Value of Manuka Honey Plummets

(Photo Credit: cygnus921/Flickr)
(Photo Credit: cygnus921/Flickr)

Sign up for smart news, insights, and analysis on the biggest financial stories of the day.

So what if you can’t afford eggs anymore? Luxury honey is a steal.

Manuka honey, an expensive, especially viscous honey produced predominantly in New Zealand, experienced a pandemic bubble that has now burst in spectacular fashion, according to Bloomberg, leaving the market in a sticky oversupply situation… oh, bother.


At this point, you’ve probably become numb to stories about pandemic darlings whose COVID-19-induced highs have come crashing down — your Pelotons, your Carvanas. It’s plain to see why these companies became super valuable during lockdowns and subsequently fell out of favor. In manuka honey’s case, its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties led consumers to lap it up, and suppliers bulked up in response.

Pre-pandemic, manuka sold for around 100 times more than regular honey. After peaking in 2021, however, its price tag has oozed back down:

  • According to Bloomberg manuka honey’s price peaked at NZ$64 per kilo, whereas a kilo last season cost NZ$13 — that’s a whopping 80% decrease.
  • Just as we’re seeing a trend towards premiumization in the liquor market, the only manuka suppliers still treading water are those selling the most mind-bogglingly expensive products. To give you some flavor, one 230g jar of top-of-the-line manuka goes for £1,390 at Harrods in London. Maybe the worker bees should consider unionizing.

This might sting a little: While the pandemic had an ultimately deflating effect on manuka honey, a new vaccine might just help American bees. The US Department of Agriculture approved the first-ever vaccine for honeybees early in January, inoculating them against the highly contagious and sadly incurable foulbrood disease, hopefully boosting bee population numbers. Somebody better let Nicolas Cage know…