Nuts for nuts: Market value for macadamias grows by 72 percent


18 Jul 2018 --- Nuts and their health benefits are widely understood. Green & Gold Macadamias has reported a 60 percent rise in global tree nut consumption, which is a testament to the fact that people are eating more and more of them. As a result of this, the market value for macadamias is up by 72 percent, according to Green & Gold Macadamias, who believe that macadamias will be seen more predominantly in milk, butters, nut-based beverages and vegan cheeses, as well as a host of other new products.

According to Innova Market Insights, macadamia nut applications are promising and the market analyst highlights that cereal and energy bars are the fastest growing categories using macadamia nuts as an ingredient. Growth in the number of new F&B launches tracked with macadamia nuts has grown 6 percent CAGR (2013-2017).

Unique for their taste and health benefits, growth in demand for macadamias has been outstanding and 112 percent more macadamias have been exported around the world over the last ten years, according to Green & Gold Macadamias.

Click to Enlarge
Brian Loader,
CEO Green & Gold Macadamias

“With a better handle on the distinct qualities of macadamias, together with a collective consciousness from consumers and our customers, we have experienced burgeoning appetite in all markets around the globe. And this is exciting for our business,” says Brian Loader, CEO of Green & Gold Macadamias. 

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Loader explains: “The smooth and buttery texture of macadamias is entirely unique – macadamias don't have a gritty mouthfeel like other nuts. This means it complements chocolate, ice-cream and the dough in baked goods very well. The nut also has some unique health benefits like zero cholesterol, being the highest in monounsaturated fat and omega 7.” 

“Macadamias have a wide range of applications and our customers are open to and interested in developing new products with macadamias. We have seen strong growth in the ice-cream sectors in Europe, chocolate in Japan and baked goods in the US,” he notes. “There are also opportunities for macadamia milk as plant-based dairy alternatives – macadamias work very well due to their high fat and oil content.”

Originating from northeastern Australia and first commercialized in Hawaii, they represent only 1 percent of the tree nut collective. This has tended to position the nut as a delicacy. With huge expansion in available supply, this looks set to change. 

Currently, almonds represent 30 percent, walnuts 21 percent, cashews 19 percent, pistachios 14 percent, hazels 12 percent, pecans 3 percent, macadamias 1 percent and brazils and pines less than 1 percent of the tree nut basket.

Growing from a relatively small base, the challenge has been to reap enough industry mass to bring to the fore what makes macadamias so superior. 

Recent research demonstrates that macadamias are, amongst others: Click to Enlarge
• Highest levels of monounsaturated fat of all nuts
• High in omega 7
• High in Palmitoleic Acid, well known to the cosmetic industry, is an anti-aging agent 
• Beneficial to weight control and endothelial function 
• Help with insulin regulation, cholesterol and cardiovascular health

“As trends like veganism, eating organic and preserving the environment continue to gain momentum we anticipate further expansion of the macadamia industry. This is especially prevalent in the ingredients sector. Green & Gold is well positioned not only to sell products of the highest standard but also customize to specifications and give input into and share insights with our customers,” continues Loader. 

Macadamia oil is sold mostly into the cosmetic industry for its value to the beauty industry and anti-aging properties, however increasingly it’s being used in cooking (together with avocado oil, it has the highest smoke point of all oils) and other food applications. 

Largest consumers of macadamia kernel are Australia and North America, which together make roughly 50 percent. Followed by Europe, notably the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Switzerland and Spain. In Asia, and especially China, the nut is eaten in the shell, and this market consumes the vast majority of in-shell products. 

“We are gearing our business to continue to support this market and have a strong base of loyal customers. Our longevity in the industry affords deep market knowledge. Our network of processors, in a number of major growing regions, enables agility and supply security to respond to market demands,” notes Loader. Click to Enlarge

The global crop is set to double over the next four years from 211,000 mt tons in-shell in 2018 to 400,000 in 2022. South Africa is the world leader in macadamia production with 54,000 mt tons in-shell produced this year. Followed by Australia at 44,500 and Kenya at 32,500. 

“There are large plantings taking place across Africa, South America and Australia. We have processing partner facilities in these regions and so are well positioned to ensure our growth can match our customer’s future increased demand. The global crop is likely to increase by at least 50 percent over the next five years making supply constancy a lot easier to support new product development projects. Macadamias in many regions rely on rainfall only, so they are not a drain water. The industry has also been shown to be carbon neutral as the trees offset the carbon emissions needed to process and transport the nut,” he concludes. 

By Elizabeth Green

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