Access all areas: meet the company bringing macadamia innovation to more aisles of the supermarket

When it comes to developing delicious retail products with macadamias, Nutworks has cemented itself as a leader. Having entered the Australian macadamia industry in the mid-1990s, Nutworks has achieved success manufacturing and retailing its value-added macadamias thanks to the popularity of its online store and bricks and mortar retail outlet on the Sunshine Coast – one of Australia’s macadamia growing regions.

Nutworks has just launched an impressive line-up of new retail products into Australian grocery channels, with interest ramping up in Asia too. Inspired by the company’s best-selling flavours and formats, its freshly designed portfolio of macadamia products covers premium and everyday snacking, confectionery, muesli, oil and baking ingredients, making it easier than ever for consumers to include multiple macadamia products in their regular grocery shop.

Greater clarity and choice for consumers

Australia’s macadamia industry is committed to innovation driven by a deep understanding of consumer needs, and the Nutworks launch illustrates this perfectly. The brand’s International Sales Manager Sarah Leonard says the new ranges were developed with the consumer, and how they shop, in mind.

“We wanted to provide a level of choice and clarity in our macadamia offerings that haven’t been seen in major supermarkets before,” she said. “Our products make it easy for shoppers to find something they love, regardless of their budget, entry point or macadamia preferences.” 

The company’s premium offering is available under the umbrella brand By Nutworks, with five sub-brands making up the range.

Gourmet By Nutworks is a premium snack range featuring superior grade macadamia kernel paired with a host of unique flavours such as Manuka Honey, Maple Pancake and Crunchy Hickory.

Indulge By Nutworks takes the classic macadamia and chocolate combination to new heights. Premium whole macadamias are encased in milk or dark chocolate with decadent flavour variants including Lamington Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Salted Chilli and Cookies & Cream.

Confectionery By Nutworks caters to consumers seeking an elevated confectionery offering such as Macadamia Brittle, Macadamia Rocky Road or Macadamia Caramel Fudge. “This is for people who want something beyond a basic sweet treat,” says Sarah. “It’s a really sophisticated, handcrafted confectionery range.”

Nourish By Nutworks is for the whole-foods fan with nutritious toasted muesli and raw macadamias on offer. “Consumers know macadamias offer compelling health benefits. The Nourish range was created for the health-conscious shopper who wants their macadamias raw or oven roasted,” says Sarah.

And finally, Chefs Pantry By Nutworks is a range dedicated to the home chef. “The at-home chef wants to emulate what they see gourmet chefs doing, whether that’s using macadamia pieces in a salad or baked goods, drizzling macadamia oil in a dressing or using macadamia butter in gelato. All these macadamia formats are available in foodservice channels, and we want them to be readily available on supermarket shelves for consumers to enjoy too.”

Nutty By Nature: a new concept in macadamia snacking

Nutworks has also created a value snacking brand called Nutty By Nature that features macadamias in a way not previously seen in the snacking category.

While macadamias aren’t new to snack products, they’re usually mixed with other nut varieties. Pure macadamia snack products are rarer, and where Nutty By Nature changes the game is by featuring smaller bite-sized macadamia halves, rather than large halves or whole kernel.

“Smaller style macadamia pieces are often overlooked for other purposes due to their size,” says Sarah. “But they still massively deliver on quality in terms of taste and texture. What hasn’t been recognised in the past is that these smaller pieces are actually super snackable, and that’s where Nutty By Nature comes in.”

The Nutty By Nature range comprises four popular flavour variants – Roast Salt, Salted Chilli, Rosemary & Sea Salt, and Roasted Garlic. Available in bulk 350-gram packs, every macadamia chip is coated in delicious natural flavour making it a snack that really packs a punch.

“Because the pieces are smaller, the flavour is more concentrated which makes for a highly satisfying snacking experience,” explains Sarah. “People tend to snack with their hands, whether that’s chips, wasabi peas or nut mixes. Nutty by Nature is perfect for that – you can pour a handful, shoot them back and enjoy the flavour profile that hits your mouth. They’re so tasty. And the larger pack size makes them economical and perfect for sharing.”

NielsenIQ1 recently revealed that food and grocery prices are now the top concern for 40% of consumers, up from 34% in mid 2022 and a recessionary mindset is prompting many people to scrutinise their spending more closely. FMCG Gurus2 agrees, saying 2023 will be defined as a year of financial uncertainty in which “affordable indulgences for reward and escapism purposes will be popular.” Sarah Leonard says the Nutty By Nature launch aligns with this consumer sentiment.

“By using our smaller style kernel, we’re giving consumers a way to experience an amazing tasting premium snack with all the health benefits of macadamias at a value price,” she says. “Nutty By Nature gives retailers the opportunity to be part of this category development story,” says Sarah.

The importance of Australian origin

Australian macadamia industry research highlights the value consumers place on ingredient origin, with 82% saying origin is important to them when purchasing macadamia nuts. It also revealed how highly Australian origin is regarded, with 90% of Australian consumers and more than 50% of consumers surveyed across Asia and the US ranking Australia as one of the most appealing macadamia origins3.

The Australian origin of the macadamias used in all Nutworks products is an important component of the purity and quality story of its brands.

“Australia is the natural home of the macadamia, and many Australian consumers recognise that. They love the exceptional creamy texture and taste that Australian grown delivers and they enjoy it for any occasion, whether that’s everyday eating or a special moment,” says Sarah.

“The desire for Australian grown products in our domestic market is stronger since the pandemic. It has become part of people’s shopping experience to find food that is grown here. Parochial support for our growers is part of this, but we have taken it even further by having our new brand and packaging developed on the Sunshine Coast, with our packs also manufactured in Australia. We’re proud to present the full Australian package to the world.”

In terms of export markets, Sarah says Australian origin adds cues of quality, freshness and reliability in the eyes of consumers. “When a product is Australian grown, it’s automatically implied that it’s premium quality which is a great base to start from. The unique flavours of our products then add another layer on top of this.”

Future plans

While Australia is the current focus of Nutworks’ latest launch, interest is emerging from overseas too.

“We supplied a major retailer in Hong Kong with By Nutworks products for Chinese New Year, and they have since reordered. The Chinese market loves sophisticated and beautifully packaged products like these. It’s really encouraging, and we have plans for further expansion into Asia,” reveals Sarah.

New flavours also figure heavily in Nutworks’ innovation pipeline. “Our research shows people really like different and unique flavours. You have to offer the favourite staples, but trying new combinations is so important. Once we roll out these initial offerings we will be driving new flavour opportunities hard both within Australia and internationally.”

Congratulations to the Nutworks team on the launch. We look forward to watching the continued success of this innovative Australian retail brand.

1 NielsenIQ NIQ 2023 Consumer Outlook Survey
2 FMCG Gurus, Top Ten Trends for 2023, January 2023
3 Australian Macadamias quantitative consumer research based on 6014 individual surveys with consumers in Australia, China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and the USA. Conducted by the Singapore independent research agency Kantar, August – October 2020.

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