Why Is Manuka Honey So Expensive? The Full Breakdown

by | Jul 13, 2024 | Honey Education | 0 comments

Why Is Manuka Honey So Expensive?

Manuka honey – the ultimate luxurious sweet treat. It’s sweet, it’s delicious, and it’s often considered the “gold standard” of honey.

But if you’ve ever wandered down the honey aisle at your local supermarket, you may have found yourself blinking in disbelief at the price tag.Why is Manuka honey so expensive? Let’s dive into the full breakdown, unraveling this golden mystery one sticky thread at a time.

What Makes Manuka Honey Unique?

The word Manuka is the indigenous Maori word for the tree known as Leptospermum Scoparium. This bush (or tree) gives birth to the beautiful Manuka flower, which only blooms for a brief period every year.

Bees that collect sweet nectar from manuka flowers, native to New Zealand, make this special honey. The short blooming period of these flowers and their limited availability make them a precious commodity unlike any other honey.

In addition, manuka honey is packed with unique compounds like Methylglyoxal (MGO). This chemical marker is what gives manuka honey its highly sought-after antibacterial properties.The MGO levels can be measured by using the UMF Honey Association or the MGO grading system. The higher the rating, the more MGO present in the honey.

As well as being delicious, manuka honey offers many health benefits. It’s been used for centuries to treat sore throats, clear wounds, and even help with the digestive system. Plus, its anti-microbial properties make it a popular choice in beauty and wellness routines.

When choosing this unique honey, it’s important to make sure it’s genuine. Check for the UMF logo or get verification through reputable sources of the Manuka plant. That way, you’ll know you’re getting the highest quality manuka honey with all its unique properties.

So there you have it! Manuka honey – a rare and luxurious treat, made from the nectar of the manuka flower in New Zealand and harvested by busy bees. Its exclusivity and health benefits make it worth every penny!

Whhy is Manuka Honey Unique?

Why Is Manuka Honey Unique?

What makes Manuka honey so special is its high amounts of individual natural compounds, like methylglyoxal (MGO). This is what gives it its antibacterial properties.

Unlike other types of honey, Manuka honey comes only from Manuka flowers. This exclusivity leads to its high cost and makes it a rare commodity.

Due to its antimicrobial features, people have used Manuka honey for centuries to heal wounds and aid digestion. Its superior quality has made it popular in wellness and beauty routines.

monofloral manuka honey - Comvita raw honey

The highest form of manuka honey is monofloral honey which means it comes from a one source.

Multifloral manuka honey is usually less potent than monofloral Manuka Honey.

The scarcity of Manuka flowers, short flowering window, and bad weather make genuine Manuka honey expensive. Consumers are willing to pay lots for Manuka’s unique properties.

The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) Honey Association has created a rating system based on key chemical markers found in Manuka honey, so people can identify genuine Manuka honey confidently.

In the end, what makes Manuka honey unique is its sole source – only from Manuka flowers – and its high concentrations of beneficial compounds like MGO. And, these factors make it highly valued for various ailments and win it the title of the gold standard among honeys.

Why Is Manuka Honey So Expensive?

Why Is Manuka Honey So Expensive?

Manuka honey is expensive for several reasons:

  1. Limited supply: Manuka trees bloom for a short period each year, creating scarcity and making the honey more valuable.
  2. Geographical challenges: Manuka trees are typically found in isolated hills and areas with poor weather conditions. This makes it difficult for bees to access the trees and produce honey, resulting in higher production costs.
  3. Quality assurance and certification: The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) Association ensures the authenticity and quality of Manuka honey. Honey producers must undergo rigorous testing and adhere to strict guidelines to receive certification. Meeting these requirements adds to the higher price.
  4. Unique properties: Manuka honey contains markers, like methylglyoxal (MGO), that give it antibacterial properties. These properties differentiate it from regular honey and contribute to its higher price.

Pro-tip: When purchasing Manuka honey, look for products with a UMF certification. The UMF grade and MGO levels indicate the honey’s potency in terms of antibacterial properties.

Manuka Honey Vs. Regular Honey

Manuka Honey Vs. Regular Honey

Manuka honey is distinct from regular honey. What makes it stand out? Let’s explore the main differences.

Manuka Honey

  • From the Manuka tree.
  • Contains high levels of methylglyoxal (MGO).

Regular Honey

  • Produced from various flowers.
  • Derived from different plants, such as clover, wildflower, or tea tree.
  • Lower levels of special compounds.

