Global macadamia production is on track to double supply by 2025, while falling prices and over-supply should be viewed as temporary adjustments in the prevailing recessionary economic climate, says CEO of the World Macadamia Organisation (WMO) Jillian Laing.

In a statement, Laing said the organisation had made  headway in understanding market trends, what consumers wanted and what manufacturers and business required from the industry.

She added that support from key industry players had enabled the organisation to commission research to garner invaluable insights and create strong demand generation campaigns that could win over consumers and boost business buy-in.
“The almost decade-long supply-constrained macadamia market conundrum is being resolved, thanks to our farmers. This has brought some short-term instability but certainly changes the game for the long term. We are taking inspiration from the avocado industry, which was in a similar position not so long ago, knowing we are well poised to take up the new opportunities presented by bigger volumes of macadamias,” Laing said.
But, she warned, it would take some strategic forethought to steer and rebuild the industry’s reputation as a serious player capable of supplying the required volume.

“We know macadamias are special, and healthy in so many ways, and we have set in motion robust research to underpin this. What we are learning and are being able to evidence against current health and vitality thinking plays directly into current global food trends. Health trends that are strongly rooted in science and scientific advances speak to savvy and well-informed consumers.”

In the statement, Laing said food manufacturers and consumers were looking for food that was:

  • filled with high levels of “good” monounsaturated fats (like omega 7 and 9); polyunsaturated fats, especially omega 3, and a favourable ratio of omega 6 to omega 3;
  • lower in carbohydrates (does not spike blood sugar levels);
  • plant-based and more sustainable for the planet; and
  • a “permissible” “clean label” treat.


“The WMO has devoted time and commissioned experts to understand this in more detail so that macadamias can stand tall among other nut counterparts. Some of them include heart health, improved cognitive function, gut health, and reduced inflammation.”

Jillian Laing, CEO of the World Macadamia Organisation (WMO).

Campaigning efforts are directed both to consumer and business audiences, with a focus on the US, China, and Indian markets.

“For consumers, we have launched localised versions of the ‘Love Macadamia’ campaign, targeting specific geographic audience insights, for example in China, where the focus is on ‘ritualising’ consumption. Historically the Chinese eat macadamias nut-in-shell during their New Year. Our campaign focuses on extending this ritual to other festivals and holidays too. The results are looking promising.”

Additionally, the ingredients (B2B) sector was much talked about and there were exciting developments here.

Laing said a key barrier to market entry in the past was the lack of sufficient supply and availability for manufacturers to take the industry seriously. Exponential growth in volumes had changed this significantly, she said, as manufacturers were increasingly open to new product development.

“The organisation is working to drive awareness and make it easier for companies to do business with macadamias. For example, we have created the WMO Macadamia Product Standard, which creates a standard across countries, including in sizing. This means customers can interchange between different suppliers and (still) deliver the same manufactured product.”
Despite the growing supply, macadamias still represent just 1.4% of the tree-nut basket, and consumers in countries like India have yet to cotton on to the wholesome qualities of the nut, she said, urging farmers to remain brave in the face of the present odds, to continue producing a quality crop aligned to global trends to secure demand in time.