My name is Alice and I am a health and honey enthusiast. I hope my website and my reviews can help guide you towards a better and sweeter life.

Listed below are my top five manuka honey brands in no particular order. My ranking criteria is not complex, but it is inclusive of all important attributes that make a healing honey product great.

Below the reviews section, you can find a cool info-graphic that explains my rating system.

 

Reviews of the best manuka honey brands of 2017:

BRAND PRODUCT SIZE PRODUCT RATING CHECK PRICE
Comvita Comvita Manuka Honey UMF 15+ 250g 92/100 Check Price
Wild Cape Wild Cape UMF 15+ Manuka Honey 250g 93.4/100 Check Price
Happy Valley Happy Valley UMF 15+ Manuka Honey 250g 93/100 Check Price
Tahi Tahi UMF 15+ Manuka Honey 250g 97/100 Check Price
Kiva Kiva Certified UMF 15+ Manuka Honey 250g 93/100 Check Price

comvita manuka honey review

  • UMFHA Membership 100%
  • Taste 95%
  • Health Benefit Factor 90%
  • Bee Friendly 95%
  • Price 80%
  • Average Score 92%

Comvita is by far the best known producer of manuka honey not only in New Zealand, but across the world. This is the first company to begin a larger scale manufacturing and distribution of manuka honey around the globe. Here is what makes their brand so good:

  • Member of the UMFHA (Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association) – license #1019.
  • Divine taste and aftertaste.
  • Free of artificial flavouring and synthetics.
  • Comvita is at the forefront of all research and innovation that has to do with manuka.
  • Good and responsive customer service.
  • Abundance of helpful information on their website.
  • Highest level of thickness amongst competitors.
  • Never had to recall any products.
  • Packaged in non-GMO and BPA-free jars.

Currently, their best-selling honey products are labelled as UMF 5+, UMF 10+ and UMF 15+. Generally speaking, the higher the number, the higher the purity and quality of the manuka honey. This, of course, holds true for all other brands certified under the UMFHA.

If you read the label, you will find out that regardless of the UMF grade, each product has 70 calories, 17 grams of sugar and 17 grams of carbs per serving (21g). So, on the scale of nutrition facts, this ranks Comvita’s jars somewhere in the middle, compared to the other top manuka honey brands.

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Wild Cape UMF 15+

  • UMFHA Membership 100%
  • Taste 97%
  • Health Benefit Factor 85%
  • Bee Friendly 95%
  • Price 90%
  • Average Score 93.4%

Wild Cape, also known as Savage Holticulture, takes the number three spot when it comes to the production and distribution of the best manuka.

Based in New Zealand, this family owned business carries UMF 10+ and UMF15+ honeys. Unlike Comvita, and other brands, they concentrate entirely on the higher quality manuka factor. This, however, makes them a bit more expensive and inaccessible to people looking for a lower manuka factor, such as the 5+.

So, here is what makes Wild Cape a top manuka honey brand:

  • Member of the UMFHA – license #1075.
  • Mild sweet flavoured, unlike other bitter tasting honeys.
  • No medicinal taste. This honey is thick in texture and tasty!
  • The flavour is robust with a slight herbal note.
  • Closely monitored and ethically harvested.
  • The company manages 2700 hives throughout the beautiful Eastcape region in New Zealand.
  • Tastes great on a toast with butter!
  • It is not overpoweringly sweet.
  • Great medicinal use, especially the UMF 15+.
  • Packaged in non-GMO and BPA-free jars made of PET.

In terms of nutrition facts, you are looking at 64 calories, 16 grams of sugar and 17 grams of carbs per serving (21g).

This honey is often out of stock due to its amazing taste and healing attributes.

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Happy Valley UMF 18+

  • UMFHA Membership 100%
  • Taste 85%
  • Health Benefit Factor 95%
  • Bee Friendly 90%
  • Price 95%
  • Average Score 93%

Happy Valley comes in close second place. This family owned business produces some of the highest quality manuka honey you can buy on the market.

They only points they lose, in my most humble opinion, is with the taste. Compared to other brands, the Happy Valley manuka honey tastes a bit more medicinal. The higher in UMF rating you go, the less sweet the honey becomes.

