Creative PR campaign highlights macadamia nut’s Australian origin

Not many people know that the macadamia nut originated in Australia more than 60 million years ago. It’s a little known fact even among Australian consumers. So to help raise awareness of the macadamia’s origin, a bold new Australian PR campaign has launched, starting with a tongue-in-cheek challenge to iconic global brand McDonald’s.

Macadamias: the original ‘macas’

McDonald’s has been a fixture in Australian culture for more than half a century and in that time has come to be affectionately known as ‘Maccas’ by Australian consumers. However, most Australians don’t realise that macadamias are the true Original Macas Down Under, having originated in Australia over 60 million years ago.

It’s this message that is the campaign’s centrepiece and to help Australians and McDonald’s take notice of the claim, we kick-started the campaign by dropping a tongue-in-cheek billboard in front of a McDonald’s store in Sydney.

The initiative not only attracted the attention of passing traffic, but also Australian breakfast television news and current affairs program, the Today Show, which broadcast a live interview with Australian macadamia grower, Michael McMahon (who also has the nickname Maca!). Take a look here:

“Macca’s might be synonymous with the big golden arches, but since we’re The Original Macas – we’re staking our claim,” explained Michael.

“I’m an Australian macadamia grower and a ‘Maca’ myself and I’m putting a call out to all Aussies to join forces in celebrating The Original Macas. Aussies can all show some love and support for our local growers by grabbing a bag of Australian macadamias from their nearest supermarket or store.”

Original Macas Burger and Mylkshake showcase macadamia versatility

A partnership with Mindy Woods, an indigenous Australian chef and former contestant on hit TV show MasterChef Australia, has added another layer to the campaign. To help consumers create their own ‘Original Macas’ experience at home, she created two native infused recipes – The Original Macas Burger and Mylkshake.

Mindy Woods prepares The Original Macas Burger

Both recipes have been crafted to highlight the wonder of native Australian ingredients and show consumers just how delicious and nutritious macadamias are. They demonstrate how macadamias can be enjoyed in innovative ways, from a native spiced beef and kangaroo patty featuring macadamias, to the creamy delight of macadamia mylk and macadamia butter in The Original Macas Mylkshake.

The Original Macas Burger

“I have always loved macadamias and incorporating them into recipes, their versatility allows me to experiment with them in new ways and infuse their robust flavour profile into my cooking,” Mindy said.

The Original Macas Mylkshake

The recipes were shared with consumers online and Mindy prepared Original Macas Burgers to be delivered fresh to selected media and influencers. This generated additional coverage and helped to amplify the message that by enjoying macadamias, people are supporting better health for themselves and the planet. Australian macadamias are a whole food grown by farmers who strive to work with nature and not against it.

Influencers Eliya Hachem and Jules Sebastian share their Original Macas Burger and Milkshake taste tests on Instagram

Calling on all ‘Macas’ to help spread the message

In Australia, ‘Maca’ is a common nickname often given to people whose surname begins with Mc or Mac. So to help spread the macadamia message even further, Australian Macadamias social media channels invited all the people called ‘Maca’ around Australia to unite and celebrate that we can ALL be Macas (including McDonald’s!), with the call to action to ‘tag your favourite mate called Maca’ generating excellent engagement.

The campaign reached more than 15 million people in its first 5 days alone, with further media coverage still to come. The innovative idea has been applauded on social media, helping to raise the profile of the macadamia as a much-loved native Australian ingredient, while encouraging Australian consumers to support their local growers.

If you’re looking for a supplier of Australian grown macadamias for your next product, we encourage you to contact any of the organisations listed in our supplier directory or contact Australian Macadamias Market Development Manager Jacqui Price.

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