What is Macadamia?

Macadamia is a genus of four species of trees indigenous to Australia, and constituting part of the plant family Proteaceae. They are native to North Eastern New South Wales and Central and South-Eastern Queensland. Three species of the genus are commercially vital for their fruit, the macadamia. Other names consist of Queensland nut, bush nut, maroochi nut, bauple nut, and Hawaii nut. In Australian Aboriginal languages, the fruit is known by names such as bauple, gyndl, jindilli, and boombera. It was a crucial source of bushfood for the Aboriginal peoples who were the original inhabitants of the area.

Macadamia trees produce throughout their lives; however, they are slow-growing. The demand for the rich nuts has outstripped growers' ability to produce them. Consequently, growers in many other countries such as New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, Israel, Guatemala, Brazil, Mexico, and Costa Rica have begun planting masssive orchards. In the United States, California and Florida boast macadamia crops, along with Hawaii.

The nut was first commercially produced on a wide scale in Hawaii, where it was introduced in the 1880s, and for some time they remained the world's largest producer of macadamia. Since then South Africa has been the world's largest producer of the macadamia.

History of Macadamia

The macadamia nut was discovered by British colonists in Queensland, Australia, in 1857. Walter Hill, who was the Director of the Botany Garden in Brisbane, discovered one of the nuts, cracked it open using a vise, and planted the seed. This "first" macadamia nut tree that was planted by Hill is still growing and providing nuts, although ideally the trees only produce for about 70 years.

Hill had been traveling on a botanical expedition with Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, who is believed to be the father of Australian botany and who held the post of Royal Botanist in Melbourne at the time. He is credited with naming the tree after Scotsman John Macadam, a friend, physician, and member of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria. Mr. Macadam never ate the nut that is named after him because a shipboard injury led to his premature death en route to New Zealand.

The trees had long been popular for the native Australian aborigines who referred to the macadamia trees as kindal kindal and who feasted on the nuts in winter. The colonists brought the tree to their hearts and started learning the art to propagate it. The first known macadamia orchard comprised of 250 trees planted in 1890 on the Frederickson Estate in New South Wales, Australia. The tree was heavily cultivated and hybrids were cultivated from seeds and, more often, by grafting. Australia remains one of the world's major producers.

Migration of the macadamia to Hawaii can be credited to William Herbert Purvis who collected macadamia nuts near Mount Bauple in Queensland, Australia, and brought them to Hawaii's Big Island in 1882. He nurtured and took care of the imported nuts and planted them as seedlings in Kukuihaele, Hawaii. One of the original seedlings planted by Purvis is still growing and producing nuts.

Health and Nutritional Benefits of Macadamia

Macadamia nuts are an awesome source of iron, calcium, vitamin B, and phosphorus. Although they consist of 73-80% fat, the fat is monosaturated or "good" and as considerable as olive oil in many diets. Although macadamias have several healthful properties, their unusually rich flavor, crunch, and comingling with chocolate in a bounty of forms make them favorites among gourmets and snackers alike. Good taste is always in trend, so the future of the macadamia nut is expected to be promising indeed.

•    Rich in Nutrients

Macadamia nuts are calorie-rich nuts that are loaded with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Macadamia nuts are also rich in monounsaturated fats, a type of fat that is considered to boost heart health by lowering your total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. These nuts are low in carbohydrates and sugar and have a medium amount of fiber content. This combination allows them unlikely to spike your blood sugar levels, which may be especially beneficial for people with diabetes.

•    Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause cellular damage and increase your risk of conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease. Additionally, macadamia nuts boast some of the highest flavonoid levels of all tree nuts. This antioxidant fights inflammation and helps lower cholesterol. Furthermore, this nut has an abundance of tocotrienols, a form of vitamin E with antioxidant properties that may help decrease cholesterol levels. These compounds may even safeguard against cancer and brain diseases.

