This posting is actually simply an update on today’s market price for Poi in Honolulu, but I decided to name it under “Costco Eats” since that’s where I usually buy my poi. Reason being, like many other food items sold in bulk, Costco is (usually) the cheapest on the island for poi.
Wait a minute, the “cheapest”? Well, the price of this 3.5 lb. bag of Taro Brand Poi at the Iwilei Costco was marked today at an AIG Bonus toppling $14.99 each. Man, this stuff is becoming more and more worth its weight in gold, I tell ya’.
It appears there’s currently no poi shortage, as there wasn’t any sign that said there was a limit. When there is a poi shortage, Costco only allows 1 bag per customer.
The Iwilei Costco didn’t carry the Taro Brand for a long time, since they had problems with customers literally fist-fighting over poi when there was a shortage. Whoah! Get this: someone swiped a bag from my mom’s shopping cart one time when she left it unattended at the Hawaii Kai Costco. The nerve!
Poi slowly crept up in price over the last couple of years, going quickly from $10.99 per 3.5 pound bag, to $13.99, to where it is now at $14.99 per bag.
Here’s the back of the bag, in case you wanna’ read the information provided on there…
I didn’t spot it on this visit, but Costco (both Hawaii Kai and Iwilei, not sure about the Kunia or Kapolei locations) used to stock the large bag of Hanalei brand poi, but I didn’t see it in the Iwilei store on this visit today. Only the Taro Brand.
When Costco did stock the Hanalei brand, it was even more expensive than Taro brand, going for over $20 per 3.5 lb. (or it could have been a little heavier than that) bag. Shamefully, I’ve never tried Hanalei brand as of this writing, but it looks like it’s much thicker than the taro brand, so it probably yields more poi than taro brand when done mixing water into it to thin it down. At least, that’s what I’m guessing.
One day I’ll do a “Poi Shootout”, pitting Taro Brand against Hanalei, and whatever other brands out there I can find. Safeway, of all places, had a Poi brand I never seen before, but I forget the name. I’ll pick one up next time.
As for inventory, Costco still had about two-and-a-half cardboard tray boxes full of Taro Brand Poi in stock when I grabbed my bag around 12 noon.
Reason I bought Poi is that I’ll be making a new batch of Big Island Style Smoked Meat a little later, so gotta’ get da’ poi fo’ go wit’ dat. You know da’ rules.
Whoo, dat’ buggah’ look so ono!
Again, current price for Taro Brand Poi at the Iwilei Costco in Honolulu is $14.99 per 3.5 pound bag.
If you know of any retail supermarket selling Poi cheaper than Costco’s current rate, let us know so we can raid your “stash”. lol
If you operate a luau catering business or restaurant, the best route (as you know) is to buy poi by super-duper bulk directly from the HPC factory near Sand Island. There they sell poi in HUGE 25 pound bags (wow laulau, that’s a lot of POI!) at an over-the-counter retail price currently at $3.75 per pound . Even cheaper if you have an account with them to buy wholesale, like some businesses do.
I don’t even wanna’ THINK what poi is selling for on the mainland. Please, you folks living up there, spare us the pain!
No matter what the cost, with certain foods, such as the Big Island Smoked Meat, gotta’ get poi. Just gotta’.