It’s been another impressive year for macadamias on the innovation front, with an array of new products coming to market. Health was a dominant theme, plant-based milks continue to grow – but with some interesting twists and turns – keto is still going strong, and previous years’ innovators are back with fresh offerings.
2021 was also the year that we released findings from our industry’s largest ever quantitative consumer insights study1, and it is interesting to see the intersection between recent product launches with macadamias, and the trends identified in the research. Suffice to say, this year’s list is proof of macadamias’ suitability to many of the food and health needs of today’s consumers.
Let’s look at the new products that made an impression in 2021.
The milk alternatives wave continues
Our research supports the use of macadamias in this space, revealing ‘dairy free’ and ‘plant-based protein’ as the strongest associations consumers have when they think of macadamias. This year has served up format innovations in the category, with Trend Hunter2 saying that “As consumers experiment more with alternative ingredients in a range of categories, they’re more open to new formats that these ingredients can be offered in as well.” Its 2022 Trend Report says the appeal of ‘alternatives’ has shifted beyond vegan and vegetarian consumers to those interested in boosting their health, and ‘foodies’ eager to try new products.
This innovation combines buttery macadamia nuts with oats, superfood Sacha Inchi seed, and a plant-based source of Vitamin D in a powdered format making it easy to take rich and creamy plant-based milk on the go.
Made on a non-dairy macadamia milk base, this ice cream first hit the dairy alternatives scene in 2020. This year saw the launch of a new Strawberry Guava variant, demonstrating the ease with which macadamias pair with a wide range of flavours.
A frequent fixture on our top innovations lists, Taika has done it again, this year with its Macadamia Milk Matcha Latte, which they’re calling “a matcha made in heaven.” This beverage is a fusion of organic ceremonial grade matcha with creamy macadamia milk and a blend of adaptogens and functional mushrooms that’s said to deliver “hours of creativity in a can.”
It’s not only food and beverage brands that are responding to demand for plant-based milks, it’s now appliance manufacturers too. This benchtop appliance allows you to make non-dairy milk at home in 15 minutes. With 6 preset milk-making programs including one specially for macadamia milk, a small handful of nuts produces a pitcher of milk at the touch of a button. Tailor flavours to your taste by adding a drop of vanilla or chocolate.
Hot Brew’s highly successful collaboration with K-Pop sensations BTS was first launched in 2019, and this year saw macadamias join the line up with the release of Hot Brew Macadamia Mocha Latte in 8 collectable packs, each featuring a different member of the band. The product is described as “dark espresso coffee extracted with hot brew with milk, fragrant Australian macadamia nut flavours, and cocoa powder.”
milkadamia has launched two limited release variants of its macadamia milk in time for the holiday season. Veggnog (vegan eggnog) and White Chocolate Peppermint milkadamia, cleverly dubbed “Flavours that sleigh this season” are available for a limited time and will no doubt prove popular among milkadamia’s huge legion of fans.
Our research revealed that convenient yet healthy snacks that provide essential nutrients is one of the top emotional benefits consumers seek from food. These new products fit the bill perfectly.
Following its non-dairy tub yoghurt launch last year, Siggi’s has now introduced a plant-based probiotic drinking yoghurt. Made from coconut milk, pea protein and macadamias, and available in Peach, Strawberry and Vanilla, the beverages also contain live and probiotic cultures to assist with gut health.
These soft and chewy cookies satisfy sweet cravings without inducing guilt thanks to their low sugar content and generous serves of protein and gut friendly prebiotic fibre. A perfect post-workout or on-the-go hit for your tastebuds.
Jemmy Lab, a sub-brand of South Korean food brand O’Tree, launched a ‘Nuts Plus’ range of its granola, with macadamias now included in the blend. Adding fibre and protein, the individual sachets of granola conveniently cater to the rising interest in health and wellbeing among South Korean consumers and make it possible to enjoy breakfast on the go. This launch signals an evolution in the use of macadamias in South Korea beyond the predominant snack and daily nut formats.
Our research revealed consumers globally place importance on macadamia origin, with more than 50% nominating Australia as one of their top 3 preferred macadamia origins. Several of this year’s top innovators called out the Australian origin of the macadamias in their products.
