Hilo-based macadamia nut producer Royal Hawaiian Orchards L.P. pocketed more income in the third quarter as the company formerly known as ML Macadamia Orchards L.P. geared up to launch retail sales of flavored nuts in snack packages.
The company on Wednesday reported earning $296,000 in the three-month period ended Sept. 30, up from $38,000 in the same quarter last year.
The gain was mainly from nut prices that were 14 percent higher. Nut production was down 10 percent.
Total revenue rose 5 percent to $6.3 million in the recent quarter from $6 million a year ago.
Royal Hawaiian began selling 12 varieties of flavored nuts and fruit-and-nut clusters last week. Revenue from the new endeavor will start to show up in the company’s fourth-quarter financial report. The company reported spending $147,000 on the retail effort in the third quarter.
The retail endeavor represents a shift for Royal Hawaiian, which historically sold all its nuts in bulk to Hershey Co.’s Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp.
Royal Hawaiian plans to retain one-third of its nuts next year to use for packaged food sales through subsidiary Royal Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Inc. and perhaps some bulk sales.