It’s that time of year again, when we review how macadamias featured on the global product development stage over the past 12 months. Collating this list is a labour of love as we uncover all the ways brands big and small are embracing macadamias as an ingredient that adds taste, texture, indulgence and health credentials to a range of food and beverage products.
With the supply chain and consumer behaviour disruptions that were hallmarks of the tumultuous year we have had, it would be reasonable to think exciting new products would be few and far between. Yet despite the ups, downs and general uncertainty, we have been delighted by the breadth and depth of the offerings that have come to market, particularly in Australia and the US.
From milk to beer and everything in between, we present to you the most inspiring macadamia product discoveries for the unusual year that was 2020.
The wellness wave
Health and wellbeing took centre stage this year, spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Teeccino is dedicated to creating healthy herbal coffees and teas to support digestion, elimination and the immune system. This year it launched a range of prebiotic superboost blend tea bags to help promote good gut health, with the Macadamia variant described as “golden roasted almonds with the essence of tropical macadamia nuts adding delicious nuttiness to roasted chicory and carob complimented by slight sweetness from dates and figs.”
Widely known among the nut industries around the world, Japanese nut company Toyo Nut Co.,Ltd. positioned tree nuts firmly in the beauty conversation in 2020 with a unique pop-up store in Tokyo. Run under the company’s Terragrano brand, a spectacular ‘wall of nuts’ allowed customers to browse the display of 16 different nut types, including macadamias, while learning about the health and beauty benefits they offer. Also available were one-on-one consultations with a dietitian who could personalize nut suggestions to suit the customers’ needs, with their recommendations packaged into individual daily servings and cleverly presented in a 5-day set-box. Macadamias were on offer in roasted and salted formats, and promoted for their palmitoleic acid and copper content, both important for beautiful skin.
This brand burst onto the American retail scene in 2020, taking nut butter to new heights with a host of experimental flavours including Chocolate Reishi, Cinnamon Vanilla, and Rosemary. The range is made with a blend of macadamias, walnuts and cashews, and aims to deliver on function, fun and flavour.
According to Cymbiotika, activated charcoal binds to chemicals and toxins and prevents these substances from absorbing into your body. 2020 saw the release of a blend that contains organic sprouted macadamia nuts as one of the key ingredients, and is said to assist in ‘longevity and nutritional support’ when taken daily.
With its slim-line packaging and quirky branding, Taika Macadamia Latte is promoted as “coffee that accentuates reality”. Made on a base of macadamia milk, it contains the ‘ideal’ amount of caffeine, as well as adaptogens and functional mushrooms. Sugar free, plant based and low in calories, its ‘coffee ice cream’ flavour is sure to appeal to consumers who want coffee that makes you feel as good as it tastes.
The year of macadamia milk
Plant based milks have been gaining popularity for several years now, but 2020 felt like macadamia milk’s moment, with a host of new brands and markets entering the category.
Vitasoy has expanded its premium plant milk offerings in China under the HEALTH PLUS brand. In 2020 it launched a combined macadamia and almond milk to meet the demands of health-conscious consumers with the product offering a high plant protein content with a rich, nutty and delicious taste.
Iconic Japanese food and beverage brand Kikkoman celebrated the launch of its macadamia milk this year, becoming Japan’s first domestically-made mainstream macadamia milk. Made using Australian grown macadamias – a selling point promoted on the front of pack – Kikkoman says its new product concept was created from scratch to deliver the flavour, thickness and satisfaction that is considered ideal by the Japanese consumer.
Bickford’s is one of Australia’s oldest brands, best known for its premium cordials that first hit the market in the 1800s. This year saw the company branch into plant based milks, including a 100% Australian barista-ready macadamia milk. Free from preservatives and artificial sweeteners, colours and flavours, Bickford’s says it is a move inspired by the increased focus on “the health of ourselves and the planet” with its plant milks “ made in an innovative way that ensures their utmost purity.”
The continued rise of plant-based
Consumer interest in plant-based eating shows no signs of abating, with macadamias featuring in numerous plant-based innovations this year.
Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo launched its own range of vegan and vegetarian products under the brand Lekker Veggie into its 670 stores across the Netherlands and Belgium. The label’s Veggie Nut Burger and Tasty Veggie Nutballs both feature macadamias, with products described as “pre-cooked vegetarian meat substitutes based on nuts and soy protein, with added iron and B12”.
