Who is the Aussie macadamia consumer?

In 2014 we shared key insights from our landmark Australian Consumer Profiles research. This study enabled us to take a look inside the minds of Australian macadamia consumers and painted a vivid picture of how they perceive their native nut and what drives their consumption patterns. This knowledge has highlighted fertile territory for new product development and marketing and provided hard evidence that macadamias are perceived as a premium product, with applications that reach beyond basic snacking into myriad product categories.

So, who is the predominant Australian macadamia consumer, and what is it that makes them tick? The research has enabled us to unmask this ‘person’ and provide a realistic picture of what their life looks like, beyond the usual demographics of age, gender and income.

In love with life and health

The loyal Australian macadamia user is in love with life. Positive and fun, they’re chatty and outgoing, fiercely loyal to family and friends and willing to share whatever is on their mind.

Health is extremely important to them. They walk the talk and think about it daily, doing little things to manage their wellbeing, and feeling REALLY good about it. “I am always conscious of my health and the actions I can take to improve my health. I don’t think I can be the best possible friend, girlfriend, daughter, sister, colleague, without being healthy. I want to live a long life,” said one research participant. Another expressed a similar sentiment when she said, “What is the point of life if you can’t experience every element of it? You need your health to be able to do this.”

Health is regarded as a long-term game, underpinned by the notion that good health leads to a long and rich life, while bad health can hamper quality of life. As one participant observed, “My husband’s parents didn’t reach old age because of their unhealthy life choices”.

Driven by a deep-seated belief that what you eat directly impacts one’s health and longevity, they make a considerable effort to eat more beneficial foods. Macadamias fit their lifestyle perfectly and are relied upon as a great-tasting yet healthy snack.

Exercise is also important to them, however they’re not concerned with the exterior image of being healthy and they’re certainly not gym junkies. Getting an abdominal six-pack or counting calories is not a source of motivation and they exercise for the simple reason that they enjoy being physically active.

A balanced approach to food

Loyal macadamia users see food as a critically important part of the health puzzle. They’re passionate about food knowledge and use it daily, with one participant commenting, “The old saying, you are what you eat. I am a firm believer in this”.

They’re wise to added or hidden sugars in food and eat red meat in moderation. To them, the idea that the only tasty and cravable foods are fried, fatty or processed is very outdated. Chips and chocolate don’t feature on their list of favourite foods. Instead, they speak enthusiastically of craving avocadoes, cheese, salmon or olives. Furthermore, they understand what is in the food they consume and they use this knowledge to their advantage. For example, when craving chocolate, they might substitute it with pineapple, knowing it contains natural sugars.

Cooking: a lifestyle choice

For loyal macadamia users, food is a passion, as is eating purposefully. So cooking plays a big role in their lives.

Their interest in health means they will opt to cook healthy food at home, rather than eating out. They feel home-cooked fare is superior to anything they can buy, with one participant revealing “Homemade just tastes better, and cooking is creating and I like it”.

They take great pleasure from eating whole foods and if eating this way means splurging less often on other indulgences, it’s a compromise they’re happy to make.

Pushing macs to the max

Macadamias are loved by loyal users for many reasons. They’re described as rich, buttery and decadent and are considered to be more special than other nut varieties, sitting very naturally in the premium space in consumers’ minds.

Australian macadamia consumers are eager to see their favourite nut used in new and exciting ways. Furthermore, they have an expectation that a product to which macadamias are added will command a higher price point, by up to 10%. By adding macadamias to a food product, premium cues and enhanced quality perceptions are also added, to both less premium products and already-premium brands.

According to one research participant, “Adding macadamias to food is a great idea and adds quality. You can’t say that with all of the other nuts”. And while their immediate thoughts turn to baked goods, they are curious about what else macadamias could be added to and want to be shown new possibilities.

Want to know more?

If you would like more information on any aspect of the Australian Consumer Profiles research, or would like to discuss how macadamias can enhance your next product development, please feel free to contact lynne.ziehlke@macadamias.org

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