Why is Manuka Honey So Expensive?

Why is Manuka Honey So Expensive?

It is the infamous question that so many consumers ask, why is Manuka honey so expensive? Manuka honey is indeed more expensive than other types of honey available at grocery stores and health-food websites, but there are a few good reasons for that. When it comes to superfoods, there aren’t many out there on the market that can do what Manuka honey can. Let's take a look at what makes this powerful and buzz-worthy product well worth the money.

Dripping Manuka Honey

Manuka Honey 101

Manuka honey is unlike any other honey available on the market due to the fact it can only be made from the Manuka Tree (formally known as, Leptospermum), and this shrub is native to coastal Australia and New Zealand. While other honey can be produced year-around, all over the world, there is a finite amount of time that Manuka honey can be brought to life so to speak. The standards of Manuka honey are also higher than conventional honey.

Busy Bees

The purest form of  Manuka honey is considered to be a monofloral honey, meaning the bees only retrieve nectar from one source, a.k.a the Manuka flower. Manuka flowers only bloom for roughly two to six months out of the year. During this relatively short period of time bees are busy pollinating these specific flowers . Part of what makes Manuka so exclusive (and expensive) is that the honey produced from the Manuka flower contains higher levels of MGO (which will be covered more in depth as you continue reading) as compared to honey produced from other flowers. 

New Zealand Manuka Honey

You Get What You Pay For

When you are browsing the shelves of your grocery store, or shopping on a health food website such as Kiva, the price tag in front of Manuka honey might come as a bit of a shock at first. But here's the thing, Manuka honey isn’t expensive because it is “trendy”, or because the supplier is trying to rip you off. The price tag is high because it is a quality superfood with so many health benefits. 

Before we get into all specific health benefits associated with Manuka honey, it is important to understand what the acronyms on the label mean, and how they support the high cost of this sweet nectar. When you are buying your honey, here are some things you should look for to make sure it is pure, authentic, and uncontaminated.


UMF™, or the Unique Manuka Factor is a rating system created by the UMF Honey Association that ensures the product is exactly what the consumer expects it to be, meaning it is genuine, high quality, and that the supplier has met the association's rigorous standards.

Here is an example of different UMF ratings you might come across when buying Manuka honey.

  • UMF 5+ (Certified Authentic)
  • UMF 10+ (Premium Grade)
  • UMF 15+ (Premium Grade)
  • UMF 20+ (Ultra Premium Grade)
  • UMF 24+ (Superior/Rare Grade) 

Depending on your budget, and what you intend to use the honey for you will be able to purchase Manuka honey that is right for you. The higher the number on your jar means there is a higher concentration and therefore a higher price tag.

At Kiva, we are a member of the UMF Honey Association and can assure you that all products are traceable throughout the entire process. See for yourself and verify the rating from your batch here

MGO Certified

Another label you will see on your Manuka honey is that it is MGO certified. Methylglyoxal (a.k.a MGO) is a chemical that is naturally found in Manuka honey. This chemical is responsible for the antibacterial effects of Manuka honey. The higher the MGO number, the more potent the product is. Another thing worth noting is that MGO levels in Manuka honey can be up to 100x higher than regular honey. This is what makes Manuka honey a superfood, and therefore more expensive than seemingly similar products available for purchase.

Other words to look for on the jar:

  • Leptosperin and DHA (if the label it doesn't have this, then it's not true manuka)
  • GMO free
  • Raw
  • Glyphosate Free
  • No Additives
  • No Antibiotics

The Many Benefits of Manuka Honey

By now you most likely have a better understanding as to why Manuka honey is more expensive than other honey on the market, due to its rarity (where the buzz worthy flower grows) and limited time bees have to pollinate. Now let's dive into the other benefits of Manuka honey that will make the steep price make even more sense. 

It is a Delicious Superfood

Manuka honey has an earthy, sweet, and more intense flavor than other multifloral honeys. By spending more money on this product, you don’t have to worry about the flavor lacking. You can enjoy Manuka honey in smoothies, dressings, yogurt, tea, or just by the spoonful.

Tasting Manuka Honey Packet

Can Aid in Wound Healing 

Approved by the FDA, using  Manuka honey may help to speed up the healing process of wounds, cuts, and scrapes. The antibacterial effects that come from the MGO are what make this a great product to always have on hand. 

Treats Sore Throats

There is something quite soothing about mixing honey into a hot mug of tea when you aren’t feeling your best. Manuka honey in particular has high antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce the discomfort associated with having a sore throat. Even when you aren’t sick, incorporating Manuka into your daily routine is a great way to boost your immunity.

Aids in Digestion

Consuming Manuka honey has been known to relieve symptoms associated with poor digestions such as constipation, irregular bowel movements, and abdominal pain. Much like with having a sore throat, the anti-inflammatory properties of Manuka can help make digestion discomforts a thing of the past.

Treats Acne

Smearing honey all over your face might seem counterintuitive when trying to clear your skin from blemishes, but it is very possible that Manuka honey might end up being your most versatile and expensive skincare product. Using Manuka honey to treat acne can soothe inflammation, help clear existing pimples thanks to the antimicrobial activity, and it can aid in healing irritated skin.

Kiva - The Gold Standard

So, why is Manuka honey so expensive? This one multifaceted golden nectar does the job of many products. It can be consumed, used to treat wounds, relieve discomfort, and it can be used as a preventive measure for various ailments. Another thing that makes this product unique, is that nearly anyone can reap its benefits, so while it is expensive- members of one family can use it for a variety of reasons. Infants, people with diabetes, and those allergic to bees or honey should consult a medical professional before trying Manuka honey.

When it comes to purchasing Manuka honey, let Kiva be your one-stop shop and know that you will be receiving the highest quality product on the market. 

Our Manuka honey is not only traceable from hive to jar, but it is also independently tested in order to provide our customers with assurance in its purity, authenticity, and traceability. Don’t wait any longer to get your hands on these amazing products. Shop from our collection here today. No matter the price, by purchasing from Kiva you will always receive a high quality Manuka honey!


About the Author: Katie is a freelance writer from Denver, Colorado. In 2020 she became a Certified Holistic Nutritionist through AFPA, and loves to share her passion for health, wellness, and living a healthy lifestyle with others. You can find more of her articles at PopNourish.com