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Are King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls Really Made in Hawaii?

That’s the issue raised in a new lawsuit filed by two consumers who said they were misled into believing that King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls were manufactured in Hawaii.


King's Hawaiian

These rolls were first made in Hawaii in the 1950s, and eventually they became so popular that tourists would take them back home, or those on the mainland with friends in Hawaii would ask them to send some.

The consumers who have filed the lawsuit say that it was not only the packaging that gave them the impression that these buns came from Hilo, Hawaii, but language on the website that says the company will send the product to the “mainland” (continental US) for free:

King's mainland claim

There are many local and national brand knockoffs of King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls but these consumers paid a premium price which they would not have done but for the fact that they thought they were getting the real thing from Hawaii.

All is not totally sunny in this case for the plaintiffs, however. There is nothing explicitly on the package or on the website that says these buns are “made in Hawaii.” In fact, when reading the history of the company on their website or looking at the back of the package, one learns that their bakery is in Torrance, California.

So, how do you think a judge will rule? Will he or she side with the consumers or declare their claims to be half-baked?

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20 thoughts on “Are King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls Really Made in Hawaii?”

  1. Geesh, I hope the judge sends them packing and gives a strong reprimand to the lawyer that even agreed to represent this frivolous case.

  2. I just found out my favorite French fries don’t come from France. My disappointment only grew when I learned my English muffins aren’t from England. I used to eat Canadian bacon until I discovered it doesn’t come from Canada. The biggest let-down is the Turkish Taffy I loved when I was a kid didn’t come from Turkey. And now this.

  3. Well based on the About us page on the official King’s Hawaiian website they have more than even have a production facility in Oakwood, Georgia.

    I say the lawsuit is junk.

  4. I’d guess that the plaintiffs are S.O.L. (___ out of Law.) “Free Mainland Shipping” has no qualifier, such as “to” or “within.” I can guess the implication King’s was trying to convey, but guesses aren’t a basis for a lawsuit, IMO.

  5. I live in Hawaii and this comes up on occasion.
    The thought here is the term “Hawaiian” means it comes from Hawaii.
    The manufacturer should refer to the rolls as Hawaiian “style” indicating they are “like” or made in the same way as something made in Hawaii.

    There are issues about “Kona” coffee not actually coming from Kona or a “blend” of Kona coffee and something else.

    • If you buy the Hawaiian rolls in your state, are they ‘imported’ from the mainland? Or is there a ‘domestic’ version just for Hawaii?

  6. This lawsuit has greed written all over it. There’s no case here. They’re not even trying to say it is made in Hawaii.

  7. Why,…aren’t all Hawaiian shirts made in Hawaii? Isn’t all Hawiian music made in Hawaii? And, if they have sewage sludge there, why can’t they sell that as Hawaii-Organite (like Milwaukee calls their stuff, Milorganite).

  8. I can understand the confusion, as there are no disclaimers.

    But at the same time, I do feel like the term “Hawaiian Sweet Rolls” has become a generic term for small, sweet bread rolls much like English Muffins or French Toast have become generic terms for their associated products.

    (The funny part is I actually dislike this common practice. If it wasn’t made in England, it isn’t an English muffin now is it?)

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