There was a buzz around the macadamia growing region of Bundaberg last month when Lyndi Cohen, best-selling author of The Nude Nutritionist, flew in for an action-packed two-day tour.
A respected nutritionist, dietitian and influencer, Lyndi is also the regular TV dietitian on Australian breakfast program TODAY. Her no-nonsense approach to food is built on a passion for stripping back complicated nutrition information and busting outdated food myths. It’s an approach that has struck a chord with consumers, amassing her a following of close to 200,000 fans across her blog and social media channels.
Lyndi’s refreshing food philosophy aligns closely with the values of Australian Macadamias, making her the ideal partner for a brand collaboration.
“I’m really passionate about wholefoods, and foods that people should be eating more of, and macadamias fit those criteria perfectly,” she said. “I regularly use them in my own cooking, and love encouraging my audience to do the same. Flavour-wise, they work in just about any dish, and from a nutrition perspective they’re amazing.”
Here’s a look at how Lyndi’s trip to Bundaberg unfolded, as our team introduced her to a host of exciting macadamia experiences that have generated fresh content and strong media coverage.
Harvesting, sorting and cracking on-farm
Lyndi spent time with macadamia growers Tony Pashley and Rae Stuart, who generously hosted a tour of their orchard, and a harvesting , de-husking and sorting demonstration, with Lyndi trying her hand at sorting the freshly harvested in-shell macadamias.
This was followed by the opportunity to crack and taste the freshly harvested nuts, and lunch with more growers from the Bundaberg region.
Lyndi loved the opportunity to chat with growers in person.
“Learning what goes into a typical – and incredibly long – day for a macadamia grower during harvest was fascinating,” she said. “The growers I met are all so passionate about what they do, and that dedication is evident when you taste the product. I’d never had the opportunity to crack and taste macadamias fresh off the farm like that before. That deliciously creamy taste is like nothing else.”
Macadamia processing up close
Next stop was a tour of the processing plant and new tourist facility at Macadamias Australia. This was where Lyndi was able to appreciate the scale of the macadamia industry as she toured the extensive processing facilities that dry, crack and pack thousands of tonnes of locally grown macadamias each year.
“Seeing what happens once the macadamias are off the farm, and the scale and professionalism of that was impressive,” said Lyndi. “I particularly enjoyed seeing the Macadamias Australia product development lab where they’re working on some really innovative value-adding.”
The brand-new Macadamias Australia tourist visitor centre is due to open soon, and Lyndi is excited for what this means for the public. “It’s going to be great in terms of educating people about how macadamias are grown and processed. People increasingly want to know where their food comes from.”
Rounding out the Bundaberg experience
Bundaberg is a veritable ‘food bowl’ and home to a wide variety of crops and food and beverage producers. Lyndi was also treated to tours of a local distillery and a craft-brew beverage producer, as well as a macadamia fine dining experience.
‘This was my first trip to Bundaberg,” said Lyndi. “I was so impressed by the breadth and depth of what this region is producing, both by way of food crops, and innovative products that are popular not just in Australia but internationally too. And macadamias are obviously a really big part of that.”
Amplifying the macadamia message
Lyndi’s first-hand macadamia experience attracted national and local news coverage and is informing fresh content on both Lyndi’s channels and our own, collectively reaching a potential audience of 7.2 million people to date.
Lyndi also showcased macadamias on a recent TODAY show segment with hosts Karl Stefanovic and Ally Langdon.
For Lyndi, it’s an experience that has made a lasting impression.
“I’m proud to be involved with Australian grown macadamias,” she says. “They’re a product that we should all feel huge pride in, and one that I’m excited to share more about with my audience. Having experienced Bundaberg firsthand, I’m now an even bigger macadamia fan than I was before – which I didn’t think was possible!”
Bundaberg at a glance
Location: 4 hours north of Brisbane on the Queensland coast. It’s the southernmost gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.
Share of Australian macadamia production: 41%
2020 macadamia crop: 19,230 tonnes (in-shell @ 3.5% moisture)
Production growth since 2010: 121%
Other food crops grown: tomatoes, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, capsicum, chilli, sweet potatoes, strawberries, snow peas, beans, lychees, melons, pineapple, herbs, citrus, grapes, stone fruit, sugar cane.