This, however, is not the end of the world, since you should be buying manuka honey for its healing and anti-bacterial qualities, rather than the taste that leaves in your mouth.

So, here is what makes Happy Valley a top brand:

  • Member of the UMFHA – license #2024.
  • Independently tested certificates available on their website.
  • State of the art manufacturing equipment.
  • Family owned business.
  • Delicious manuka recipes available on their website. Anything from Christmas spice cookies to honey soy chicken nibbles.
  • Lots of educational material on their blog.
  • Each jar comes with a guaranteed Unique Manuka Factor and a unique NPA (Non Peroxide Activity) “batch code”. You can go to Happy Valley’s website enter your code and see the official lab report that confirms the NPA activity level of the product. Quite neat!
  • Available in UMF 5+, UMF 10+, UMF 15+ and UMF 18+. This manuka honey brand has something in stock for everyone.

You can’t go wrong with Happy Valley. They have raving reviews everywhere and their manuka produce is of top notch quality.

In a serving size of 20g, Happy Valley offers 15.9g of carbs, 15.6g of sugars, and 2.4mg of sodium.

Their UMF 18+ honey is lab certified to the standard of UMF 20+, making it a great anti-bacterial choice.

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Tahi UMF 15+

  • UMFHA Membership 100%
  • Taste 95%
  • Health Benefit Factor 95%
  • Bee Friendly 100%
  • Price 95%
  • Average Score 97%

Tahi are perhaps one of the most environmentally conscious and responsible manuka brands in New Zealand. They put extensive care not only in the manufacturing of their product, but also in the care for their bees.

Tahi is one of very few manuka producers that keep portion of the honey in order to feed their bees. Most bee farms use sugar water brews in order to cut costs and increase profitability. This often prevents bees from remaining in optimal health for the following production season.

Tahi’s products are often described by consumers as delicious in taste and raw with creamy texture.

In short, here is why Tahi is amongst the best:

  • Member of UMFHA – license #2035.
  • Wide selection of manuka honey grades – UMF 5+, 8+, 10+, 12+, 15+, 18+ and 20+.
  • Divine taste! Smooth, thick and golden texture.
  • Tahi UMF 20+ offers strong medicinal qualities.
  • Responsible harvesting.
  • High level of natural pollen.
  • Tahi offers educational material on their website to help consumers make a better choice.
  • Packed in the same environmentally friendly PET jars as the rest of the top brands.

Tahi is most definitely amongst the best manuka honeys. Every jar comes with a personal note to the buyer that is not simply a nice gesture, but it is quite informative as well.

A serving of Tahi manuka honey (21g) will fill your body with 17.2g of carbs, 17.2g of sugars and 70 calories.

You can enjoy this honey with your cereal or oatmeal, as well as in your cup of tea along with cinnamon and turmeric.

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Kiva UMF 20+

  • UMFHA Membership 100%
  • Taste 90%
  • Health Benefit Factor 95%
  • Bee Friendly 90%
  • Price 90%
  • Average Score 93%

Kiva is one of the newer kids on the manuka honey block. As such, they have managed to create some very positive buzz about themselves. One that had me order and taste their honey.

Since they only offer UMF 15+ and UMF 20+ honey, the taste is not amongst the sweetest. But then again, manuka is not supposed to taste like your regular five dollar jar of pasteurized white honey.

Where Kiva exceeds, is their product’s ability to completely kill a variety of contracted MRSAs (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). People almost never review the taste of Kiva, but there is an incredible buzz around the internet about Kiva’s healing qualities.

Here are some highlights of the Kiva manuka brand:

  • Member of UMFHA – license #2240.
  • Every batch is traceable and has been tested independently.
  • 100% satisfaction policy within 30 days of purchase.
  • Great medicinal qualities of this high UMF rated honey.
  • Great against digestive issues.
  • Physical wound healing abilities.
  • Solid customer service and return policy.
  • Honey is as raw as it can be!

Order Kiva with confidence, because they are definitely amongst the top manuka honey producers in New Zealand.

You will find 15g of carbs and 15g of sugars per 21g of Kiva’s healing honey.

