Hawaii Jerky Shop by DE.HI
Edna Ching | July 23 , 2020
Influenced by Hawaii’s snack culture, Jason Miyamoto, Elliot Lau and Justin Enright set out to put Hawaii on the map as an innovative snack destination. It all started in 2016 out of one of their apartments. Their mission was to create an iconic “Hawaiian Style Crispy Jerky.” They tried different cuts of meat, flavors, equipment and techniques. It took about four months of experimentation to achieve the right balance of crunch and seasoning that they were all proud of.
With a viable line of jerky, they were excited to enter Hawaii’s snack market. Jason, Elliot and Justin decided to launch their DE.HI Jerky brand at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet & Marketplace. While waking up at five in the morning was not particularly motivating, they were excited to share their products with locals and visitors. Each swap meet event gave them the opportunity to interact with people and gather immediate feedback.
Not too long after their swap meet showings, the company entered the retail space with chains like 7-Eleven Hawaii, Foodland and Safeway carrying DE.HI Jerky products. Jason, Elliot and Justin’s vision drove them further into the national snack market. Just like their humble beginnings at home, they showcased their line of products at tradeshows on the mainland. The response was positive with one potential buyer saying, “I’ve never had anything like this before.”
For their mainland launch, they rebranded their business to Hawaii Jerky Shop by DE.HI. They added “Hawaiian Style Crispy Jerky” on all their packaging because they wanted this style of jerky to be synonymous with Hawaii. They also made sure that they were competitively priced (in terms of price per gram of protein) with such national brands as Jack Links and Oberto. While they cannot utilize local beef, they remain true to their roots by using Aloha Shoyu for all of its recipes. And in less than four years, the three friends grew their business exponentially with their products available in over 2,400 stores in 19 states. They are currently in talks with other national chains with a potential of over 25,000 stores to carry the Hawaii Jerky Shop line.
Hawaii Jerky Shop jerky consists of four beef and two pork locally-inspired flavors along with human grade doggie treats for your four legged friend. Each serving of crispy beef jerky and crispy pork jerky provides at least 20 grams of protein. All of its products are USDA inspected. Innovation is what spurred their entry to the snack market. It continues to be a driver for new product development. Stay tuned for other additions like poultry, vegan solutions and other game meats in the near future.