The Truth Behind Why Nobody Makes Organic Macarons

Organic macarons are hard to find in the U.S. — but your customers prefer organic. More and more retailers are requiring organic or other environmental certifications to carry products. And studies show that consumers are increasingly willing to pay a premium for a product they know is produced sustainably.

You would love to offer all-natural macarons, but producing them in-house isn’t feasible. So why can’t you find organic macarons? With strong consumer demand for organic food, shouldn’t the market respond with enough supply?
In this article, we explore why, despite the many macaron brands on the market, it’s nearly impossible to find organic macarons. We cover:

  • Why turning out macarons with organic ingredients is surprisingly hard
  • The ultra-processed ingredients used by most manufacturers to create flavors
  • 11 macaron flavors that are USDA-certified organic and free of dyes and artificial flavors

Organic Macarons Making

French Macarons Are Difficult to Master

Two factors play into the cost of any food product — ingredients and labor. Some products are made with expensive ingredients but are relatively easy to make (e.g., rolled truffles). Other products are made with cheaper ingredients but require more skill and labor to execute well (e.g., sourdough bread).

French macarons happen to be expensive on both sides of the equation: pricey ingredients and labor-intensive. They’re also quite tricky to produce consistently, requiring a level of culinary expertise that is hard to find — let alone retain.
And this is when made with conventional ingredients, which are significantly cheaper than organic ingredients.

Duverger Macarons

Organic Ingredients Make a Baker’s Job Harder

Visually stunning macarons have beautifully smooth, round shells with a ruffled “foot” that is difficult to achieve. They require patience, multiple resting periods, and hand-folding beaten egg whites together with finely ground almonds just until the batter achieves the consistency of a ribbon.

One ingredient can sabotage the entire recipe.

For example, using less-processed organic cane sugar (which has a slightly irregular crystal shape) instead of conventional granulated sugar (twice processed to achieve a uniform crystal shape) can cause:

  • Cracked macaron shells from over-beaten egg whites
  • Puffy, inconsistent shells with bubbles
  • Raggedy, uneven edges

Making attractive French macarons with all-natural and organic ingredients requires more care and expertise. The French call this savoir-faire, or know-how.
Frankly, going organic is riskier. With the high cost of producing macarons, it’s much safer to use conventional ingredients.

The Wholesale Market Is Even Worse

You will find even fewer organic macarons on the wholesale market. Labor-intensive baked goods like French macarons are a serious challenge to produce profitably for retail. Wholesale strips away another percentage of profit, because the wholesale bakery needs to price the product low enough for their retail or restaurant customers to make a profit selling them to the end customer.

There isn’t much incentive for bakeries to invest time and money into the organic certification process when they will barely make a profit with that product.

How Most Macaron Producers Solve This Problem

Most companies start out making macarons by hand in the traditional method, then hit a wall as they start to expand. As bakeries plan to scale up, they take a hard look at their production facility and capacity. They can hire more people to continue producing a handmade product or invest in machinery or outsourcing to increase production.

Machine-Driven Production

Understandably, many turn to machines. Most industrial macarons are made in a bulk base batch. Flavor compounds and tints are added to this base batch to produce a variety of flavors. Large machines called depositors manage macaron production.
Like magic, shell batter and fillings can be pumped and deposited at the rate of up to 9,000 macarons per hour.

This makes for a very efficient production line, but there are some downsides.

1. Artificial Colors and PreMade Flavor Compounds

Depositor machines require a very smooth, uniform mixture to extrude properly. Artificial colors and flavor compounds are used because they are faster and easier to mix into a base batch of filling.

Though they lack the vivid flavor that comes from real fruits and nuts, liquid flavor extracts and commercial nut pastes are both more convenient and less likely to cause a jam or blockage of an expensive machine.

2. Preservatives and Stabilizers

To enhance shelf life and improve texture, many additives are used in macarons: xanthan gum, guar gum, pectins, agar-agar, citric acid, carrageenans, and ascorbic acid.

3. Cheap Ingredients and Fillers

Organic ingredients — especially almond flour, one of the foundational ingredients in macarons — can be hard to source and very expensive. Suppliers of specialty ingredients like almond flour aren’t always able to meet the volume required for bulk macaron production.

Some artisanal producers opt to blanch and mill their own almonds into flour. At the other extreme, those colorful wholesale macarons at the too-good-to-be-true price are often cut with wheat flour to save money, resulting in a gluey macaron that is no longer gluten-free.

Butter is replaced with shortening, fresh raspberry with raspberry extract, sugar with corn syrup. You get the drift.

Add these compromises and shortcuts together, and eventually you end up with a colorful macaron assortment that looks good. But the flavor and mouthfeel is nothing like an authentic French macaron. And your customers will taste the difference.

Duverger Macarons

Yes, There Are Now USDA-Certified Organic Macarons

We are currently the only company to offer USDA Organic-certified organic wholesale macarons.

When we set out to recreate the macarons we adored (and missed) from our native France, we knew they had to be entirely handmade from fresh ingredients. Nothing artificial. No shortcuts. All from scratch. Pursuing organic certification was the natural next step.

In 2019, we earned the certification, which followed the footsteps of a gluten-free certification we already had for our entire product line.

What Does USDA Organic Certification Mean?

The green and white “USDA Organic” seal is only allowed on a product label if that product is made with 95% or more organic ingredients (measured by weight, excluding salt and water). Other required standards:

  • No genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) can be used.
  • All ingredients must be certified organic with the exception of a few allowed substances (like the soy lecithin we use as an emulsifier in our fillings). But even those allowed substances must fall below the 5% of the total product weight.
  • Production facilities must pass annual USDA inspections.

