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Made in Maui County Festival Generates Nearly $2M Over Four Years

April 3, 2018, 3:40 PM HST · Updated April 3, 3:43 PM
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In 2016, the Made in Maui County Festival drew more than 11,000 residents and visitors for two days of shopping at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Photo by: Casey Nishikawa

A full report was released this week that detailed the results and economic impact of the 4th Annual Made In Maui County Festival, which was held on Nov. 3-4, 2017 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului.

Last year, Maui County’s largest products show featured over 140 vendors, including 17 companies from Molokaʻi and seven from Lānaʻi. In addition, 16 food trucks also presented a diverse menu of island cuisine in the event’s Food Court.

The annual event was created to improve the islands’ economic well-being by helping to grow and sustain Maui County’s manufacturers in an effort to diversify the economy, showcase entrepreneurship and locally made products, and encourage job creation.

According to Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development Director Teena Rasmussen, “The festival was designed to be more than a large community celebration promoting local artisan and manufacturing businesses and spurring massive sales on a single day; it is about creating business capacity and long-term growth.”

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Over the past four years, 265 local vendors who participated reported as a result of this two-day festival:

  • Over $1.8 million on retail sales
  • Over 118,900 items sold
  • Over 980 new wholesale accounts secured
  • Over 6,290 new leads established

In 2017, over 10,000 visitors and residents attended the festival. Participating Product Vendors reported the following as a result of the two-day festival:

  • Over in $572,963.56 total product sales. (Compared to $512,922 in 2016, $416,000 in 2015, and $300,000 in 2014)
  • Over 217 total new wholesale accounts/orders were closed
  • Over 703 new wholesale leads and/or prospects were developed
  • A total of 550 qualified wholesale buyers and distributors attended a special invitation-only Buyers Preview on Friday, Nov. 3

Officials say the vendors’ success and the event’s overall economic impact is the “Buyers Preview,” a B2B event where pre-qualified wholesale buyers and distributors receive complimentary festival admission to meet with vendors and find new locally made products. In 2017, over 550 wholesale buyers and distributors across the state and as far away as Canada attended, which was a 65% increase over last year’s Buyers Preview attendance.

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“The relationships built and resulting purchases by wholesale buyers and distributors are taking Maui County businesses to new heights and to markets with both domestic and international export potential,” said Pamela Tumpap, President of the Maui Chamber Commerce. “This major event also spurs economic development to our fledgling companies that are given the opportunity to attract major buyers and are urged to consider the implications of scaling up production.”

The full 2017 post-event festival report including vendor testimony can be viewed here.

Maui County-based businesses interested in participating in this year’s festival, can download an application (for product vendors) or here (for food trucks). The deadline for applications is May 31, 2018.

A variety of sponsorship opportunities are also available for companies and organizations interested in promoting their goods and/or services and who want to promote their support of local businesses.

Qualified wholesale buyers/distributors may receive complimentary admission to attend a special “Buyer’s Preview” on Friday, November 2. To register, click here.

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