Made from macadamias and cashews, this camembert alternative was developed by an Irish vegan who missed his cheese. As the brand’s tagline states, it is ‘lovingly crafted cheese from trees’ and features the white rind and creamy centre you’d expect from a traditional camembert, “without any compromise to quality or taste.”
Icelandic-style yoghurt brand Siggi’s launched a strawberry flavoured fermented plant-based coconut blend. The brand’s first non-dairy plant-based blend boasts a short ingredient list that includes macadamias. Described as a ‘not-too-sweet coconut concoction, it’s rich and creamy with “3 times more protein and 40% less sugar than leading yoghurt alternatives.”
Milkadamia has once again delivered on macadamia innovation in 2020 with the launch of its Macadamia Oil Spray. While other plant based oils such as olive, canola and coconut oil have been on the market in spray form for many years, sprayable macadamia oil is a much rarer find. The product is available in two variants, Pure and Infused, the latter containing natural flavours that “impart a layered umami flavour to vegan and vegetarian dishes.” Packaged in propellant-free bottles, the oil has a “rich, buttery taste without the cholesterol”, is ideal for grilling, roasting and stir-frying, and boasts “the highest content of healthy monounsaturated fat and lowest percent of inflammatory omega 6 of any nut or seed”.
Provenance meets indulgence
Two Australian innovations in the chocolate confectionery category blended carefully curated local ingredients to create uniquely indulgent and sophisticated treats.
Iconic Australian chocolate brand Haigh’s enhanced the native botanicals in Signature Dry Gin by Archie Rose Distilling Co. by combining with peppermint gum, mountain pepper leaf, macadamias and sandalwood nuts. The result is a “complex and uniquely Australian dark chocolate”.
This product is part of Koko Black’s new Australian Native Collection that celebrates the unique flavours and ingredients of Australia. Described as “native ingredients and superfoods reimagined in chocolate,” the range was inspired by Australia’s “ancient superfoods foraged by our Indigenous peoples for thousands of years” with the macadamia variant delivering a “nostalgic biscuit-like” flavour.
Macadamias as self-care
Two high-profile beauty launches caught our eye this year, with macadamia oil featured as hero ingredients.
Australian skin care brand Go-To has fast amassed a cult following and 2020 saw one of its signature products, Face Hero, relaunched in luxurious gold packaging with macadamia oil flagged on front of pack. Containing 10 plant and nut oils, it’s described as a “calming, restorative super oil, loaded with essential fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants, and suitable for all ages and skin types.” The ingredient list states macadamia oil is “a highly nourishing oil high in Oleic acid (potent moisturising qualities); it absorbs easily into the skin to moisturise and protect dry, damaged and mature skin.”
Macabalm is an organic macadamia moisturising balm suitable for everyday skin concerns. A multi-tasking balm, it hydrates, heals and illuminates and contains an abundance of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. This, combined with “its natural ability to mimic our skins’ lipid system” is said to be what makes the macadamia “a powerful ingredient that hydrates like no other.”
Products that offered comfort or fun were popular this year, as consumers sought out safe ways to counter the anxieties of the global pandemic.
A year like no other calls for a tea like no other. This loose leaf flavoured black tea is described as ‘comforting and warming for the soul’ with blueberries, chocolate flakes and macadamias to “lure your tastebuds in a sweet embrace.”
This beautifully packaged special Christmas product combines crunchy granola and oatmeal with roasted macadamias, apple pieces, plums and salted caramel crispies to create an extra special breakfast, reminiscent of a ‘winter bakery’ – perfect for cold European mornings.
Sparkling beverages are nothing new, but in China, it’s a concept that has now entered the snacking space with the launch of Bestore’s new sakura and white peach flavoured macadamias that ‘sparkle’ on the tongue, much like your favourite carbonated drink! Launched as an exciting new product to appeal to Gen Z consumers, it ticks all the boxes as a delicious, nutritious, memorable and socially sharable snack.
This dessert-inspired beer combines bourbon barrel aged stout with bananas, macadamias, coconut and vanilla. The result is a uniquely fun beverage described as “bourbon banana goodness.”
Are you launching something exciting with macadamias in 2021?
We’d love to know about it! Get in touch with Australian Macadamias Market Development Manager Jacqui Price.