Kings Hawaiian CEO Shares What’s in Their Cupboard with Menlo College Students

Kings Hawaiian CEO Shares What’s in Their Cupboard with Menlo College Students

King’s Hawaiian aired their first-ever Super Bowl ad during the 2017 championship game. The following day, the company’s CEO Mark Taira ‘76 and Executive Vice President John Linehan visited Menlo College to share the story of their business success with Menlo College students. King’s Hawaiian is America’s leading baker of sweet Hawaiian dinner rolls.

King’s Hawaiian revenues have grown almost seven fold since the development of their strategic plan in 2005, and the company is now the largest Hawaiian food company in the world. After implementing a new strategic plan, their company moved away from a “bread business” mentality to one of premium Hawaiian foods, including the recent introduction of their brand of Hawaiian barbecue sauce.

Linehan said, “We’re set to build a global food community, not just a brand.” Taira described how the family moved from their small town of Hilo to Honolulu, and later to California after working his father’s hand-made recipe into a mass-produced product.

Linehan explained that the business soared with a new strategic plan that defines their goals and puts all resources into getting there. The plan includes a mission, a vision, and strategic imperatives:

Our mission: “We deliver irresistible Hawaiian food with aloha spirit”
Our vision: “You have to have some progress stakes in the ground along the way”
Our strategic imperatives: “These are things that need to get done”

Since their strategic plan’s inception, the number of households who use the brand at least once a year has increased from about 6 million to about 36 million. As the Super Bowl ad suggests, King’s Hawaiian delicious rolls are so good, they don’t stay in the cupboard for long.