Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate is a working cacao farm located in gorgeous West Maui, Hawaii. 

From farm to bar, Gunars Valkirs, the founder of Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate, is dedicated to crafting high-quality and sustainable chocolate in his Lahaina chocolate factory. 

“We are passionate about giving back to the local community and as a for-profit company, in conjunction with our Corporate Partners, we are privileged to use 100% of our net profits to benefit local Maui charities and non-profit community organizations”. 

Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate grew extremely quickly since their launch in 2016, and Gunars has worked hard to scale their business and provide a high quality experience while remaining as sustainable as possible. 

The Challenge

Packaging is often a source for pollution with a lot of wasted materials ending up in landfills. 

Because Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate aims to give back to their local communities, it was important that their packaging reflected their devotion to sustainability. 

They knew they needed packaging that was not only eco-friendly, but also a reflection of the quality of their brand and products. 

However, as a chocolate company it’s important to consider food safe solutions, which can be limiting in choice of packaging. 

Initially interested in paper based packaging for its recyclability and versatility, rigid boxes seemed like the obvious choice for this brand as it not only reflects a higher perceived value, but also promotes reusability. 

Maui Ku’ia Chocolate contacted PakFactory back in 2019 and worked closely with Karen, a product specialist, to brainstorm ideas for their ideal packaging solution. 

The Solution

As previously mentioned, Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate were initially very interested in rigid box solutions for their unique chocolate products. 

Although rigid boxes are durable, high quality and reusable, Maui Ku’ia Chocolate quickly ran into logistical problems when planning for rigid boxes with Karen at PakFactory. 

Rigid boxes have a longer production time due to being handcrafted and shipping would have taken a longer time as they are shipped pre assembled. 

With this in mind, Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate established a newfound interest in tin packaging solutions to accommodate their unique chocolates. 

Tin packaging is extremely durable, high quality and can be reused over a very long period of time, with the potential of a refill service down the line. 

Karen at PakFactory and Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate worked closely and discussed the size, shape, edges and color of their tin boxes in depth in order to come up with their ideal tin box. 

Karen was able to establish a strong relationship with Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate and came to understand their brand in depth, allowing her to offer optimal support and guidance for their packaging journey. 

After many months of discussion, tweaks and improvements, Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate’s first sample order was placed in March 2021 and their first production order came in soon after in July 2021. 

The Result

Because Karen and Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate had worked closely together over a few months, there were very minimal changes made after their sample order came in. 

Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate were impressed with the quality and durability of the box and how effortlessly it showcased their branding. 

They were so sure of their packaging solution after working with their sample in person, that they had already placed their second order before their first order even arrived in August 2021. 

The tin packaging perfectly showcases the quality and uniqueness of their products while providing a high end unboxing experience for their customers. 

The tin packaging can be reused time and time again beyond just housing their delicious chocolate. 

Tin solutions like this are popularly used by consumers as home decor or to store small items like jewelry. 

It’s also extremely protective, easy to store, stack and restock, allowing for a strong shelf presence and easy distribution. 

example of Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate Packaging
Source: PakFactory

Because these tin boxes are already shipped pre-assembled, Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate has benefited from a smoother and time efficient supply chain process, allowing them to focus more of their brand efforts into giving back to the community and enhancing sustainability efforts. 

All in all, Maui Ku’ia Chocolate was able to really think outside of the box and opted for non-traditional chocolate packaging solutions to house their products. 

From innovative ideas followed a range of benefits to their business including boosted supply chain efficiency, packaging reusability and a strong and established brand presence. 

PakFactory continues to work closely with Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate with their 3rd order being placed in February 2022. 

It’s been a pleasure working with this unique chocolate brand, and we look forward to working with them to optimize and innovate more in the future.


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