Reed Travel Features
HONOLULU -- If sugar was king when it was the top industry, then
pineapple was queen.
Pineapple, though, has gone much the same way as sugar, a
casualty of high costs, although there have been no plantation
closures during the past several years.
It remains Hawaii's second biggest agricultural product,
bringing in $80 million a year, as compared with sugar's $150
It is the largest fruit product for Oahu and Maui (on the Big
Island, it ranks behind papaya).
Pineapple didn't really get going until James Dole came to town
He began growing pineapple on Oahu's central plain, expanded the
acreage, canned and exported it, in the process making Hawaiian
In the early 1920s, he bought most of the island of Lanai,
making it into the world's biggest pineapple plantation.
Dole Food Co. ended pineapple production on the Pineapple Island
By then it was into resorts -- its two luxury Lanai hotels --
Manele Bay Hotel and the Lodge at Koele had opened.
Dole Cannery, the last of Oahu's three pineapple canneries, also
closed in 1992, and Dole's pineapple acreage in central Oahu
The cannery became a Hawaiian products pineapple-themed shopping
center, which now is being expanded with factory outlet stores.
Dole Food Co. still has 5,500 acres planted in pineapple in
central Oahu and exports the product as fresh fruit. It also
maintains the Dole Plantation visitor attraction there.
Del Monte Fresh Produce continues to have almost 10,000 acres in
pineapple in central Oahu.
Against the trend, it added 600 pineapple acres in the past two
year and is seeking to expand on former sugar cane land.
On Maui, Maui Land and Pine (owner of West Maui's 1,500-acre
Kapalua Resort) grows pineapple in both west and central Maui and
operates Hawaii's last pineapple cannery.