The Importance of Clean Ingredients — A Macaron’s Simple Foundation

The fewer ingredients a recipe has, the more important it is that each of them is the highest possible quality. Authentic French macarons are made of just a few ingredients: egg whites whipped with sugar, then folded together with finely ground almonds.
All of our macarons are handmade, and we use absolutely no artificial colors, preservatives, flavorings, or compounds.

1. Sugar

While powdered sugar (also called icing sugar) is often used as a shortcut, it contains cornstarch which produces a chewier macaron. The best-textured macarons are made with granulated sugar. We only use organic cane sugar, which requires more skill to work with than standard granulated sugar but produces a superior flavor.

2. Almond Flour

Duverger MacaronsTraditionally, blanched almonds are finely ground into a flour and folded into the meringue to create the batter for the cookie shell of the macaron. Nuts are expensive, so some factory macarons are cut with cheaper wheat flour. We’re fortunate to be located in California, a global hub of almond production, which allows us access to enough organic almonds to produce our organic product line.

3. Egg Whites

Egg whites form the structural base of the macaron and are very important to the finished product. Most producers use conventional eggs, because they are far less expensive than organic eggs. We only use organic, cage-free eggs.

Ingredient Breakdown of Macaron Flavors: Organic vs. Non-Organic

Exactly how different are organic macaron ingredients from non-organic? We made a chart to show you.

At Duverger, we believe you should be able to taste and feel the real ingredients that make our organic macarons — notice those real pistachios rather than that fake pistachio flavoring and artificial green color. Here’s how Duverger ingredients stack up next to non-organic peers:

We believe you should be able to feel the nibbly bits of fresh pistachio on your tongue as you bite into a pistachio macaron — not a uniformly smooth blob of buttercream with a dash of artificial pistachio flavor, almond extract, and artificial green coloring.

RaspberryFresh organic raspberries
Organic sugar
Fresh organic lemon juice
Raspberry flavor
Corn syrup
Fruit pectin, acetic acid
PistachioClassic honey-colored macarons made in the traditional method with finely ground pistachios in both the shell and the buttercream filling.
Organic raw pistachios
Natural color (vegetable/fruit extract)
Often made with almond flour to cut down on costs and simplify production, along with:
Commercial pistachio paste
Artificial pistachio flavor
Artificial green coloring
Salted CaramelUnlike most, our caramel filling is homemade from pure:
Organic butter
Organic cream
Sea salt
Made with non-organic ingredients and additives:
Glucose syrup
Praline flavor compound
ChocolateWe use organic semi-sweet chocolate for our ganache filling and sprinkle shards of real cocoa nibs over our shells for garnish.
Organic 56.4% chocolate with coconut blossom sugar
Organic ground cocoa beans
Organic cocoa powder
Organic chocolate is rarely used in macarons.
Inexpensive chocolate with high sugar content
Stabilizers like carrageenan
Added oils
VanillaWe import organic vanilla beans directly from Tahiti and use the entire bean for a depth of flavor hard to find in vanilla macarons:
Organic Tahitian vanilla bean and seeds
Real organic white chocolate in our ganache filling
Usually made with conventional ingredients and:
Ganache filling made with palm kernel oil
Artificial vanilla (vanillin)
Xanthan gum, carrageenan, triethyl citrate
CoffeeOur coffee macarons are filled with a European meringue-based buttercream infused with organic coffee.
Organic freeze-dried coffee
Fresh organic butter
Organic caramel powder
For shelf stability and cost, a white chocolate filling is often substituted for buttercream, resulting in a cloyingly sweet macaron.
Low-grade white chocolate with high sugar content
Artificial colors
LemonReal lemon curd filling made fresh.
Organic lemons
Organic butter
Organic cane sugar
Most producers do not make fresh lemon curd. Often includes:
Premade lemon curd (made with conventional lemons)
Artificial lemon extract
Rose Our classic rose-scented macarons are kissed with pink color derived only from fruits and vegetables.
Organic cane sugar
Organic almond flour
Organic cage-free eggs and butter
Organic rose extract
Rose macarons are popular for gifts and baby showers because of their pink color, which is almost always artificial.
Rose syrup
Rose flavor paste (concentrated flavoring compound), often natural but not organic
CoconutAll-natural coconut buttercream filling and sprinkled all over with bits of freshly toasted coconut.
Organic shredded coconut
Organic butter
100% natural organic coconut extract
Coconut is expensive. Often there are only a few flakes of real coconut sprinkled on as a garnish.
Coconut extract
Mass-produced coconut syrup
Artificial coconut flavor
Earl GreyMeringue shells filled with white chocolate ganache infused with the scent of bergamot.
Organic white chocolate with real cocoa butter and vanilla
Organic honey
Organic tea leaves
Ganache filling made with white coating palm kernel oil.
Non-organic white chocolate chips
Artificial colors
Blueberry LavenderMeringue shells sandwiched with our own homemade jam made with fresh berries.
Organic local blueberries
Natural color derived from organic produce
Organic lavender buds
Lavender essential oil
Other producers usually rely on bottled flavor compounds or mix-ins for berry fillings.
Gelling agents and emulsifiers for stability
Artificial flavors
Artificial blue coloring

Duverger Macarons

Get a Taste of the Only Organic Wholesale Macarons on the Market

Taste for yourself the difference in flavor and texture that only comes from clean ingredients handled with care by artisan bakers.

Request a sample of our certified organic macarons here.

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