Why Is Manuka Honey So Expensive? (Top 5 Reasons Explained)

Manuka honey is an expensive type of honey with a flavor and quality unlike anything else. However, its price often keeps people from purchasing it regularly. So, you may ask:

Why is manuka honey so expensive? Manuka honey is so expensive because of its rarity. This honey comes from only one place in the world and is subject to difficult weather conditions. Further, it has a high rating for its health benefits. Lastly, there’s a high demand for such, and shipping and exportation are pretty expensive.

Manuka honey has a high value which makes it so expensive. If you are a consumer, you may wonder if this honey is worth its price or if there are alternatives available. Understanding the value behind the price will help you decide if you should buy some manuka honey or not.

In this article, you’ll read our in-depth take on manuka honey and its price. This way, you can learn about the price factors and see if it’s worth buying depending on your needs.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Why Is Manuka Honey So ExpensivePin

Is manuka honey expensive?

Yes, manuka honey is expensive. Because Manuka honey is so rare, it’s expensive. In addition, there is only one location where it grows, which can be affected by poor weather conditions. 

Both the beauty and restaurant industries compete for manuka honey because it provides potent health benefits. But, besides these factors, other things affect the price of manuka honey and make it higher.

Why is manuka honey so expensive?

Below are the top five reasons why manuka honey is so expensive. You can take a look below to learn more about the actual value of manuka honey.

Manuka honey only comes from one place.

New Zealand is the only area where manuka honey grows, making it extremely rare. This tree can also only be grown in New Zealand. It requires a particular type of climate found in New Zealand only.

It’s possible to grow the tree in a lab by cloning it, but the quality may differ. Cloning is also costly, which drives the price even higher.

You can only find the honey from this tree in New Zealand, so the supply is limited. Therefore, the price rises due to a small supply and high demand.

It’s Graded For Health Benefits

Scientists and doctors agree that honey is beneficial to your health. However, not all honey is graded to determine its healthiness, but manuka honey is.

Because it has so many health benefits, its honey has a classification and grading system. Each jar of honey is tested in a lab for its different properties.

Their goal is to determine how potent the health benefits will be based on the strength of the honey. MGO levels in honey determine its potency.

A honey jar is graded and assigned an MGO number by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association. As the MGO number increases, the stronger the honey’s health benefits become.

Weather Conditions

The difficulty in getting your hands on manuka honey has led many to consider it liquid gold. However, the weather significantly impacts how much honey can be harvested during each season.

Throughout the season, the trees are vulnerable. Even after the honey has been removed, they remain vulnerable. Manuka trees are among the most susceptible to cold weather.

It’s easy for these trees to get too cold since they’re at high altitudes. The tree can’t bloom if it’s too cold, and the bees can’t pollinate it for honey if it’s too cold.

In addition to strong winds, there are other weather factors. Strong winds are a common problem for manuka trees since they grow at high altitudes. Therefore, farmers cannot protect the trees from the wind. 

Strong winds can rip off their blooms before they can be pollinated. As a result, the bees are also unable to fly. 

These weather conditions can ruin a harvest if they persist for an extended period. When that happens, manuka honey becomes rare and expensive.

High Demand

Aside from the regular buyers of manuka honey, several other markets want to get their hands on it. Unfortunately, Manuka honey is not typically available in grocery stores. 

Many restaurants are lining up to get their hands on manuka honey. For the privilege to include it in their dishes, they’ll have to pay a significant amount. But, by doing so, restaurants will be able to create rare dishes that will be sold for even more money.

Manuka honey is also relevant to the beauty industry. A UMF of 10+ is ideal for topical application of manuka honey. In addition, their honey is used to make creams, powders, and ointments that you can use to improve the skin’s health.

The higher the quality of the honey, the greater the potency of the cream. Beauty companies are also not hesitant to spend a lot on high-quality honey.

Since the restaurant and beauty industries are taking as much honey as possible, independent buyers have little choice. 

The lower-quality manuka honey jars may be more readily available for independent buyers. A budget is going to be needed to afford anything higher than that.

Shipping and Exportation

Upon arriving in the United States, manuka honey must pass through several ports and checkpoints as it comes from New Zealand.

Food exports cost money. Even though honey can last for a long time, it can still spoil or become contaminated if it comes in contact with spoiled or toxic food. 

Protective measures are taken to ensure the honey’s health and preservation. These measures are costly, which drives up the cost of manuka honey. There will be a cheaper rate in New Zealand than anywhere else.

Additionally, shipping costs contribute to the price increase. Honey must travel over land or by air to reach its final destination once it reaches the United States.

There will be other checkpoints and shipping fees to be paid at each point. Manuka honey becomes more expensive the farther you are from the source.

How much does manuka honey cost?

Manuka honey sells for approximately $30 for a 250-gram jar. Natural foods stores and Whole Foods usually carry it, but the average grocery store may not carry it. 

One hundred grams can cost as much as $99 in its purest form. Regular honey costs less than a tenth of that. 

Unfortunately, Manuka is a rare plant that you can find only in New Zealand. So, as well as being challenging to harvest, honey sometimes requires helicopters to be collected.

Is manuka honey worth the money?

Manuka honey might be worth it if you buy it for its health benefits. According to scientists, several properties of manuka honey have been proven to boost health.

Manuka honey has many health benefits and can be well worth the investment. If you want to taste pure honey a few times, it may be worth it. Otherwise, regular honey is best if your budget is tight.

Manuka honey is so popular because of its health benefits. It is believed that Manuka honey offers health benefits such as fighting infection, preventing and treating cancer, reducing insulin resistance, treating diabetes, curing tummy troubles, and preventing and treating infections in the eyes, ears, and nose.


In a nutshell, the rarity of manuka honey makes it so expensive. There is only one source of this honey globally, and its weather is harsh. This honey is also known for its health benefits. Last but not least, there is a high demand for such, and it is pretty expensive to ship and export.

Manuka honey is very expensive due to its high value. Consumers may wonder if this honey is worth the price or if alternatives are available. If you like to know if it’s worth buying some manuka honey, you need to understand the value behind the price. We hope this article enlightened you on whether manuka honey is worth buying for you or not.



Image credits – Canva

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