Frequently asked questions

We're an open book. Here's where we'll answer any sticky questions, dispel a few myths and generally clear the air. Because we're great believers in fresh air.

How is Mānuka honey unique?
Authentic New Zealand Mānuka honey contains high levels of Methylglyoxal, a sugar molecule found in most honeys in small quantities. But in Mānuka honey, MGO can be up to 100x higher. It also has a uniquely rich, sophisticated and slightly resinous flavour and a darker, toffee-ish colour.

What are the benefits of Mānuka honey?
The rather special properties of Mānuka honey are widely known, and many have been scientifically tested. Due to New Zealand food regulations, we can’t make any claims on the therapeutic or medical benefits of Mānuka honey. But we do hear from our customers about the wonderful ways they use it.  So try it for yourself, and if you’re searching for info, make sure your source is backed up with credible scientific evidence.

Where does Mānuka honey come from?
Mānuka is a Māori word for a small, scrubby tree with the convoluted Latin name of Leptospermum scoparium. Native to New Zealand, it grows throughout the country, particularly in the drier east coasts of both the North and South Islands. It’s also an important plant for regenerating eroded soil. By creating shade and shelter, it’s like a natural nursery for slower, more delicate native plants. It only flowers for a short time in spring and summer, so we have to be pretty darn quick placing our hives and during our summer honey harvest too.

Why is Mānuka honey so expensive, compared to other honeys?
Mānuka trees grow in very remote wild parts of New Zealand. This makes it a real challenge for our intrepid beekeepers to get to our hives. Each section of Mānuka bush only produces nectar for 3-4 weeks each year, and depending on the weather during flowering, yields can be very low. It’s also rare to find honey with very high concentrations of Mānuka nectar, independently tested to have an MGO rating of at least 300. The good stuff is so good, that demand is overtaking supply. And as honey lovers discover the benefits of high rated Mānuka honey, they’re demanding top quality stuff, cottoning on to what’s worth their money, and what’s a fake. In fact, if you see ‘cheap’ Mānuka honey, it’s probably not the real deal.

Can I eat Mānuka honey if I'm pregnant?
Yes, Mānuka honey is safe to eat, both while pregnant and breastfeeding, so there’s no need to miss out on a little sweet treat, when you’re craving one.

Can kids eat Mānuka honey?  
Yes, but please do not feed any type of honey to little ones younger than 12 months old.

Our products

How long will my Mānuka honey keep for?
They’ve found honey in the pyramids that’s still good to eat, so it doesn't really 'expire' any time soon. As long as it’s stored properly, and not exposed to too much heat or sunlight, your honey will last beyond its ‘best before’ date – although its UMF grading and activity levels in the honey will slowly go down over time. We bottle all of our Mānuka honey in glass, to keep it good as gold, longer.

Help – my honey’s gone sugary!
Honey can naturally crystallise, especially when the weather’s a bit chilly. It’s still fine to eat – but placing your jar in a warmer spot will soften those granules away. We lightly cream our Mānuka honey, which also helps to keep it smooth. 

Can I use it in my cooking?
Honey is equal parts indulgence and pantry staple for your cooking. Great for glazing to get that lovely brown crispness, a natural preservative for pickles and sauces, it also retains moisture for deliciously dense, moist cakes, with a touch of colour. Foodies love Mānuka honey for its rich, complex bittersweet flavour that adds another dimension to food altogether. When using honey in a recipe, remember it's about twice as sweet as sugar.

How do you make Mānuka honey?
We can’t take credit for this! We leave this to our honeybee friends. All we do is extract it gently from the honeycomb, store in a safe way and make sure every batch is independently tested for quality and purity. Then we bottle it in glass jars and send it to honey lovers all over the world.

How do you harvest it?
The very best Mānuka honey is found in New Zealand’s most remote locations, without access by road. And we do all we can to avoid damaging or disrupting our bees’ native bush home. Often the best way to access these pristine areas is by gently lifting hives in and out using helicopters. Our founder Jim often flies the hives in himself so he can make sure they’re safe and sound.

How do you use Mānuka honey?
Our customers have some very creative ways to use Mānuka honey. They love it with breakfast on toast or drizzled over porridge or in cooking. Honey in your tea or hot drink is great when it’s cold out. We even know of people who have a spoonful before they exercise, or to support their everyday wellbeing.

UMF™, MGO, what's the difference?
You’ll find both MGO and UMF ratings on our Mānuka honey. We use the MGO rating number because it’s directly proportional to the amount of methylglyoxal in the honey. The UMF rating measure the unique signature compounds of authentic Mānuka honey, including Leptosperin, DHA and MGO. Every batch is independently analysed and certified for quality, purity and authenticity by the UMF® Honey Association (Licence number: 2900) – which also randomly tests Mānuka honey to ensure carrying the UMF® mark is true to what it says on the jar.

The higher those two numbers, the greater the Mānuka honey’s quality and purity. You know you’re getting the good stuff with The True Honey Co. because we only sell honey rated 300 MGO (UMF 11) and above. Whichever rating system you’re more familiar with, here’s a handy conversion table.

MGO     UMF™
300+     11+
500+     15+
850+     20+
1000+    22+

What do the icons on the box mean?
Don’t take our word for it – those icons are your assurance that The True Honey Co. meets the highest export regulations including MPI, AsureQuality and the UMFHA guidelines.

Our Mānuka honey has been tested by an independent laboratory for quality and purity, and certified by the UMF® Honey Association (licence number: 2900). AsureQuality has audited every step of its journey from bee to you – ensuring it is safe, ethically made and good to eat. And the FernMark is your guarantee that it was produced, harvested and bottled in New Zealand (licence No.100086).

How do I qualify for a discount?
When you sign up to become a True Honey Co. honey lover, you’ll get 15% off your first order to (ahem) sweeten the deal. But wait, there’s more – like special offers just for our subscribers, and first looks at future limited editions.

Shipping, returns & cancel orders

Where do/don't you ship to? Right now, we can directly ship to NZ, UK, parts of Europe and Australia (excluding WA.)

For other countries, please email us and we’ll do what we can to make it happen.

Can I track my package?
We will email you when we ship, who we’ve shipped with and your unique tracking number. If your honey hasn’t been delivered within the estimated shipping time, buzz us and we’ll chase it up for you.

Can I cancel my order?
We ship our orders daily. So if you find you’ve hit a button you wished you hadn’t (we’ve all been there), and you haven’t received a shipping confirmation email, then quickly buzz us and we’ll do our best to cancel the order.

If I'm not happy with my purchase?
If for some reason you’re not thrilled about the honey you’ve bought from us, please get in touch about sending it back to us. We’ll happily refund the price.

How do I reorder?
Once you’ve created an account with us, simply log in to see your previous orders and select items from that list to reorder.

When will my package arrive?
In New Zealand we have overnight shipping to most places, so it should be there within 48 hours. Orders to Australia, Europe and the UK should arrive at your door within 5 working days. For other locations, please buzz us with your query and we’ll come back to you.

Ask us anything
Got a burning question that's not covered here? Let us know. We'll answer it and if it's a good one for other honey lovers to know, we'll share it here too.

Still have questions?

Get in touch