January 22nd, 2015
Foodland launched its new weekly Eat Local Tuesdays program Jan. 20, with all Foodland Hawaii locations supporting the idea of buying local in support of farmers and a safe, sustainable food supply for Hawaii.
They will be making local products easier to find, tagging them with orange "locally grown" and "locally made" signs, and sharing samples from 3 to 6 p.m. or 4 to 7 p.m. depending on the store. Students from neighboring high schools will be offering free samples to customers, their participation made possible through a "Buy Local It Matters" Eat Local 2015 grant from the State Department of Agriculture.
The ultimate goal, said Jenai Wall, chairman and CEO of Foodland, is to motivate customers to eat local once a week.
"We realize that for most consumers, just a small part of their budget goes to locally produced food. Most of their money is spent on imported items. Eat Local Tuesdays is our way to rally the community to support local producers," she said.
The concept for the weekly program references Kanu Hawaii's annual Eat Local Challenge, which calls on the community to eat locally produced food exclusively for a month. But Wall makes the point that committing to such a long challenge might intimidate a great many eaters.
"It might have people unsure whether they can commit," she said. "If you ask for one day a week, you might be able to get all of us to do it."
Because local products often come from small producers, prices tend to be higher. But Wall said Foodland has reduced prices on all local items. These are flagged with orange price signs so shoppers can walk down aisles and easily spot Hawaii products, which are now included in every department.
Foodland invites customers to take the Eat Local Tuesdays pledge at checkout or online at Foodland.com and commit to eating local at least one day a week.
Customers who take the pledge will receive double Maika'i points on the local items they purchase on Tuesdays. In addition, each week there will be a Local Item of the Week offered at a reduced price. You can also sign up to receive weekly notice of the item, as well as recipes and information about the producer.
Also, on Tuesdays only, there will be a specially priced local deli offering and seafood poke offering. This week's items were a Hawaiian plate lunch of laulau, hulihuli chicken, lomi salmon and pineapple, for $8.99, and a lomi poke bowl of ahi tossed with lomi salmon and sea asparagus, for $10.99.
Jan. 27's Item of the Week is Love's Sweet Bread, at $3.99 when purchased with Maika'i Card, and there will be sampling of Hawaiian Sun Fruit Jams and Jellies, Big Island navel oranges, and Kauai's Anahola Granola.
For updates, follow @foodlandhi on Instagram and Twitter, and FoodlandHawaii on Facebook, and use the hashtag #EatLocalTuesdays.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser Food Editor Joleen Oshiro contributed to this report.
Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.