Female owned and operated, Salty Wahine of Hawaii has been going full force to expand their exporting to new markets like Japan. In 2017 the small company participated in the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association’s (WUSATA) FundMatch program funded by the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) to travel to the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ and attend several international trade shows. The FundMatch program enabled Salty Wahine to attend the Winter and Summer Fancy Foods Shows and the Food & Beverage Show in Tokyo by matching marketing and travel expenses for the spice and seasoning company.
“We received quite a few direct sales through the events. We are also in discussions with 2 large distributors who found us at the shows,” says owner Laura Cristobal Andersland. “One distributor is considering a pallet of bulk product so they can repackage and distribute into retail stores in Japan.” Andersland adds, the international success of the company has been tremendous and WUSATA has been a big part of that, especially with assistance for the shows (which Salty Wahine would not go to if not for WUSATA’s FundMatch). “It was fantastic. We had a great time there. Many people coming to the shows were specifically looking for us.”
From a small part-time business to a nationally recognized family owned company, Laura Cristobal Andersland has taken Salty Wahine Gourmet Hawaiian Sea Salts to places they would have never imagined when they started back in 2008. In just ten years the Hawaiian seasonings company has reached over $1 million in annual sales and are continuing to grow. The products and business have won several awards over the years including 2017 Exporter of the Year for Hawaii.