According to research released by the Australian macadamia industry and conducted globally on consumers, 80% of individuals look for foods/ingredients that contain nutrients to support immunity, 79% look for foods that contain fiber to promote gut health, 72% look for foods rich in healthy fats, and 72% look for nutrients that support brain power. This research aligns with the continued growth of the functional food market, and manufacturers need for products that provide health, versatility, taste, and indulgence.
According to Dave Rosenberg, Food Category Manager at NOW® Foods, a family-owned and top-selling brand, “As a wellness company, nutritious, functional foods have always been a core component of our Food line. We offer a variety of inherently functional natural and organic products including grains, seeds, nuts, oils, teas, and zero-calorie sweeteners. Our mission is to help empower people to live healthier lives, and we believe eating the proper foods is an excellent way to do that.”
Three out of four Americans are already aware of macadamias, but conversion to purchase is only at 20%, which is behind other nuts. This is where opportunity lies. “Macadamias have become one of the top-selling items in our extensive line of nuts and seeds,” continues Rosenberg. “Throughout the years their popularity has grown as they have become well accepted in the keto and paleo diets. Our delicious Dry Roasted & Sea Salted Macadamia and Raw Unsalted Macadamia nuts are frequently consumed as a snack, but they’ve also become popular in a variety of dishes. Consumers have rediscovered their kitchens throughout the last few years and have become increasingly interested in adding healthy ingredients to their dishes that add flavor, texture, fiber, and protein. Macadamias offer all of that and more.”
Australian grown macadamias are versatile in application, and nutrient-rich. “Macadamias contain nutrients that support immunity, the brain, and the gut to help with overall mood and well-being, plus they can promote heart health and reduce risks of heart disease. In fact, macadamias are the number one nut source of monounsaturated fats, which help support a healthy heart,” says Cynthia Sass, nationally known plant-based performance registered dietitian nutritionist.’ “With mental well-being and heart heath being top consumer areas of concern, brands that can incorporate these benefits into existing or new products will have a competitive advantage,” continues Sass.
Macadamias are suited to many aisles in the supermarket. “Australian macadamias have been embraced by ice cream, chocolate confectionery, bakery, spreads and snacking brands and are a key ingredient in many iconic products within these categories globally. More recently, they have really made a mark in the dairy alternatives space, mainly due to the nut’s ability to produce deliciously creamy dairy-free milk that pairs well with coffee, in smoothies, in cereal or enjoyed with added flavors such as chocolate,” says Jacqui Price, Australian Macadamias Market Development Manager. Rosenberg adds that, “Snacks appear to be the most popular usage occasion for our tasty macadamia nuts. It’s a great way to quickly add some energizing calories during the day as well as offer a very rich flavor and a satisfying amount of protein and fiber.”
Additionally, according to the Australian macadamia industry research, 73% of US respondents believe macadamias are a rich and delicious health food that supports a plant-based diet. “Macadamia nuts are a great fit for a plant-based or vegan diet. They add protein and fat and are a great fit for an overall healthy diet. They pair well with other nuts to add important nutrients as well as offer a satisfying, robust taste,” says Rosenberg.
Macadamias deliver on consumer desire for foods/ingredients that support emotional needs too, with the Australian industry research revealing that macadamias can evoke an emotion of specialness like no other nut. “With macadamias, consumers can enjoy the feeling of spoiling themselves while knowing they are also supporting their well-being. This guilt-free indulgence is a truly unique position, occupied almost exclusively by macadamias,” says Price.
Overall, macadamias deliver on the functional and emotive benefits that appeal to consumers, and in turn, have the potential to contribute to the success of food brands that are innovating in line with the needs of today’s consumer. “As an industry, we would like to challenge food brands to be even more innovative with macadamias, particularly given our processing sector’s capabilities to supply macadamias in a wide range of formats suited to a variety of commercial requirements,” says Price. “We are excited to see how US manufacturers can share the specialness of Australian macadamia nuts with Americans.”
About Australian Macadamias
Australia is the world’s major producer of macadamia kernel and macadamias are Australia’s fourth largest horticultural export. There are approximately 800 growers producing more than 46,000 tonnes* per year, with 75% of the crop exported to more than 40 countries.
* A tonne is equal to 1,000 kilograms and is approximately 2,204.6 pounds.
About Australian Macadamia Industry Research
In late 2020, Australian Macadamias commissioned research based on 6,014 individual surveys with consumers in Australia, China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the USA. Conducted by the Singapore regional office of independent research agency Kantar, the research was conducted between August and October 2020, and findings delivered in December 2020.
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