Hawaii’s supply chain rebounds as some products remain pricey

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Supply chain issues are ongoing nationwide and some things are still hard to find on local shelves.

It is also affecting businesses – but some are seeing an improvement.

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Supply chain issues have affected many industries in Hawaii. For restaurants, the owner of Kuhio Ave Food Hall said ingredients weren’t the main issue.

“I’m thinking in particular of take-out packaging,” Mike Palmer said. “There seems to be a shortage because in January we brought in the new laws for all restaurants, for take-out everything is no longer plastic.”

“You talk about utensils, forks, takeout containers for food, bags, straws.”

Mike Palmer, owner of Kuhio Ave Food Hall

The price is also a burden. A delivery of take-out items came with an invoice for $1,300.

“A lot of people can’t believe this,” Palmer said, “but recyclables are triple or quadruple what plastic was until Costco.”

Another problem is repairs. Two of Kuhio Ave Food Hall’s slush machines have been waiting for parts for months, but backlogs continue to push the schedule.

“It’s just a system-wide problem that everyone is dealing with right now, like microchips, right? A few months ago,” Palmer said.

Chip supply remains an issue for some. Easy Music Center said speakers and some DJ sets have been hard to come by, but they’re noticing positive trends.

“In some ways, we have more stock than we’ve ever had. There are a few holes in the DJ and powered speakers, but right now it’s all starting to happen and we’re just swimming in stock right now.

Peter Dods, owner of Easy Music Center

D. Otani produced said there was a scare with Avocados from Mexico recently, but it was short-lived and local producers are bouncing back.

“Local farmers, local products are starting to get back to business and getting back into shape, so everything looks good,” said produce buyer Kimo Muraki.

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“I think making consumers understand what restaurants are going through with the supply chain and just understanding when we’re running out of something,” Palmer said, “isn’t because mismanagement, it’s because these are things that are out of our hands, out of our control right now.

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