Would you pay $2,171 for a jar of honey? That’s how much a 0.5lb (230 gram) jar of The True Honey Company’s Rare Harvest mānuka honey is going for in the market.
Additionally, only 1000 jars are available for sale and they are always sold out. That’s how popular manuka honey is worldwide. But why is it so expensive?
Manuka honey is expensive because it is rare and has a very high demand among honey lovers. Bees have to pollinate the manuka flower for the honey to be considered authentic and there is certifying government body to ensure this quality is adhered to. Additionally, both the beauty, health, and food industry are all vying for the same manuka honey which drives up the price.
So, what is manuka honey, and is it worth the hefty price?
What is Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey comes from New Zealand and Australia. It is produced when bees pollinate the manuka tree, commonly known as the tea tree.
New Zealand and Australian governments have created bodies to regulate the production of manuka honey to ensure the highest quality and prevent adulteration.
These bodies have requirements that are used to judge real authentic Manuka honey. These include DNA and chemical tests to ensure potency, authenticity, purity, shelf life, and freshness.
That means any jar that bears this mark of quality is truly authentic Manuka honey.
What Is So Special About Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey has many benefits as a delicacy food and antibacterial. It is sweet and highly viscous and works well as a healthy sugar alternative. It can be used as a preservative, relief for sore throat, and healing mild skin conditions.
Additionally, manuka honey goes through a certification process to ensure standardized global quality. The UMF grade is a quality assurance system for New Zealand mānuka honey.
To acquire the Unique Mānuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) quality, manuka honey producers must pass stringent grading and rating tests.
The two highest grading levels are Superior Rare High Grade containing UMF 24+, and Ultra-Premium Grade with UMF 15+ to UMF 20+ and above.
The two other levels are Premium Grade with UMF 10+ to UMF 15+, and Certified Authentic which contains UMF 5+ to UMF 9+.
With these measures in place, consumers can be assured of authenticity and the highest quality.
Manuka Honey Price Per kg
Genuine New Zealand honey will cost you about $74 per kg. This is quite expensive compared to regular honey in the market.
Why is Manuka Honey More Expensive than Regular Honey?
Manuka flowers are predominantly found in New Zealand and parts of Australia. However, the manuka flower is not widely available in the two countries.
The plant is also a long-term investment, taking up to six years to mature.
2. Short Pollination Window
For the most part of the year, the manuka plant does not flower. The flowers start to bloom towards the last months of the year. They are in bloom for about 2 to 6 weeks.
The bees have a very short window to collect nectar from the flower. The honey has to be harvested soon after to ensure the highest UMF™ grade. This is both labor-intensive and adds to production cots.
To be UMF certified, farmers have to go through rigorous tests to ensure compliance. This creates an added layer of measures such as moving hives to remote areas that are hard to maintain and harvest. This adds to the cost of production which is reflected in the final retail price.
4. Medicinal Properties
Perhaps the most well-known quality of manuka honey is its health benefits. Manuka has more antibacterial properties than any other type of honey in the world.
Numerous research has gone into these findings and manuka always comes out on top as one of the best honey for health benefits.
5. Sensitive to Climate Change
The manuka bushes can only produce good nectar when they have good moisture levels and are sheltered and warm.
These plants are very sensitive to colder climates and will perish if they are left out to frost or winter temperatures. Extra care is therefore required during the colder months.
Most Expensive Manuka Honey
The most expensive manuka honey costs $2700 a jar. It is produced by The True Honey Company’s Rare Harvest from Ahipara, New Zealand.
The honey has the highest unique mānuka factor (UMF) ever produced at 31+. The producers achieve this by placing their hives in remote parts of the country amongst pure manuka strands with little to no contamination of other nectars.
Where to Buy Manuka Honey
Manuka honey can be bought from Target, Walmart, and other healthy food outlets.
If shopping online, Amazon always stocks genuine certified manuka, honey. Ensure to check the authenticity of the honey by checking the UMF certification on the jar.
Is Manuka Honey Worth the Money?
Yes, Manuka honey is worth the price. It is very delicious and 100% organic and it is the best alternative to processed sugar.
Besides, manuka honey is considered the champagne of honey due to how rare it is and the extra care and effort that goes into its production. Manuka honey is It’s antibacterial and bacterial resistant.
It can be used to hasten wound healing clear up blemishes and cure a sore throat. It’s also an amazing moisturizing agent for the skin and can be used raw as a face mask in the morning.
Manuka Honey Alternatives that are Just as Good
1. Sourwood Honey
If you are looking for globally acclaimed honey irrespective of price, Sourwood is a good place to start. Sourwood has a light amber color and a distinctive award-winning taste. With a price tag of $9,500 per pound, it is easily among the most expensive varieties in the world.
2. Irish Heather Honey
Irish heather honey is a great affordable alternative to manuka honey. This variety has been proven to contain numerous health benefits.
3. Buckwheat Honey
Buckwheat honey is dark and strong-flavored. In the US, it is produced several states including Ohio, Ohio, Minnesota, New York, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Buckwheat honey is relatively more budget-friendly compared to manuka honey.