After launching Japan’s first domestically made mainstream macadamia milk in 2020, Kikkoman has gone one step further with the release of a limited-edition chocolate macadamia milk in 2021. Available in single-serve packs, they’re ideal for on-the-go consumption and once again Australian origin macadamias are promoted on front of pack.
Part of a new Gold range of uniquely Australian Christmas desserts and bakery products, Woolworths Gold White Chocolate, Salted Honey & Macadamia Tarts are available in packs of six individual tarts and are described as having “flavours of rich, white chocolate and sweet Australian honey enriched with Murray River salt flakes and topped with crunchy Australian macadamias.”
Inspired by the flavours of Singapore and Australia, this product was the result of a collaboration between Tanglin Gin (Singapore’s first award-winning gin distillery), the Singapore Tourism Board and renowned Australian pastry chef Anna Polyviou. The liqueur features coffee from both Australian and Singaporean roasters plus Singapore honey and Australian grown macadamias.
Small (but healthy) pleasures
The pandemic has forced consumers to reconsider what makes them happy, while redefining the concept of indulgence. Our research showed almost half of consumers globally say indulgence is about finding little pleasures of joy in the everyday, and these new products cater to that need perfectly.
Saturnbird, the most successful specialty instant coffee brand in China, launched coffee and tea flavoured macadamia nougat this year. Individually packaged as small treats, the nougats are available in five variants – Espresso, Double (espresso), King Kong (triple espresso), Rooibos, and Black Tea. Saturnbird has experienced enormous success online in China and has now opened its first bricks and mortar store in Shanghai.
A boxed chocolate product with nine pieces per pack, Meiji Chocolate Koka Cacao 72% Rich Macadamia matches dark chocolate with the flavour and sweetness of roasted macadamias and is designed to appeal to health-conscious consumers. Meiji recommends that consumers treat Chocolate Koka Cacao 72% Rich Macadamia as a ‘small pleasure’ to make the most of the product’s health benefits.
Present For Me is a range of premium snack-size products promoted as a ‘reward for yourself’. Available in four cookie variants including Macadamia, it’s a product for people who want to enjoy high-quality treats in small, affordable portions.
Diets – but make them convenient
Consumers tend to focus more on ‘eating healthy’ than following a particular diet, according to our research, however there was variation between markets, with 48% of respondents in Australia and China claiming to follow diets, but only 20% in Japan. For those who do follow a particular diet, it seems that convenience is key, with several diet-specific products launching this year, and keto continuing to be popular, particularly in the USA where this is the most followed diet.
Described and trademarked as ‘The only intermittent fasting bar scientifically formulated to allow you to fast with food™’ Fast Bars are available in 5 flavours including new Lemon Berry and Blueberry Acai, with macadamias a key ingredient.
ChipMonk’s White Chocolate Macadamia Keto Bites are “soft-baked cookie bites packed with silky white chocolate chips and real crunchy macadamia nuts.” With low carbs and calories, they’re suitable for keto, low carb, gluten-free, and low sugar diets, or for anyone looking for a “mindful dessert option”.
Described as “healthy chocolate spread ideal for a low-carb and low sugar lifestyle” this rich chocolate nut butter contains a range of nuts including macadamias, seeds and coconut and can be enjoyed in smoothies, baking, with fruit or straight from the jar.
Macadamia oil is a 100% natural, lightweight skin moisturiser for all skin types, and the cosmetic industry has again embraced it as a valued skin care ingredient in new products this year.
Tree Hut creates products that ‘transform your hygiene routine into a self-care ritual’ and have a range of travel-inspired body scrubs made with macadamia oil with names like Coco Colada and Desert Haze. Recently two special holiday scrubs were released – Candy Cane and Sugar Plum Berries – that will not only reveal ‘soft glowing skin’ but have you smelling like it’s Christmas Eve.
South Korean premium personal care brand Kundal launched a collection of tinted lip colour balms containing 11 rich plant derived ingredients, including macadamia oil. Available in three shades, the balm exfoliates and moistures lips while delivering a soft and natural coloured tint.
Created to treat extremely dry skin, this hand mask comes in a single-use glove format and promises to deliver a ‘luxurious spa-like experience’. The rich formula contains a range of ingredients to provide instant relief to dry hands, including Vitamin E, shea butter and macadamia oil.
Got a product we should know about?
If you’re launching a product with macadamias in 2022, we’d love to know about it. Get in touch with Australian Macadamias Market Development Manager Jacqui Price.