Why Are Macadamia Nuts So Expensive? (Top 3 Reasons Explained)

If you’re a fan of nuts, one of the things you probably want to do is to try all kinds of nuts. However, as you dive deeper into the world of nuts, you’ll encounter some of the most expensive ones, and the ones on the top include macadamia nuts. So, you may ask:

Why are macadamia nuts so expensive? The main reason macadamia nuts are so expensive is the low supply and the long time it takes for the trees to mature and produce nuts. Another reason is that these nuts are hard to shell out, making them labor-intensive and adding value to them. 

While you can find other nuts around as alternatives, you’ll always notice the difference between having macadamia since they are packed with different flavors. Thus, if you’re curious about their value, understanding the reason behind their price is crucial for you.

This article will give our in-depth take on macadamia nuts and their price. This way, you can understand their value and see if these nuts are worth buying depending on your preference and needs.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Why Are Macadamia Nuts So ExpensivePin

Are macadamia nuts expensive?

Yes, macadamia nuts are expensive. In general, these nuts are among the most expensive nuts in the world. 

Most macadamia nuts can cost up to $25 per pound. These nuts came from the northeastern part of Australia. Further, they usually take seven to ten years to mature and produce nuts. 

Besides these long years of maturity and sensitivity to the climate, macadamia nuts have other factors that increase their price. 

Why are macadamia nuts so expensive?

Here are some of the reasons why macadamia nuts are so expensive. You should read further below to understand if you think these nuts are worth their value for you or not.

Low Supply

The supply of macadamia nuts is one of the main reasons they are expensive.

Most tree nuts grow on trees, so macadamias take longer to harvest than other nuts. Trees can take years to produce nuts from the time they are planted.

Depending on its clone or hybrid, the macadamia tree can mature anywhere between three and seven years. So farmers need to take proper care of these trees if they want to see any return on their investment. 

Furthermore, macadamia trees can only grow in a narrow range of environments or agro-ecologies in which the conditions are just right.

Macadamias can only thrive in countries or regions with high altitudes, frequent rainfalls, and temperate climates. 

Unfortunately, these lands are precious agriculturally and are used to plant other crops such as avocados, tropical fruits, and coffee. In addition, real estate and tourism also increase land value in these regions. 

Consequently, macadamia competes for space, and tree nuts are delayed for a while. These factors mean that land available for macadamia is limited, giving them a high value along the way.  

Long Processing and Problems

The shelling process is another factor that contributes to the high price of macadamia nuts. According to the saying, macadamia nuts are hard to crack and are processed in an industrial setting. 

An area must invest in the necessary infrastructure before shelling kernels. However, many small farmers living in developing countries are already excluded from the race due to the high entry point. 

Further issues surrounding the shelling process include premature harvesting and incorrect or improper shelling.

Premature harvesting occurs when farmers pick nuts before they have developed their excellent oil, so they harvest them when they are still developing.

Shelling can damage the Macadamia kernel if done incorrectly. Less than half of the shelled macadamia kernels are whole kernels. The rest are half-broken pieces.

Considering that whole shelled macadamia nuts are highly sought-after due to their high investment costs, farmers’ guessing games, and nuts being stolen in the line of duty, it is not surprising that they are so valued. 

More Markets

There is a secondary macadamia market in East Asia because macadamia processing factories can only produce a limited number of kernels. 

In this nut in shell market, raw macadamia nuts are sold unprocessed after being sawn in the shell and boiled in salted water for a snack. 

The supply of macadamia NIS in the shelled market is restricted, further increasing this product’s price. 

There is a problem determining a macadamia kernel’s maturity before shelling, which has led to attempts to choose the largest macadamia for the NIS market. 

Lower-quality nuts are being shoved into the supply chain for processed kernels, driving up the cost of grading, shelling, and sorting. 

Approximately 20% of the NIS in Kenya is illegally exported, which poses a serious threat to farmers’ livelihoods since the added value associated with shelling is less likely to be experienced.

How much do macadamia nuts cost?

The Macadamia nut is the world’s most expensive nut. An average pound of macadamia nut costs around $25, almost twice as much as almonds, and they have been breaking price records for years. But, of course, you can lessen those prices when you buy in bulks, although it’s not ideal unless you need many macadamia nuts.

Are macadamia nuts worth the money?

It depends on your preference. Because of the buttery, rich flavor, macadamia nuts are widely regarded as delicious dessert nuts. For this reason, these nuts are often imported to places like China and the United States. 

If people are willing to give a lot of money on such nuts, it’s undoubtedly worth the price. 

Still, it will all boil down to your preference since some people may find macadamia nuts worth buying, while others would find it best to go for cheaper alternatives.

The high-fat content of macadamia nuts is one of the reasons why they are becoming increasingly popular. 

Macadamia nuts are the most fat-rich of all nuts, containing 20.9 grams of fat per pound, which is why many people used to be considered unhealthy. 

However, research shows that macadamia nuts are healthier and more nutritious than other alternatives.


In a nutshell, macadamia nuts are so expensive because they are so few, and it takes so long for the trees to mature. Another thing is that this nut is difficult to shell out these nuts, so their value increases. 

Despite having other nuts as alternatives, macadamia nuts will always taste different since they have this unique flavor. Thus, if you’re curious about their worth, you must understand why they’re so expensive. We hope this article gives you an idea of the worth or value of macadamia nuts.

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Image credits – Canva

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