The National Favorite, King’s Hawaiian, Scaling Nationwide with BluePlanner


After what can only be described as a challenging summer of 2020, here we are on the brink of summer 2021. As establishments open, and social activities safely resume, being outdoors and re-connecting with friends and families are on the horizon. Bring on the barbecues, picnics, and enjoying great food outdoors.  

A staple and often the brand specific product on the grocery list for any summer occasion is King’s Hawaiian rolls and breads. Whether it’s the best bread for a pulled pork sandwich, or a summer berry studded bread pudding, or toasted with some fresh butter, King’s Hawaiian is consistently top of mind all year and especially all summer long.  

1950 to 2000

Going back to the 1950s, King’s Hawaiian Roll was founded in Hilo, Hawaii by founder Robert Taira who, born of Japanese immigrants, opened his first bakery after completing first in class at a local baking school. A testament to how good the product and recipe was, the sweet rolls rarely made it home, and thus a company, a legacy, and new category of baked goods was born.  

Fast forward to 2020, and King’s Hawaiian Bakery is celebrating 70 years as a business, running a SuperBowl commercial, a “type of sandwich” at Arby’s restaurants, and carried at every major grocery store nationwide.  

BluePlanner, Meet Bakery…. King’s Hawaiian Bakery 

So let’s take this back a few years, to 2013 as King’s Hawaiian was achieving national recognition as the leading  sweet roll in the United States. Adjusting to this growth led to King’s Hawaiian becoming UpClear’s third US Client as BluePlanner was becoming a standard platform for trade promotion management and optimization.

Since then, King’s Hawaiian has continued to reach new heights in terms of distribution, revenue, and brand recognition, and UpClear has increased their revenue by over five times. It is a testament to entrepreneurship, leadership, and identifying the optimal solutions and best practices to create efficiency in complex processes such as trade spend, integrated business planning, and strategic RGM.

What’s Going on in 2021

Over time, King’s Hawaiian Bakery has added capabilities to support the continued optimization of their trade promotion processes. These capabilities have included POS based planning, and the current focus involves multiple initiatives that are possible due to Blueplanner’s build to be flexible and scalable. It goes back to the core intent of the product, which is to be able to support a brand at any stage of growth.

“We’ve partnered with UpClear for years now, and know them well. It’s been rewarding to see both our business grow and evolve. Managing and optimizing trade is always a challenge, and this especially as we became a national brand. There are many projects to continue to scale up together.” – Ray Fager, VP Sales

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