Catering To Our Military

By Sharon Zambo-Fan
Wednesday - August 17, 2011
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By Sharon Zambo-Fan
Chairwoman of American Logistics Association Hawaii Show and Conference

The American Logistics Association Hawaii Show and Conference, being held Aug. 15-18 at Hawaii Prince Hotel, offers Hawaii companies an important business opportunity to bridge the gap between local companies and the military shopper. Worldwide Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) buyers touch, smell and taste Hawaii products as they consider adding new items for sale in the commissary system. The show also addresses requests from servicemembers and their families who want to purchase more local products in the commissaries. The American Logistics Association (ALA Hawaii) is a trade association of manufacturers, brokers and distributors who sell or provide products to the military.

The Aug. 17 ALA Hawaii food show features products made in Hawaii, distributed solely in Hawaii or unique to Hawaii. What started as a small food show 13 years ago has expanded to more than 80 companies annually showcasing their wares to key military buyers. Over the course of the show’s history, 1,782 local products have been added to commissary shelves. Of the nearly 1,000 products presented during last year’s show, 211 new items were selected for inclusion in the commissary system on Oahu. With demonstrated success, local companies have the opportunity to expand to DeCA commissaries on the Mainland and in Southeast Asia.

Guests at the 2010 American Logistics Association Hawaii Show get a firsthand look at the latest products. Photo courtesy Sharon Zambo-Fan

Advance marketing classes prepare companies to work within the commissary system by educating attendees on how to meet DeCA requirements, how to navigate government paperwork and by sharing techniques on how best to market their products. The business-tobusiness show provides valuable marketing, sales and product packaging advice to business owners.

ALA Hawaii gives back to the military community, donating more than $20,000 (year to date) to the Wounded Warrior and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder programs in Hawaii. If interested in participating in the ALA Hawaii Food Show or in joining the American Logistics Association Hawaii, contact me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). com or visit


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