The Return Of The Macadamias Innovation Challenge

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 16th April 2019

Celebrating new and creative winning ideas, the Australian Macadamias Innovation Challenge inspires food manufacturers to use macadamias in their product development by showcasing innovative concepts using macadamia nuts


The Australian Macadamias Innovation Challenge Finals event returned this week to Byron Bay, Australia, giving the most creative individuals in the industry the chance to come together and take their innovative food creation to the next level.

Following the success of last year’s inaugural Macadamias Innovation Challenge, this one-of-a-kind industry event continues to inspire new food concepts using the versatile macadamia nut and drive new demand for macadamias globally.

As the world’s leading producer of macadamia kernels and the nation’s fourth largest horticultural export, there was truly no place more suited to host the Macadamia Innovation Challenge Finals than Byron Bay, one of Australia’s largest macadamia growing regions.

The Finals brought together macadamia growers, industry professionals, food manufacturers and food technology students from around the world to celebrate the ten shortlisted unique food product concepts, among a panel of industry specialists who together selected the winners.

This year’s participants were challenged to use the macadamia nut in an inventive creation, adopting either an Asian or Western flavour profile, within four target categories; confectionary, snacks, cereals and future foods.

Inspiring food manufacturers from all over the world is something we are passionate about and the Innovation Challenge gives us the opportunity to offer industry experts the chance to learn more about where we grow the versatile and healthy ingredient, while inspiring the use of macadamias within their products.”

The entries were judged by four leading industry experts – Pam Brook, macadamia grower and co-founder of Brookfarm, Australia’s leading producer of gourmet macadamia cereal and snack products; Dr. Kiyoko Kubomura, President of Kubomura Food Advisory Consultants Japan; Ben Kolly, Technical and Product Manager at Haigh’s Chocolate; and Emma Welsh, the co-founder of Emma & Tom’s healthy drinks and snacks.

The winners of 2019 Innovation Challenge are as follows:

  1. Britty Macaddy Chikki

Individual Student Winner: Ms. Kirti Mittal

Prize: A trip to attend Fi Europe 2019, from 2nd – 6th December 2019


  1. Purple Sesadamia Butter

Individual Professional Winner: Ms. Pridhuvi Thavaraj

Prize: A trip to attend Fi Europe 2019, from 2nd – 6th December 2019


  1. Soba and Macadamia Ration Cookie Bar

Team Winner: Mr. Kazuma Konno, Ms. Hiromi Mimura, Ms. Momoka Osawa, Mr. Koya Ohashi, Ms. Haruna Taniyama (Japanese entry)

Prize: $5000 cash grant towards your studies or business endeavours to be shared equally between team members


  1. Crispy Crunch Macadamia Karinto

Industry Choice Winner: Ms. Natsumi Otani (Japanese entry, Individual Professional)

Prize: A bespoke mentoring programme to help advance them in their studies or career


The judges were impressed by the high standard of entries this year and credited all finalists on their inventive food creations.

It is inspiring to see the industry continuing to grow. This year’s level of creativity in the Innovation Challenge was even higher than last years, as we challenged the best minds in the industry to come up with unique food concepts. It was truly a challenge for us as the judges to select the winners, as all finalists used innovation in their use of macadamias in their own way” said Pam Brook, Innovation Challenge judge and macadamia grower.

The Judging Event and winner announcement ceremony took place in Byron Bay on Thursday 4th April 2019.