Over 30 years ago, MAUNA LOA started perfecting Hawaii's most sought after nut. It became a crunchy macadamia nut with a flavor all its own. Since then, MAUNA LOA has created a delightful variety of macadamia nut treats. Now, with over a dozen flavors to choose from, MAUNA LOA leads the way in providing one of the world's tastiest macadamia nut selections.
1881: Australian Tourist Loves Hawaii - In 1881, the first macadamia tree came to Hawaii. It was planted on the Island of Hawaii at Kapulena near Waipi'o Valley, where it thrived.
1921: The First Plantation - By 1921 a far-seeing Massachusetts man, Ernest van Tassel, thought there might be commercial potential in growing macadamias. He planted the first Hawaiian macadamia plantation on government land near Honolulu. Unfortunately, he was ahead of his time. Back then, seedlings from one parent tree couldn't produce nuts of consistent quality. By the 1930's a small amount of nuts were sold commercially, but large-scale commercial production was yet to come.
1922: University of Hawaii - 20 Years of Research - The University of Hawaii embarked on 20 years of testing and research. Some 60,000 trees were observed and tested in a painstaking process of selection and grafting. Eventually nine strains were developed that could consistently produce a high quality nut. That was the beginning of a long partnership between MAUNA LOA and the University of Hawaii, which continues today.
1946: Our Original Plantation - The original plantation of what was to become Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation was established in 1946. The very first macadamia nut trees were planted early that year near Kea'au on the Big Island of Hawaii (where we still make our home).
1956: Our First Commercial Crop - You have to be patient with macadamia trees. They take seven years to produce a commercial crop, and 15 to really pick up steam. But the original investment paid off, and the first commercial crop was harvested in 1956.
1976: Lots More Trees! - By 1976 the old sugar plantation business in Hawaii was waning. Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation began converting five old sugar plantations to macadamia plantations at the rate of 1000 acres a year. Most of those trees are still producing the premium macadamia nuts you enjoy today.
1980's: We Crack Nut - Cracking Problems - We worked with scientists to find better ways to crack the world's hardest nut. Our goal was to preserve more nut kernels whole. It worked, and we were able to supply the growing demand for premium, whole macadamia nuts.
1984: Mauna Loa Volcano Blows Her Top - In 1984 a big eruption made headline news. Our namesake volcano, Mauna Loa, became famous overnight. And with it our nut company, and our macadamia plantations nestled on her slopes. Now more visitors were coming to Hawaii, discovering the delicious taste of MAUNA LOA macadamia nuts, and demanding the same premium nuts from stores back home on the mainland.
2004: HERSHEY'S Buys a Taste of the Tropics - The Hershey Company acquires the MAUNA LOA brand.
TODAY: One of the Largest and Most Experienced Processors in the World - Our primary nut processing plant is still in Hilo, Hawaii (come see our Visitor Center there when you're on the Big Island). Our attention to quality at every step of processing has earned MAUNA LOA its premium reputation as the leader in the macadamia nut industry.