Why Is Manuka Honey So Expensive?

Honey is known for its exceptionally delicious taste and multiple health benefits. It is also a prominent ingredient used in cooking and baking as well.

It works as a healthy sweetener and is a great replacement for sugar.It has also been used for medicinal purposes for ages because of the variety of health benefits.

Manuka honey that can only be found in New Zealand has exceptional medicinal qualities that comes with a very high price tag. Did you know that Manuka honey is recommended by the doctors for speedy recovery?

This type of honey is one of the most expensive honey. It is because of its high quality that no other typical honey possesses. As Manuka honey is quite costly, most people cannot afford to utilize it daily. But in some medical conditions and situations, doctors recommend having Manuka honey for a speedy recovery.

Manuka honey costs around USD 30 for a 250gram jar on average. Also, this honey is usually not available in grocery stores.

If you want to have a good pot of Manuka honey, you will have to get it from some authentic natural food store or whole foods store.

The cost of Manuka honey increases as the grading number increases. The purest honey will be the most expensive one.

You can always try lower graded Manuka honey if you cannot afford the purest one. Manuka honey blends are also available in the relatively cheaper market than pure honey.

You can get your honey blend on Amazon for around $16 for an 8.8-ounce pack.

Manuka honey is also available at Costco and is reliable in its quality and taste. You can get Manuka honey for around $9.09 per ounce from Costco.

Remember that the price range might differ depending on the quality and purity of the Manuka honey.

10 Reasons Why Manuka Honey is So Expensive

Now that you know that Manuka honey is quite expensive due to its unique taste and excellent quality, let’s discuss some other reasons.

Listed below are some reasons that make Manuka honey so expensive.

1. It is found in a Single Country

One of the main reasons Manuka honey is so expensive is found in New Zealand only.

This honey comes from a plant named Leptospermum scoparium, which is quite rare and grows only in New Zealand due to the ideal climatic conditions.

As the Manuka honey comes in limited supply, the greater the cost.

Although scientists can grow the tree in a lab, it will still not be able to produce the same quality of Manuka honey. Moreover, as it is a costly process, it will only add up to the price of honey.

2. It Goes Through the Grading and Classification Process

Even though it is claimed that honey is good for health, not all types of honey go through the grading and classification process.

As Manuka honey goes through these processes, it ensures various health benefits.

Manuka honey is graded to know how much potential it is so that it can be used for a particular health problem.

Its classification ensures the quality of the honey before it is packed into different jars. The extensive testing process of this honey also adds up to its overall price.

3. It is Delivered Through Helicopters

As Manuka trees grow at high altitudes, it isn’t easy to transport them by road.

Therefore, it is delivered through helicopters which can be quite costly. Maintenance of such heavy transport also costs a lot of money.

Other honey types are usually grown on farms; they require minimal upkeep and easy transportation, which doesn’t add much to their prices.

Therefore, transportation is one of the most prominent factors why Manuka honey is so expensive.

4. It Has Small Harvestable Windows

Once the Manuka tree is in full bloom, there is only a small harvesting window from two weeks to eight weeks to derive the honey. Once that season is over, the honey’s quality is not as good as it is during the season.

Therefore, the harvesters have to keep track of the season and determine when to obtain honey from the blooming Manuka trees.

The production of honey in any season can be reduced due to various reasons. This is why there is a shortage of Manuka honey even from the start making it expensive.

5. The Trees Get Affected Due to Various Weather Conditions

Manuka trees are quite vulnerable and need to be protected from extreme weather conditions.

The weather conditions determine how much honey will be obtained in a particular season.

Severe colds and strong winds are some of the most common weather conditions faced by the Manuka trees.

Extreme chilly weathers prevent Manuka trees from blooming, thus resulting in little to no honey production.

At the same time, strong winds are responsible for disturbing the pollination process of bees.

If any of these conditions stay for a long time, it can ruin the whole harvest season, thus resulting in a scarcity of honey.

6. The Bees are also vulnerable

Along with the Manuka trees, the bees are also important to protect. As all bee species cannot survive at high altitudes, they will likely get ill.

They can get sick, but their ability to perform the task can also be reduced drastically.

This is why beekeepers put in a lot of effort to protect the bees and provide them with the aid required. This adds up to the cost of Manuka honey.

