The historic magnitude of 2020 has reshaped our lives at work and at home. Our amazing team at Harders Hawaii / Island Maid adapted quickly to the shifting needs of our customers and unforeseen changes in the supply chain. Despite these challenges, we have continued to deliver high-quality products to our customers in a safe manner, strengthen relationships within our community, and develop innovative products.
In March of 2020 we introduced the Harders 4 pack. This direct-to-consumer product gave our customers a way to enjoy a variety of our syrup flavors, in smaller sizes, with the convenience of free US shipping. This new product required a major and rapid gear shift from the bottom up: designing new packaging, upgrading our labeling system, implementing a more robust online ordering system, and negotiating better shipping rates for both our neighbor island and mainland customers. Our resilience has seen an increase in Harders sales over the last 6 months. Added to this, our consistent and family-oriented engagement on social media, and frequent collaborations with local artists and social media influencers, have kept the Harders brand relevant and top-of-mind from keiki to kupuna. Having this direct connection with our customers through our products and social media has proven to be very successful.
As we evolved our consumer products and services, Harders continued to be responsive to the shifting needs of our business partners in Hawaii. We have teamed up with several local distilleries to provide much-needed plastic gallon bottles for their production of hand sanitizer for the islands. With all of our gallon bottles manufactured at our Waipahu factory, we were able to meet the demand needed by our partners during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keeping a delicate balance of honoring our classics and innovating exciting and new products has always been important to our core values. 2020 has given us an opportunity to showcase this with the rollout of four Hawaii inspired Slurpee flavors at all 7-Eleven Hawaii retail locations. These four flavors include Passion Orange, Passion Orange Guava, Green River, and Li-Hing Gummy Bear. With every introduction of a new Slurpee flavor, we reach out to local artists to design the nameplate for that flavor. With 7-Eleven Hawaii’s 60+ stores statewide, this allows local artists a unique platform to showcase their artwork. We are excited to work with other local artists as we introduce more unique Slurpee flavors in the future.
Although this year brought many challenges, we could not have done it without the immense dedication of our team and the support from our community. The many lessons learned during 2020 has made our team much more able and determined to navigate the road ahead in 2021.