The Hawaii-based nut snacks business will introduce macadamia nut milk and butter next year and has just launched fruit-infused dark chocolate covered macadamia nuts, in three flavors: blueberry acai, blackberry goji and pomegranate mango.
Growing tree nut consumption in the US
“We hope to reach $100m in wholesale sales within the next five years [for the whole business]." Royal Hawaiian CEO Scott Wallace told ConfectioneryNews. He said increasing US consumption of tree nuts had prompted Royal Hawaiian to develop new nut-based confections.
“The consumption of tree nuts in the past five years has grown 50% [in the US], and the snack nut category is estimated to increase to a size of $6bn in the next five years," said the CEO.
Better-for-you snack nut trend
Wallace said Royal Hawaiian’s new products are a better-for-you twist on chocolate macadamia nuts that are naturally rich in antioxidants. “The nutritional benefit of antioxidants is widely believed to fight against free radicals, a highly reactive chemical that’s associated with cancer,” he said.
Wallace said better-for-you and healthy snacks were outgrowing the indulgence snacking category.
“Over 70% of the consumers try to eat healthier,” Wallace said. “Last year, the total consumption of healthy snack category grew 5%, while indulgence snack only grew 1%.”
Undervalued macadamia nut market
However, the general public hasn’t realized that macadamia nuts have the same healthy benefits as other nuts, such as walnuts, pistachio and almonds, Wallace continued.
“Getting the word out that macadamia nut is good for you is the biggest challenge for our company right now,” he said.
Royal Hawaiian has previously partnered with the Hawaii Macadamia Nut Association (HMNA) to promote the nut’s value.
The company's new fruit-flavoured chocolate macadamia nut products, are available in 4.5 oz. bags, and will retail for $4.99 each, which is approximately the same price as the company’s other chocolate macadamia nut products.
“Our target consumers are affluent, well-educated women between 25 to 60 years old, who take care of themselves and families, and understand the meaning of whole foods and healthy fats,” said Wallace.
Royal Hawaiian Orchards
Royal Hawaiian Orchards owns a 5,000-hectare macadamia plantation in Hawaii, which makes it the biggest macadamia grower in the country. One of its competitor companies from Australia owns a 2,000-hectare plantation.
Royal Hawaiian is also going to launch Macadamia nut milk and butter next year to raise the awareness of the nut’s health benefits, Wallace said.
The milk, Wallace said, will be lower in calories and higher in calcium, minerals and a number of vitamins compared to dairy milk. Its suggested retail price is $3.49.