HONOLULU — King’s Hawaiian, the family-owned bakery and restaurant company, is acquiring Shaka Tea, a Hilo, Hawaii-based beverage brand. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 2016, Shaka Tea sources māmaki leaves, a plant found only in the Hawaiian Islands, directly from local farmers at premium prices. Planting māmaki helps restore native ecosystems, according to the company, and the crop may be harvested year-round, which benefits the local economy. The bottled beverages also contain other locally grown ingredients such as ʻōlena, Hawaiian turmeric. Flavors include pineapple mint, mango hibiscus, guava gingerblossom and lemon lokelani. Products are sold nationwide and in Japan.
Following completion of the transaction, Shaka Tea employees and management team will remain at headquarters in Hilo. Co-founders Bella Hughes and Harrison Rice will become head of mission and innovation and president, respectively.
“Shaka Tea represents a blueprint of how to cultivate a successful business while honoring sustainable growing practices and bringing a great tasting, unique, and superior wellness product to people around the world,” said Mark Taira, chief executive officer of King’s Hawaiian, “It’s taken 70 years to build King’s Hawaiian into what it is today, and we’re beyond excited to share what we’ve learned and to be able to support the growth of the next generation of food brands from Hawaii.”
King’s Hawaiian, known for its sweet rolls and other baked foods, was founded in 1950. This partnership demonstrates its commitment to Hawaii brands and opens opportunities for future Hawaiian food and beverage collaborations, according to the company.