There’s no denying that a lot transpired in 2022. There were plenty of sobering moments with extreme weather events, war, and rising inflationary pressures, accompanied by the continued emergence of new covid strains. Fortunately there were bright moments too, with people reunited thanks to easing international travel restrictions, and the excitement delivered by the FIFA World Cup.
In terms of Australia’s macadamia industry, it was a year that delivered some of our worst-ever floods in major growing regions in the Northern Rivers and southeast Queensland. Thankfully this became a story of incredible recovery and resilience when, despite substantial losses and damage, growers returned to their orchards to continue harvesting, delivering a final Australian crop that was higher than anticipated.
Throughout it all we brought you stories that covered everything from consumer insights and promotion updates to innovation news and industry events.
In case you missed any of it, here’s a recap of the top 5 stories from 2022.
#1: WILD MACADAMIA CONSERVATION IN THE SPOTLIGHT
It’s a little known fact that macadamias are native to Australia. They first originated in the rainforests of the east coast 60 million years ago and Australia is the only country in the world where macadamias grow wild. However all four species of wild macadamias are under threat, and conserving their genetic diversity plays an important role in securing the future of the macadamia industry. Australian macadamia pioneer Ian McConachie and his efforts to conserve these endangered wild species were the focus of a new video campaign in 2022, forming part of the Macadamia Change Makers series. It was produced to educate consumers about Australia as the origin of macadamias and why protecting the few macadamias left in the wild is so important to the future of the global commercial industry.
#2: THE MOST EXCITING MACADAMIA PRODUCT INNOVATIONS OF 2022
It’s always fascinating to review the new products featuring macadamias that we’ve unearthed throughout the year, and 2022 was no exception. While the pandemic and all its related disruptions caused a general slowdown in product development, the quality of the new products we saw enter the market remained high, serving as a reminder of the premium cues macadamias can bring to a product, and their versatility across flavour profiles, product categories and markets. In this story we showcase the products that caught our eye in 2022.
#3: MACADAMIAS FLIP THE SCRIPT ON FAT AS CONSUMERS SEEK OUT SATIETY AND HEART-HEALTHY INGREDIENTS
As a delicious source of plant-based protein, macadamias tick a lot of boxes when it comes to how today’s consumers want to eat. But research revealed that what has traditionally been one of macadamias’ biggest barriers to consumption may in fact be one of their greatest strengths. Consumers were once advised to avoid fat at all costs, however it’s now known that healthy fats offer up compelling health benefits. Consumers understand this and it’s become something they actively seek out when making food purchase decisions. With the highest ‘good’ monounsaturated fat content of all tree nuts, there’s a big opportunity for brands to rethink how macadamias stack up when it comes to health.
#4: ECO-RESPONSIBILITY, HEALTH AND ENJOYMENT THE TOP TRENDS AT SIAL PARIS
400,000 food products. 250,000 square metres. 265,000 attendees. 7,000 exhibitors from 119 countries. SIAL Paris made a triumphant return last year after a two-year Covid-induced hiatus, and representatives from Australia’s macadamia industry were among the action as they promoted our product to international food manufacturers. Sustainable products and practices emerged as an overarching theme of the 2022 exhibition, with a real commitment in the manufacturing sector to embracing the challenge of circularity, particularly among newer brands. However enjoyment remained the top innovation trend, with consumers seeking food that delivers the trifecta of enjoyment, health and ethical production.
#5: AUSTRALIAN FOOD PERSONALITY SHARES HER MACADAMIA FARM EXPERIENCE
Magdalena Roze is a popular journalist, food writer and cookbook author who fell in love with macadamias as a child. In 2022 we hosted Magdalena for an on-farm macadamia experience to help amplify key macadamia messaging among consumers. In this story we share the strategy behind the partnership, and what Magdalena discovered and shared with her fans.
Plenty more to come in 2023
We’re excited to bring you more stories like this in 2023. If there is a topic you would like us to cover or you’re launching a new product with macadamias, we would love to know about it. Please contact Australian Macadamias Market Development Manager Jacqui Price.