Macadamia nuts are among the most expensive nuts in the world. In 2022, they retail at around $25 per pound.
Despite the high price, macadamia nuts are very popular and command a steady demand worldwide. They are loved worldwide for their rich, buttery flavor and health benefits.
The top importers of macadamia nuts include the USA, Germany, and Japan. But what makes these nuts so expensive?
Macadamia nuts are primarily expensive because the trees take 7 to 10 years to mature into commercially viable nut-producing sizes. Additionally, the nuts can only be harvested a few times a year. With demand for the nuts already high and surpassing supply, the price is set to keep going up.
Are macadamia nuts worth the money? Read on as we delve more into this popular, pricy nut.
Why are Macadamia Nuts So Special?
Macadamia nuts are originally from Queensland, Australia. The Australian aboriginal people called the macadamia trees Kindal Kindal.
They were later given their current name in honor of scientist John Macadam by the British colonialist.
Macadamia nuts offer a lot of healthy benefits. They contain more healthy fats than any other nuts worldwide.
These fats help in weight loss. They are also a rich source of carbohydrates, antioxidants, and dietary fiber.
Macadamia nuts also contain vitamins and minerals such as manganese, thiamin, and copper. Eating macadamia nuts regularly is a good way to maintain a balanced diet.
Macadamia Nuts Price Per Pound
In 2022, raw unsalted macadamia nuts are retailing at $25 per pound, while the roasted and salted ones cost $29 per pound.
Is Macadamia the Most Expensive Type of Nut in the World?
Macadamia nuts are the most expensive nuts in the world. For comparison, almonds cost $13.99 a pound, and cashew nuts go for $8.95 a pound, while macadamia nuts go for $25 a pound.
What Makes Macadamia Nuts So Expensive?
1. Slow Maturity
Macadamia nuts grow on macadamia trees that are native to Australia. The trees take between 4/5 to 7/10 years to mature, depending on the species.
Consequently, any new farmer has to wait up to almost a decade to start producing any nuts to sell. Upon maturity, This long maturity period inhibits production, resulting in low supply and high prices.
2. Environmental Factors
Macadamia nuts do well in areas with high humidity and rainfall. Coincidentally, these areas also support a lot of other crops that are easier to grow and have a higher demand as well as a shorter maturity period.
Most farmers with these agricultural lands choose to grow other cash crops, leaving very little land that can support macadamia farming.
Additionally, only about 1% of trees worldwide are macadamia trees, largely due to climate requirements. This affects supply which in turn drives up prices.
3. Processing Difficulties.
Macadamia nuts are hard to process. Macadamia nuts have to be shelled at appropriate kernel facilities, which are expensive to buy.
This extra step adds to the final cost of macadamia nuts. Another hurdle at this stage is the harvesting process.
When picking macadamia nuts, farmers have to rely on their judgment when picking ripe nuts. They cannot see the kennel inside the shell, and this leads to premature harvest.
The kernels also get damaged during processing, breaking into pieces before packaging. Due to these risks, the nuts that make it to the final stage are priced higher to cover these costs.
4. Low Supply
Macadamia nuts are in low supply due to a number of factors. The long period it takes to grow the trees to maturity, the harvesting periods, and the high demand that usually surpasses supply.
Additionally, the land needed to cultivate macadamia nuts is in use for other crops. Since trees need a large acreage to grow, this means that farmers cannot produce macadamia nuts on a small-scale operation. These factors lead to a rise in macadamia nuts’ retail prices.
5. Rich in Nutrients
Macadamia nuts are packed with nutrients, and they taste good too. Culinary chefs all around the world use macadamia nuts, especially as a vegan option.
As people become more health conscious, macadamia nuts are highly preferred because of their great nutrient content. Even at retail outlets, the demand is high thus, prices are high too.
Loaded with Healthy Fats
Macadamia nuts are loaded with healthy fats that aid in weight loss. These fats include the rare type of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) that are not readily available in many other foods.
The fats are also extracted to make soaps, sunscreens, and shampoos. This creates demand for macadamia nuts in different industries.
The scramble for the limited supply of macadamia nuts pushes the prices up.
Are Macadamia Nuts Worth It?
So, are macadamia nuts worth the price? Absolutely. Macadamia nuts are popular for a reason. They are tasteful and make a great, healthy snack.
According to experts, macadamia nuts have been proven to lower the risk of heart disease. This is because they contain monosaturated fats that are good for heart health.
Other health benefits include preventing diabetes, improving metabolic syndrome, and maintaining a healthy brain.
Additionally, if you are trying to lose weight, these nuts help keep you full for longer. They contain healthy fats that alleviate hunger pangs.
Which Macadamia Nuts are Best?
Macadamia nuts come roasted or raw. It is best to get the raw kind if you have the chance. They are very tasty raw and will have retained all their nutrient content.
Alternatively, you can roast them yourself. They only take 8-10 minutes in the oven. Avoid high temperatures to preserve the nutrient content of your nuts.
Macadamia nuts can also be incorporated into various recipes for cookies, milkshakes, and a variety of vegan dishes.
Where to Buy Macadamia Nuts
You can buy both raw and roasted macadamia nuts from Walmart or Target.
Amazon stocks different brands of macadamia nuts. Flavors available include onion and garlic, coffee vanilla, and milk chocolate.