•    Reduces Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors, consisting of high blood sugar and cholesterol levels, which increases your risk of stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Research exhibits that macadamia nuts may protect against both metabolic syndromes and type 2 diabetes. For instance, one recent review linked diets rich in tree nuts, consisting of macadamia nuts, to reductions in fasting blood sugar levels. The diets consisted of in this review had people eat 1–3 ounces (28–84 grams) of tree nuts per day. They experienced substantially improved levels of hemoglobin A1C, a marker of long-term blood sugar control.

•    Providing anticancer properties

Macadamia nuts consist of flavonoids and tocotrienols, plant compounds that test-tube studies indicate may help fight or kill cancer cells. However, more research is still required.

•    Bolstering brain health

Test-tube and animal research exhibits that tocotrienols may also safeguard the brain cells from conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Human research is still required.

•    Amplifying your longevity

Regular intake of nuts, consisting of macadamia nuts, might help cut the risk of dying prematurely by around one-third.

Global Macadamia Market Outlook

According to a detailed report published by Growth Market Reports, The Global Macadamia Market was valued at around USD 2.26 Billion in 2019 and is anticipated to reach about USD 3.525 Billion by 2027, flourishing at a CAGR of approximately 6.3% during the forecast period.

Demand for raw macadamia nuts is high, as they are filled with fibers, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and healthy fats. As explained above consumption of these nuts helps protect the heart from cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndromes, and diabetes helps in improving gut health and helps in weight loss. The demand for macadamia oil is surging in the cosmetic industry too, as they help moisturize the hair and skin making them smooth. In the food & beverage industry, macadamia nuts are majorly utilized in dairy and confectionery products. Macadamia is consumed in several forms such as dry nuts, flour, chocolate covered nuts, salted nuts, and roasted nuts. They are considered to compliment savory and sweet foods, as they have a mellow flavor. The addition of these nuts is substantially surging in energy bars and cereals because of their health benefits and unique taste.

As per the Brain Loader, CEO Green & Gold Macadamia “The smooth and buttery texture of macadamias is unique, macadamias don't have a gritty mouth feel like other nuts. This means it complements chocolate, ice-cream, and the dough in baked goods very well.”

Complimenting Industries for the Market

Food and Beverage Industry

Macadamia nuts are given more preference by consumers because of their crunchy texture, versatility, and flavor. According to nutritional experts and doctors, a handful of macadamias prove to be beneficial if consumed in the daily diet, as they have a healthy nutrition profile. Furthermore, macadamias nuts are believed to have 68% to 79% oil content, which can be extracted from the kernels.

The oil from the macadamias is considered to be a natural source of palmitoleic acid (omega-7), which has cosmetic and nutritional properties. Macadamia nuts are utilized in desserts & ice-creams, main meals, breakfast topping, and snacks. These nuts can also be utilized as an ingredient in a variety of dishes such as casseroles, roasts, salads, ice cream, desserts, and cakes. Macadamia consists of a range of nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, fibers, antioxidants, and monounsaturated fats, which provides support in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and is beneficial in maintaining a healthy cholesterol level in the body. Consuming macadamias in snacks helps in the addition of essential nutrients in the diet.

Cosmetic Industry

A surge in demand for macadamia oil from the cosmetic industry is projected to drive the growth of the market. Macadamia oil offers nutrition to the hair and skin, which boosts its utilization in the manufacturing of natural and organic cosmetic products. The oil has high oleic and palmitoleic acid content, which makes it ideal for making sun care creams, body lotions, and anti-aging creams.

What are the Macadamia Market drivers?

Consumers are substantially demanding healthy fats, which are considered to be a long-term shift observed in the food industry. Manufacturers are continuously planning to make effective investments in boosting macadamia as a crucial ingredient in the production of confectionery items such as biscuits and sweets to cater to the developing need for healthier foods. Macadamia is increasingly being used in desserts, cookies, chocolates, cakes, and several other confectionery products as it is highly nutritive.