7. The UMF Grading Cost also Adds Up

UMF-graded Manuka honey tends to be more expensive because UMFHA tests each jar of Manuka honey that comes it’s way to ensure high quality and purity.

Once the organization runs its tests, they grade the honey according to its test results.

The purer honey will cost more all the quality tests are reflected in the price of the Manuka honey jar.

Each jar has a number, the greater number; the more will be the price of that particular jar.

8. There Are Very Few Manuka Trees

The number of Manuka trees is very limited. They produce approximately 2800 tons of Manuka honey every year.

This small amount of production doesn’t affect its great demand. With the increased scarcity of Manuka honey, its prices are increased.


When the honey is more in demand, the suppliers raise the price of Manuka honey. Also, the higher the quality, the more cost you will have to pay for a single jar.

One of the rarest Manuka honey jars is labeled with Manuka honey 24+, as good as gold.

9. They Have Great Industrial Demand

Manuka honey is not only the demand of regular buyers, but also various industries try to get their hands on as much Manuka honey as possible.

Manuka Honey

These industries include restaurant and beauty industries that created the highest quality products to attract more customers.

With the industries getting as much Manuka honey as they can afford, there is a little left behind for the individual buyers.

Thus the prices of honey increase, and also only the lowest quality honey jars are left for individual buyers.

10. There are Great Shipping Costs and Transportation Fees

Exporting food from distant regions can cost money as they have to pass through various checkpoints and ports.

Also, it is necessary to take protective measures to ensure that the Manuka honey reaches its destination safely and in its best condition.

All these factors require money which the suppliers first invest but then is obtained from buyers through high product prices.

How to Save Money on Manuka Honey?

Normally, you can get a 500g jar of Manuka honey for around $41 at various online websites, but they might not be as pure.

If you want to save money on Manuka honey, you can try either one of the following methods to obtain it;

1. Buy From the Original Source

Buying from the source can save you a lot of money as the delivery, transportation, and shipping costs do not add up.

Moreover, these honey jars are not graded or processed, reducing their price considerably.

2. Buy Low-Grade Manuka Honey

The better the quality of Manuka honey, the more money you will have to pay per jar. If you cannot afford the highest quality Manuka honey, you can get the low grade one. You will have to look for lower UMF and MGO numbers.

3. Buy From Costco

Manuka honey is available at Costco, and the sales there could help you save some money.

Costco offers frequent deals, and the only thing you have to do is wait for them and get your honey on sale.

Is Manuka Honey Worth the Cost?

Manuka honey has various health benefits, which makes it worth its cost. It is excellent for wounds, burns, skin diseases like eczema, sinus infections, and gingivitis.

Manuka Honey

It helps provide relief and treatment for all these health problems. It also controls the growth of cancerous cells.

In addition to its medical use for all the problems mentioned above, Manuka honey is also beneficial for oral health.

It helps remove the plaque build-up and also provides a pleasant breath. Even if you use Manuka honey for its taste, it has quite a unique and delicious taste. The only problem is that it can be a little out of budget.

Cheap Alternatives of Manuka Honey

Some cheap alternatives to Manuka honey include oilseed rape, ivy honey, heather honey, and buckwheat honey.

They might not be as high quality and efficient as the Manuka honey, but they are reliable cheap alternatives with similar properties and benefits.

Ivy honey also has a distinct flavor as it is unusual autumn honey which makes it quite similar to Manuka honey.

Similarly, buckwheat honey is one of the best Manuka honey alternatives with its similar richness of minerals and antioxidants.

According to experts, heather honey can also work great as an alternative to Manuka honey because of its medicinal properties.

Oilseed honey is also raw honey that holds great medicinal properties similar to that of Manuka honey.

Here is the price of cheap alternatives of Manuka honey.

Alternative NamePriceUnit
Ivy honey12Pounds per 325g
Buckwheat honey16Dollars per Ounce
Heather honey2.47Dollars per Ounce

Final Considerations

The cost of Manuka honey explains its rarity and high quality. Moreover, it is quite scarce and requires strict environmental conditions.

All these factors make it one of the most expensive honey globally. But its benefits cannot be denied, and it makes all the money worth it.

 From its unique taste to exceptional health benefits, all factors collectively add to the preciousness of Manuka honey.

Even though Manuka honey is so expensive, its demand still never decreases and continues to increase every year with industrial and individual buyers trying to get their hands on it.

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