New Zealand’s Favourite Honey: Manuka Trumps Clover in 2013 National Honey Week Survey
The popularity of Manuka honey has been confirmed in a recent national survey, which places it above Clover and other
floral varieties. In the New Zealand-wide survey launched by Airborne Honey this month to celebrate the country’s first
National Honey Week, 40% of Kiwis named Manuka as their favourite and 29% choose Clover. A number of other floral honeys
featured further down the scale, including Vipers Bugloss (3%) and Rewarewa (2.26%).
The survey also revealed that the favoured way to eat honey in New Zealand is on toast (57%), followed by a sweetener in
hot drinks (9%) and straight off the spoon for medicinal purposes (9%). Most New Zealanders eat honey once or twice a
week with only 2% never eating honey at all.
“Manuka honey has taken a few hits in international and local media this year, which has a lot to do with fraudulent
activity overseas. It’s great to see that despite all that, New Zealanders still value, support and enjoy eating
Manuka,” says Peter Bray, Managing Director of Airborne Honey. “It’s also encouraging to see that some of the other,
perhaps less well known honeys, such as Vipers Bugloss and Rewarewa have been pinpointed by some Kiwis as being their
favourite honey. Hopefully, people will continue to experiment with the full range of floral varieties, instead of just
sticking to the tried and trusted favourites. We’re lucky in New Zealand to have so many unique honey types and tastes,
ranging from dark, malty and almost savoury to the very light and sweet. There’s a honey for everyone.”
When it comes to shopping for honey, just over half of Kiwis still look for the best value honey on the shelf, with 51%
looking at the price first. After that, 38% buy based on what the honey looks like in the jar, 28% look for the label
they’re always used to seeing and 26% buy based on nutrition and origin information.
“It is entirely understandable and not at all surprising that New Zealanders are shopping around for the best deal,”
says Peter. “Many people, especially those with families to feed, have a tight food budget. Having said that, the fact
that shoppers aren’t paying much attention to the information on the label does suggest that many don’t fully understand
or appreciate how to shop for a genuine, nutritious, quality honey product. It’s important to understand that going for
the cheapest option can sometimes be a false economy. If possible, buy a honey that can prove that it is what it claims
on the jar (type of honey etc) and is not heat damaged. Otherwise, you are likely to be disappointed with the taste and
it will not provide the nutritional qualities that honey should do.”
The most pleasing result from the survey for Peter, whose family has worked in the New Zealand honey industry for more
than 100 years, is that most Kiwis are still eating honey on a weekly basis.
“The fact that New Zealanders are eating honey regularly with very few not eating it at all is just further confirmation
that we’re a honey-loving nation with higher consumption per head (1.65 kilos per annum) than anywhere else in the
world,” says Peter. “The people that founded the honey industry in New Zealand, including my great grandfather, William
Bray, who started Airborne Honey, would be over the moon.”
The inaugural National Honey Week will run from 25 November – 2 December 2013, New Zealanders are being encouraged to
celebrate New Zealand honey through a series of contests and giveaways on Facebook and Twitter. On top of that, New
Zealand food bloggers are being invited to enter their honey themed recipes into a “Cook Something Yummy with Honey”
competition. Among a host of other prizes, the winner will receive a behind the scenes experience at Vinnie’s and a
luxurious meal for two.