Why is Mānuka Honey So Expensive?

Why is Mānuka Honey So Expensive?

Why was** is Manuka honey more expensive than other honeys?


**spoiler alert - We have put an end to Mānuka Honey being expensive with the lowest prices ever. So low we guarantee you won't find lower. Get shopping here.

Why does Mānuka Honey cost so much? It’s a question we get asked all the time. We get it - not all things expensive are truly worth the money. But when it comes to purchasing genuine Mānuka honey, there are many good reasons to explain the higher price.

New Zealand Mānuka honey is more expensive than other honey varieties because it’s rare. 


It’s native to New Zealand

Mānuka honey is native to New Zealand. The Mānuka plant is not found anywhere else in the world, as it requires a specific type of climate that only New Zealand offers. This means that Mānuka honey is limited in supply yet consistently in high demand, driving an increase in price.

The Mānuka bush has a short flowering window

Mānuka honey comes from the Leptoscoparium bush or Tea tree. The Mānuka tree is only in flower for two to three months a year, meaning that bees have a very tight timeframe to collect nectar from the Mānuka flower.

Honey is a natural product, and for the most part, Mother Nature runs the show. That means the people who produce it (like yours truly, for example) are both grateful for and at the mercy of her forces. Weather good and bad during the short few weeks that the Mānuka flowers bloom can affect our yield for the entire year. 

manuka honey tree

Mānuka honey is difficult to harvest


It involves helicoptering to remote places

The Mānuka tree is not abundant in New Zealand. Often, to get pure monofloral Mānuka Honey, our hives have to be helicoptered into remote places at high altitudes where the Mānuka tree grows in high quantities. Helicopters are used both in the collecting process and to transport beehives in and out of these locations, which comes at a very high cost.


The hard-working bees must be kept healthy

Bees are integral to the Mānuka honey-making process. However, the process of making Mānuka honey requires a lot more from bees than other varieties of honey. Bees have to travel far distances and work at high altitudes in unpredictable weather conditions. Because of this, bees can become sick quite easily. If the queen becomes sick or dies, the entire hive will also become sick or die in certain species.

Bee health is extremely important. Beekeepers work hard to nurture bees and monitor their well-being. It costs a significant amount of money for the time and resources needed to keep bees at optimum health.

Real UMF Mānuka honey must be tested and graded


There is no hiding that real Mānuka Honey, with all its benefits, is expensive! Mānuka honey is very different from regular honey. However, unfortunately, as with anything expensive on the market, people try to mimic and cheat the product.

We use the Unique Mānuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) testing and grading process to ensure we are providing you with authentic Mānuka honey. We send every batch of our Mānuka Honey for independent testing involving various factors. This way, the honey that we produce always meets our own and the UMFHA’s standards for quality and authenticity, so you can rest assured we’re providing you with the best honey on the market.

UMF manuka honey from New Zealand

What exactly does the UMFHA test for in Mānuka honey?

Mānuka honey contains these three properties, setting it apart from other types of honey:


Leptosperin is a naturally occurring chemical that only exists in the Mānuka tree. If the honey produced contains this genetic marker, the Mānuka honey is authentic.

Methylglyoxal (MGO)

Methylglyoxal (MGO) is the antibacterial component responsible for the health benefits of Mānuka honey. The more MGO a honey jar has, the more powerful its benefits. Monofloral Mānuka honey, which is sourced purely from the Mānuka bush, will have a higher MGO rating than Multifloral Mānuka honey, which is sourced from various plant species. The most expensive honey will always have the highest MGO rating. 


DHA is a concentrated amount of MGO, measured to test how strong the levels of MGO in any given jar of honey are. If DHA levels are high, the honey is of a higher quality.

This thorough testing process means you can trust that when you buy Mānuka honey with us, we’re providing you with the real deal - an internationally valued UMF® graded pure honey with all its unique properties and health benefits, not to mention a delicious sweet treat.

Why are some UMF Mānuka honeys more expensive than others?


It all comes down to the UMF rating system. Generally, cheaper UMF Mānuka Honey has less potency and is of a lower grade. We use our happiness scale as an easy guide to explain the benefits of our full range of Mānuka Honey products:

 Happy Scale Manuka

UMF 5+ & 10+ for Everyday Happiness

UMF 5+ and UMF 10+ are Ideal on your wallet for regular use and an extra bit of everyday happiness in your food or drinks.

UMF 15+ & 18+ For Targeted Happiness

UMF 15+ and UMF 18+ contain higher MGO levels ideal for topical usages such as DIY beauty treatments. For more targeted happiness, consume these in cooking and beverages to help support general health and wellness.

UMF 20+ For Boosted Happiness

Our highest UMF rated raw honey for a full boost of happiness. With almost 10x the amount of MGO found in UMF 5+, UMF 20+ is packed full of benefits, possessing antimicrobial properties without killing good bacteria. Treating infections, soothing sore throats, protecting against pathogens, and immunity support are just a few of the ways our customers have told us how UMF 20+ Mānuka honey improves their quality of life - find more UMF 20+ reviews and shop our UMF 20+ Mānuka honey here!


Is buying Mānuka honey worth it?


So, why is Mānuka honey expensive? Because it’s rare and difficult to produce, yet offers unique properties and incredible health benefits not found in regular types of honey. That’s why we go to great lengths and have such passion for what we do. Mānuka honey is high-quality honey like no other - and worth the high prices.

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