The research – conducted by research agency Galileo Kaleidoscope across multiple markets – revealed that consumers are more inclined to pick snacks that are made with clean, quality ingredients to maximize nutritional benefits and improve moods or act as a pick-me-up.
“In recent years, the snacking category has been redefined with various trends that set the context for product innovation,” said Lynne Ziehlke, market development manager at the Australian Macadamia Society.
“One trend has remained consistent when it comes to snacking: most consumers want a snack that provides enough energy to sustain them and their frame of mind through their day.”
According to Ziehlke, macadamias are a versatile ingredient and deliver on four essential snack attributes.
“They’re small; indulgent; have associated health benefits; and taste great,” she added.
“We know that consumers are living on-the-go lifestyles and working longer hours than ever before, meaning that a snack can provide a powerful pause moment or mood boost during their day. Macadamias are nutritional and make a delicious snack to cater to the trends identified within the research.”
Round two of the Macadamia Innovation Challenge
To boost new product innovation, last year the Australian macadamia industry launched the Macadamia Innovation Challenge, which attracted numerous high calibre entries, such as Matchadamia Berry Balls and Salted Egg Yolk Macadamias.
The contest was open to Australian residents only, but this year, the organizers have widened the field and invited residents of Japan and China to enter as well.
The challenge will provide new packaged food product ideas with macadamias used as an ingredient.
Categories include Confectionery; Cereals; Snacks and Future Foods (what the organizers term a ‘blue sky category that includes visionary food products that are new to market’) – with either a Western or Asian flavor profile.
Entries close on December 3, 2018, after which 10 entries will be shortlisted by a judging panel.
These finalists will gather at a final judging event in April 2019 to prepare their submission and pitch it to a panel of judges comprised of industry experts and leading food innovators.
The winner will win a trip to Fi Europe 2019 or AU$5,000 (US$3,500) cash grant or tailored mentorship program to further the development of their product.
Australia is the world’s biggest producer of macadamia kernels, which are the country’s fourth largest horticultural export. There are more than 700 growers producing approximately 50,000 tons annually, with 70% of the crop exported to more than 40 countries.