Ever Wondered Why Macadamia Nuts Are So Dang Expensive? Here’s The Best Explanation Yet

Macadamia nut on white background

iStockphoto / popovaphoto


Macadamia nuts are obnoxiously expensive. Personally, if I’m going to spend an asinine amount of money on nuts at the grocery store then I prefer Brazil Nuts to Macadamia Nuts but I get that Macadamias are absolutely delicious, and a favorite worldwide.

What makes these buttery nuts so expensive? It’s mostly about the obnoxiously slow harvesting process. Business Insider video put together this short clip detailing exactly what makes Macadamia Nuts one of the most expensive snacks on the planet at $25/pound.

I’ve pulled some text excerpts from the video below just in case you’d rather read than watching a video, but I highly suggest watching the clip because it offers the full and in-depth explanation of why Macadamia Nuts are so pricey.

Here are some portions of that video in text form in case you’re a reader and not a watcher:

But why are macadamia nuts so expensive?
The main reason is the slow harvesting process. While there are ten species of macadamia trees, only 2 produce the pricey nuts and it takes seven to 10 years for the trees to even begin producing nuts.The flowering trees originated in northeastern Australia and the nuts were eaten by the Australian aboriginal people. They called the trees “Kindal Kindal,” but British colonists eventually renamed them macadamia, after Dr. John Macadam. Despite originating in Australia, macadamia trees were first commercially grown in Hawaii.

Hawaii has the perfect climate for the trees– they need lots of rain, rich soil, and warm weather to thrive, which means regions that don’t meet those requirements have to import macadamia nuts all the way from Hawaii, South Africa, Latin America, or Australia. And because it takes the trees anywhere from four to six months to flower, the nuts all mature at different times of the year.

That excerpt was taken from the description of the YouTube video and provides some insight into the strange world of harvesting Macadamia Nuts. All of the crops have different maturation times and the trees have extremely slow production rates. This isn’t a food you can just force into the world by speeding it up with plant food.

Are Macadamia Nuts actually worth $25/pound? Probably. If people are willing to spend that much on these nuts then it’s worth it, right?