2023 delivered a unique mix of challenges and highlights, from cost of living pressures, the rise of AI, ongoing climate change concerns and war in the Middle East and Ukraine. We also saw India become the world’s most populous country, the end of the COVID-19 pandemic officially declared, and outstanding displays of skill and courage throughout the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
From an Australian macadamia industry perspective, lower than expected yields and a soft farm gate price made it a particularly challenging year for growers, but despite this, the final crop volume was only around 8% lower than the record crop of the previous year. Furthermore, Australian macadamia kernel quality was excellent, we continued to see new and innovative use of macadamias in the food and beverage manufacturing sector, the largest ever Australian Macadamias domestic marketing campaign was executed, and we hosted trade events in Japan, South Korea and India, strengthening relationships in these important markets.
As always, it was our privilege to keep you updated on the latest macadamia news, covering everything from new product innovation and sustainability to nut health updates and promotion highlights.
In case you missed any news, here are our top 6 stories from 2023.
#1: WHITE PAPER: THE 8 BIG EMERGING FOOD TRENDS REVEALED BY GLOBAL OPINION LEADERS
There have been some seismic shifts in recent years with ripples created across many aspects of human life that are impacting consumer needs. We conducted an in-depth exploration of emerging macro food trends through the lens of global opinion leaders, with the findings compiled into a free white paper that reveals the 8 emerging macro trends that our experts predict will shape the world of food in the coming years, and 5 powerful innovation territories developed by our researchers for manufacturers using macadamias in their products.
#2: EVIDENCE MOUNTS: NEW HEALTH STUDY BOLSTERS CASE FOR DAILY NUT CONSUMPTION
The taste and texture of nuts have long made them a popular addition to snacks, meals and a host of manufactured food and beverage products. What is increasingly clear is that nuts not only taste great, they’re also great for you. Thanks to the plethora of scientific studies conducted over the years, we now have a robust understanding of the nutrients that nuts contain, and the key role these play in human health. In fact, the case for enjoying a daily handful of your favourite nuts has never been stronger. We examined findings from a recent study and took a dive deeper into some of the health benefits specific to macadamias.
#3: THE STAND-OUT MACADAMIA PRODUCT DISCOVERIES OF 2023
2023 was another strong year for new products containing macadamias, as manufacturers across markets and categories embraced the multi-layered benefits that Australia’s native nut can deliver as an ingredient. Interestingly, many of the products we discovered aligned with the innovation territories revealed in the emerging food trends whitepaper we published earlier in the year (see above). From superfood chocolate and crab roe flavoured macadamias to macadamia-topped pizza and green bean & macadamia mooncakes, we take you through some of the most exciting product innovations of the of the year, through the lens of the 5 powerful innovation territories for manufacturers using macadamias.
#4: 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. To help raise awareness of the macadamia’s origin, a bold PR campaign was created that issued a tongue-in-cheek challenge to iconic global brand McDonald’s, with the activity reaching millions of Australian consumers via social and mainstream media coverage.
#5: MEET THE FOOD INNOVATOR CHAMPIONING INGREDIENT-STYLE MACADAMIAS
When food innovator and value-adding expert Stuart Picken sees a challenge, it’s fair to say he’s driven to create a solution that benefits everyone involved. It’s this, coupled with a highly curious mind, that led the former lawyer and chef to establish a contract manufacturing business that specialises in upcycling farm gate seconds into nutrient-dense food products, with macadamias regularly in the mix. Stuart’s business invests a significant amount of time in research and development, and Australian grown macadamias have quickly become one of their most versatile ingredients.
#6: RETHINKING WASTE: HOW MACADAMIA SHELLS COULD HELP REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS
In today’s rapidly changing world, the call for sustainability is louder than ever before, particularly in relation to food production. Sustainable production has long been a priority for Australia’s macadamia industry, with growers and processors alike consistently striving to produce the world’s best macadamias in the most ecologically sensitive manner possible. There are many elements that fall under the sustainability umbrella in macadamia production, but one that has attracted some particularly innovative thinking is on-farm waste management and how macadamia shells can be used to create everything from homewares to fuel and biochar. In this story, we took a closer look at what happens to the by-products of Australian macadamia production, how growers ensure nothing goes to waste, and the technology that an Australian company has developed that could make macadamia shells part of the climate change mitigation solution.