Is Manuka Honey a Con? Sorting Facts from Fiction


4 minutes, 30 seconds

Essential Takeaways

The benefits of pure, genuine manuka honey are real and backed by scientific evidence. From healing some of the most serious wounds to easing allergies, gastritis, ulcers, and lots in between - one thing’s for sure; manuka honey is not a con.

What often makes people suspicious is the price. Manuka honey is more expensive than other honey for these key reasons: Its health benefits make it more desirable; its supply is limited; and it’s the most regulated honey in the world.

The UMF™ grading system helps you to sort the friends from the foes: which manuka honeys are the real deal, and which may be diluted or less potent.

Manuka honey has garnered much attention as a premium product with exceptional health benefits.

Originating from New Zealand, this honey is produced by bees that take pollen from the mānuka bush.

It is prized for its medicinal properties, particularly its antibacterial attributes.

Consumers worldwide, attracted by these benefits, pay steeper prices for a jar of manuka honey, which has raised questions about its value and effectiveness.

Questions about the authenticity of products labelled as manuka honey, coupled with the high cost, have led to debates about whether it is indeed a worthwhile investment or an overpriced con.

Here’s the truth.

In this guide to whether manuka honey is a con:

  • What is manuka honey? The background and claims

  • 6 reasons why manuka honey costs more

  • Why manuka honey isn’t a con

  • Buy UMF™ grade manuka honey to get the real deal

What Is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is renowned for being more than just a sweetener.

Produced in New Zealand, this special honey is famous for its unique qualities that go beyond those of regular honey.

Scientists have researched its antibacterial properties for decades, leading to many more specific studies about its use for specific ailments.

And so much more!  

Grading authentic manuka honey

To protect the integrity of genuine manuka honey, the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF™) grading system was developed.

It is a global standard used to measure the antibacterial strength of manuka honey.

It indicates the quality of the honey and confirms its authenticity.

The UMF™ rating reflects the concentration of certain key compounds such as methylglyoxal (MGO), which are believed to contribute to manuka honey's therapeutic properties.

Health claims and evidence

Manuka honey has been proven effective for supporting wound healing and can battle infection thanks to its non peroxide antibacterial properties.

Research also suggests that its high sugar content and low pH helps to stop bacterial growth.

Whilst you should always chat with your doctor before using anything for medical purposes (even something natural), the evidence shows that manuka honey is an amazing healer.


6 Reasons Why Manuka Honey Costs More

One of the primary concerns for sceptics questioning the legitimacy of manuka honey revolves around its seemingly steep price compared to regular honey.

While the cost difference is undeniable, understanding the factors contributing to this discrepancy sheds light on why manuka honey comes with a premium price tag.

  1. Its unique harvesting conditions

Manuka honey is sourced from the nectar of the mānuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium), which often grows in the remote and rugged landscapes of New Zealand.

The harvesting conditions are often challenging, requiring beekeepers to navigate difficult terrains to collect the honey.

The higher grades of manuka honey sometimes come from remote locations, which means limited access to the hives, making the entire process labour-intensive and time-consuming.

  1. A limited flowering period

The manuka tree has a relatively short flowering period, further limiting the time available for bees to collect nectar.

This scarcity of blooming flowers contributes to the low supply of manuka honey, making it a sought-after and exclusive product.

  1. A meticulous production process

The production of manuka honey involves a rigorous process to ensure its purity and potency.

To be graded as an official UMF™ manuka honey, beekeepers must follow strict quality control measures to meet the standards set by the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF™) certification system.

This involves careful extraction, testing, and packaging, adding to the overall cost of production.

  1. Its high methylglyoxal (MGO) content

The medicinal properties of manuka honey (particularly its high MGO content) set it apart from regular honey.

The specialised harvesting and production processes required to maintain and enhance the level of active compounds contributes to the overall expense of producing manuka honey.

  1. Its global recognition

The UMF™ certification, a globally recognised standard for manuka honey, ensures its authenticity and quality.

Meeting these standards requires additional resources, including testing facilities and quality assurance processes, all of which contribute to the higher cost of certified manuka honey.

  1. Increased demand and limited supply

The growing popularity of manuka honey worldwide has led to increased demand.

However, the limited geographical distribution of the manuka tree and its short flowering conditions create a supply-demand imbalance, further driving up the cost.

While the price may seem high compared to regular honey, it reflects the exceptional effort, expertise, and natural conditions involved in bringing this extraordinary product from hive to table.

There are plenty of brands selling fake and adulterated manuka honey, so make sure to buy UMF™-certified manuka honey to ensure that you receive a legitimate, authentic and high-quality product.

Why Manuka Honey Isn’t a Con

So whilst concerns about manuka honey are understandable, ultimately, manuka honey is not a con but a time-tested natural remedy with substantial scientific backing.

Its unique properties make it a powerful superfood with applications in wound care, digestive health, immune system support, and much more.

To ensure you are getting the real deal, opt for UMF™-certified manuka honey.

You can see what our verified customers think about it here.

Embrace the goodness of nature and make manuka honey a part of your wellness journey.

Get UMF™ Manuka Honey from New Zealand Honey Co.

We know the manuka honey market can sometimes feel confusing and that’s why transparency is one of our core values.

We only deal with responsible beekeepers and source the best manuka honey that New Zealand has to offer.

Shop manuka honey here.

Unsure which grade is right for you?

Take the quiz.

Your wellness journey starts with a spoonful a day.


Recieve our latest weekly releases, offers, guides and more.

Thank you!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.