Imports of macadamia nuts are experiencing year-on-year growth, according to the latest figures published, with the baking industry also seeing increased use of the nut. In 2008, macadamia nut imports rose by 45%, from 500 to 737 tonnes. However, consumption of these nuts is thought to be much higher, as the figures do not include the quantity of the nut imported as part of fruit and nut mixes.

"In the last 18 months, the industry has received an increase in enquiries from NPD professionals at bakeries looking to take advantage of the rise in consumption of macadamia nuts," commented Anna Mosek, a spokesperson for the Macadamia Advice Centre. "Some companies, including retailer Waitrose and artisan baker Stoats, have already launched macadamia cereal bars and we expect to see more products coming on to the market in due course."

According to the report, the UK has become the fastest-growing market for this type of nut in Europe. Global consumption reached 27,000mt, of which 5,954mt was imported to Europe - a 24% rise.

This increase is thought to be partly due to investment from the Australian and South African growers’ associations, via their UK campaign. Now in its second year, the campaign aims to create consumer demand by raising awareness of the unique taste and nutrition benefits of macadamia nuts.