People are becoming busier in their lives; therefore, the demand for healthy, convenient, and fast-food options is rising exponentially. The ‘snackification’ of nuts has now become a new trend among consumers. Companies are indulging in product innovations within this sector to make sophisticated and niche products, such as cheese, yogurts, and nut butter, to cater to the demand for healthy and tasty snacks by busy and conscious consumers. Macadamia nuts are believed to be ideal snacks to boost metabolism, fight disease, and support heart health. It contains a high amount of flavonoids that converts antioxidants in the body, thus decreasing the risk of heart diseases. Hence, the demand for macadamia nuts is projected to bolster in the near future.

Market Segment Analysis

On the basis of forms, the macadamia market has been segmented into raw macadamia, processed macadamia, and macadamia oil. The raw macadamia segment is projected to hold a substantial share of the market during the forecast period as raw nuts offer health benefits and people are becoming more health-conscious now. Raw macadamia contains high fats; however, 80% of this fat is monounsaturated, which does not affect health. The macadamia nuts are also rich in magnesium, calcium, antioxidants, vitamin E, potassium, phosphorous, and is low in carbohydrates. These nuts are utilized for boosting the level of good cholesterol (HDL-C) and for decreasing bad cholesterol; this segment is projected to expand at a CAGR of over 6% during the forecast period.

In terms of applications, the macadamia market is fragmented into the food and beverage industry and cosmetics and personal care industry. The food and beverage industry segment is anticipated to constitute over 80% of the market share in 2027, as a majority of macadamia nuts are utilized in the food and beverage industry. The cosmetics and personal care industry segment is projected to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period.

Regional Outlook for the Market

In terms of regions, the market has been divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and Middle East & Africa. North America is expected to be a promising region for the market. It constituted a market share of more than 25% in 2020. The market in the region is anticipated to flourish at a substantial CAGR during the forecast period.

Asia Pacific is expected to lead the global market, accounting for around 33% of market share by the end of the forecast period. The growth of the macadamia market is attributed to factors such as a rise in the consumption of dried fruits & nuts and an increase in awareness regarding a healthy diet in countries such as India, Japan, and China. The vegan population is swiftly rising in this region; therefore, companies are rolling out creative vegan products, which in turn, are projected to fuel the macadamia market in the region.

Australia is another fastest growing market for Macadamias. The production of macadamia in Australia was about 14,800 metric tons in 2018. The Australian macadamia crop has developed at a linear pace since 2015, driven majorly due to sustained investment in productivity improvements; therefore, doubling the export tree nuts since 2013. The expansion has been registered in 2018 across all developing regions, consisting of relatively newer areas such as Emerald north of Bundaberg and Yamba south of Ballina which has propelled the growth of production of macadamia nuts in the country. As per the Australian Macadamia Society, currently, the industry has about 6 million trees spread across an area of 16,000 hectares varying in tree ages, with approximately 850 macadamia growers that run the production of macadamia nuts in Australia. According to the Australian Macadamia Society, the country has about 70% of the world macadamia production is and it has also been actively involved in the trade of the crop by exporting them to over 40 countries, worldwide. The transforming consumer preferences towards nutritious diets integrated with the surging importance of macadamia nut in the international markets is expected to drive the market for macadamias in the domestic market.

Insights about Prominent Market Players

Key players in the market consist of Macadamia Nut Company, MacFarms, LLC, Hawaiian Host, Inc., Kenya Nut Company Ltd, Marquis Macadamia, Ivory Macadamias, Golden Macadamias, Eastern Produce., NAMBUCCA MACNUTS Pty Ltd., and Wondaree Macadamia Nuts. These companies are included in this list of key manufacturers of Macadamia based on their revenue, research & development (R&D) activities, regional presence, and supply chain management system.

The players are using key strategies such as new product launch, and geographical expansion where a potential opportunity for the macadamia extraction is added in the company’s capacity.

  • In 2019, MacFarms, LLC rolled out the Macadamia Nut Snacks product line. This supported the company to bolster its product portfolio in the global macadamia market.
  • In 2018, Marquis has 50% interest in the joint venture entity Macadamia Marketing International Pty. Ltd. which helped the former company to boost its market share and add product portfolio of macadamia. Also, it constitutes 37% interest in Pacific Gold Macadamias Pty. Ltd.