Manuka honey has more benefits than regular honey. It has antibacterial properties, making it great for sore throats and other ailments.

real manuka honey from New Zealand

Quality Assurance and Certification: UMF Association

Quality assurance and certification are crucial in the Manuka honey industry. The UMF Association plays a vital role in ensuring the authenticity and quality of Manuka honey products.

The UMF Association sets and upholds stringent standards for Manuka honey, guaranteeing its quality. It thoroughly tests and audits the honey to verify its authenticity.

UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor, a grading system used to determine the quality and purity of Manuka honey. Only honey that meets the UMF Association’s standards is allowed to bear the UMF trademark.

The UMF grading system takes into account specific chemical compounds, including methylglyoxal (MGO), as key markers. The UMF Association provides a list of certified Manuka honey producers to help consumers make informed choices.

Certification by the UMF body plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the Manuka honey market and protecting consumers from counterfeit or low-quality products. Choosing UMF-certified Manuka honey guarantees authenticity and quality.


Manuka honey is costly because of the special properties of the manuka flower and tree. Only a small amount of nectar is produced by these flowers, which bees then turn into honey. Manuka flowers only bloom for a brief period, so there’s limited production of this honey.It also contains high levels of individual natural compounds, giving it its health benefits and making it rare.

To assess the quality of manuka honey, it’s graded using systems such as UMF grade or MGO levels. The higher the rating, the more antibacterial properties it has.This makes genuine manuka honey highly sought after for its potential to treat sore throats and aid digestion.

Not all manuka flowers create genuine manuka honey. To be sure you’re getting the real thing, buy from reputable brands that are certified by organizations like the UMF Honey Association.These certifications prove that the honey meets the criteria for genuine high-quality manuka honey.

In New Zealand, where most authentic manuka honey is made, beekeepers put hives in hills with manuka bushes to give their bees access to the flowers during their short flowering window.But, if the weather’s bad, it reduces the nectar available, making the honey more expensive.

A medical professional once discovered manuka honey’s wound-healing properties when he used it to treat a difficult-to-heal wound. People then heard about this honey’s special abilities, increasing the demand and raising the prices of top-quality manuka honey.

So, although pricey, buying real high-grade manuka honey can bring many health benefits since it contains properties and compounds not found in local wildflower honeys.So when you spot a jar of this golden liquid in stores or online, think of the hardworking bees and their restricted supply of manuka flowers that make this honey so special.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is Manuka Honey so expensive?

Manuka Honey is expensive due to several factors. One of the main reasons is the scarcity of Manuka flowers, which are the only flowers bees collect nectar from to produce genuine Manuka Honey. Additionally, the Manuka tree, from which the flowers bloom, only grows in certain regions of New Zealand. The short flowering window and poor weather conditions further limit honey production, making it a rare commodity.

  1. Why is Manuka Honey different from regular honey?

Manuka Honey stands out from regular honey due to its unique properties. It contains a high concentration of individual natural compounds that give it antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. These properties make it effective for treating various ailments, such as sore throats and wound healing. Compared to other honeys, Manuka Honey has higher levels of Methylglyoxal (MGO) and is rated using the UMF grading system or the MGO levels.

  1. Are all Manuka flowers used to make Manuka Honey?

No, not all Manuka flowers are used to make Manuka Honey. Bees only collect nectar from the flowers of the Leptospermum scoparium tree, commonly known as the Manuka bush. The flowers from this specific tree produce the authentic and highest quality Manuka Honey.

  1. How is the authenticity of Manuka Honey ensured?

The authenticity of Manuka Honey is ensured by the UMF Honey Association. They have established a rating system based on key chemical markers, including MGO levels, to determine the quality and genuineness of Manuka Honey. Buyers should look for the UMF certification on the packaging to ensure they are getting genuine Manuka Honey.

  1. Can Manuka Honey be used for wellness and beauty routines?

Absolutely! Manuka Honey is popular in wellness and beauty routines due to its unique properties. Its antimicrobial properties make it an excellent ingredient in skincare products, aiding in wound healing and promoting overall skin health. It can also be consumed for digestive support and general well-being.

  1. Where can I buy high-quality Manuka Honey?

You can find high-quality Manuka Honey at specialty stores, health food stores, or online retailers. It is important to check for the UMF certification or the MGO levels to ensure you are purchasing genuine and high-quality Manuka Honey.


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