani Haupia

    Dasani water.

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