beekeeper in field with hive frame

For 50 years we’ve been perfecting our beekeeping craft, sourcing Mānuka Honey from the remote hills and pristine forests of New Zealand. We’re thrilled that nutritionists, health practitioners, and natural wellness experts across the US are discovering the power of this pure, precious resource.

To keep up with increasing consumer demand, many Mānuka Honey brands are now in natural food stores and upscale supermarkets across the country. Some of these are labeled with terms like “Bio-Active”, “Active”, or “Factor”, with numbers ranging from 5 to 500.

With so many different grading systems and distinctions, you probably find yourself wondering, is there honestly a difference? And how would you even know?

We’re going to let you in on a little secret: yeah, there is –– and it’s a big one!

Until recently, there was no single standard for what constitutes Real Mānuka Honey (even then, some still claim authenticity even though no one has tested or verified what’s in the jar). So, in an effort to clear up the confusion surrounding Mānuka Honey, we wanted to provide you with a simple guide of how to tell the difference between verifiable quality and marketing hype.

spoonful on manuka honey
Chart of Mānuka rating systems explained
honey bee on manuka flower

So what is “Real” Mānuka Honey, exactly? Here are a few things to look out for to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth:

  • Comes from New Zealand, just like real champagne comes from France. New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) set new standards for what can be exported to the United States as “Mānuka Honey” after August 2018.

  • Is labeled as Monofloral (predominantly from the Mānuka flower, ensuring its unique properties), or "Multifloral" (a blend of Mānuka and other New Zealand wildflowers), both types with a clearly labeled MGO level.

  • Has the UMF™ independent certification, guaranteeing specific levels of Mānuka’s three key compounds.

  • Comes from real beekeepers. Choose a company with their own beekeeping operation, that is a responsible steward to the planet and its people. Mānuka Honey is one of the Earth’s most rare and precious natural resources. Both the Mānuka Flower and honey bees are incredibly sensitive to changing climate, so it matters that Mānuka Honey is harvested sustainably and regeneratively. It also matters that it comes from equitable partnerships with beekeepers and New Zealand’s indigenous Māori people, who have valued the benefits of the Mānuka flower for centuries.


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