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Snack sales jump for Hawaii macadamia nut company

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:53 a.m. HST, May 14, 2014

Royal Hawaiian Orchards LP, Hawaii's largest grower of macadamia nuts, narrowed a first-quarter net loss to $253,000 from $628,000 a year earlier as it continued to make headway by selling more packaged snack products with nuts it used to sell wholesale.

The Hilo-based company nearly doubled revenue to $3.6 million in the recent quarter from $2 million a year earlier, driven by packaged snack sales of $1.7 million in the recent quarter that was up from $200,000 a year earlier, according to an earnings report released Wednesday.

Raw nut sales generated $1.7 million in revenue in the first quarter, up from $1.4 million a year earlier.

Royal Hawaiian Orchards said its gross profit from snack products rose by $452,000 in the year-over-year period due to higher sales and lower product costs.

The company also said it intends to aggressively increase the amount it spends on promotions and fees to secure shelf space in retail stores with the expectation to expand sales through mainstream grocery and mass merchandise retailers.

Royal Hawaiian Orchards, formerly known as ML Macadamia Orchards LP, introduced its line of sweet and savory nut snack foods in late 2012 in a strategy to avoid raw-nut price fluctuations and capitalize on higher profit margins through retail sales.

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