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Choosing the best Manuka honey brands

How to determine the quality of Manuka honey

  1. The company must be registered under the UMFHA (Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association). They also must hold a unique license number.
  2. The Manuka honey jar must carry the UMF trademark and an assigned value (5,10,15, etc…).
  3. The best Manuka honey brands will offer products with UMF of 15+, which has better medicinal attributes.
  4. The company must be environmentally friendly and take good care of their bees. For example, they should feed their bees with honey and not sugar water brews.
  5. The texture of the Manuka honey must be thick, creamy and dark.
  6. Location, location! Manuka honey is only produced in New Zealand.

Look for these 6 traits and ensure your money is well spent!

The demand for Manuka related products has seen a significant increase over the past 10 years. The graph below (courtesy of Google Trends) shows that between 2006 and 2016 there is a tenfold increase of Google searches for Manuka honey relevant key phrases.

Following this trend, a lot of existing commercial honey companies have attempted to join the manuka revolution by producing impure products. This, has drastically overwhelmed the North American and European markets. Leaving consumers scratching their heads in front of long isles filled with promises of highest quality manuka goods.

In my search for the most qualified manuka honey brands I applied a holistic approach. One that does not simply review the texture and taste of the product. Instead, I looked at the actual producer, their harvesting patterns, existing certifications and efforts to remain environmentally friendly.

The top five manuka honey brands reviewed here are of the highest quality. Your money will be well spent with either one of these New Zealand companies.

And if you are still unsure about why you need manuka in your life, check out the top 10 health benefits of manuka honey.

UNIQUE MANUKA FACTOR

Putting our natural sense of taste aside, UMF is an excellent indicator of the finest manuka honey brands.

UMF serves two purposes: as a symbol of quality, and to indicate the unique Manuka grade of the honey. Every company involved in ethical manuka harvesting, must be a member the UMFHA. Only such brands can carry the UMF grading system on their jars.

You can see a full list of UMFHA members at the at the bottom of this post about the unique Manuka factor. Use that list for your own reference, but keep in mind that some companies are registered under different corporation names.

For example, I have reviewed Wild Cape as a best brand above, but if you look for them in the member’s list, you will not find them. Instead, they are registered on that list with their legal corporation name, which is Savage Holticulture.

NOTE: UMF + grades is not to be mistaken with Active + grades. Many no licensed manuka honey producers label their jars with Active + grades.  This simply means that there is some manuka mixed with other multi-floral honeys. Please, note that there are currently no internationally recognized regulations to control the placement of the word “Active”.

Unique Manuka Factor

HIGHER GRADES OF UMF

All five brands reviewed here produce manuka honey with a factor of 15+. This is important, because higher UMF represents a higher medicinal value and application of the product.

Even if you buy a jar with UMF 5+, and not 15+, you still want to look for a brand that also offers 15+. This can serve as an assurance of the quality of the brand. UMF 5+, will of course, have less healing capabilities, but a sweeter taste (less medicinal). Its texture will also differ – it will be less thicker and creamier.

Here you can read more about the different grades of UMF.

PRICE

There is no way around price. If you want the real deal jar of manuka, you will have to pay top bucks.

The process of harvesting manuka is what makes it more expensive compared to other honeys. The flowering Mauka trees grow in exclusive and mostly remote location in New Zealand. This compels beekeepers to relocate their hives around spring in areas where the manuka is the predominant vegetation.

The price difference per 250g jar, can be as much as $15, which is a lot. This is evident when you compare Comvita’s UMF 15+ and Tahi’s UMF 15+ jars. However, this does not make Tahi a cheap brand. It rather makes it cheaper than Comvita.

This price range does not mean lower quality. However, if you see a non-UMF brand that is $15 cheaper than Tahi, you should run away.

TASTE

Perhaps, the least important attribute of the manuka honey reviews section is the tastefulness. The reason I added this feature was because so many readers emailed me asking about the specific taste of each different jar.

So, let me be clear here, the highest quality manuka honey brands DO NOT need to have the “best” or sweetest taste. Usually, it is quite the opposite.

The best brands produce the most medically effective honey in the most ecologically and bee friendly environment possible.

However, I do understand that some people like to eat honey of the spoon, so tastefulness is an important factor to them.

Instead of thinking about the taste, look at the texture of the honey. It should be dark orange (almost brown), creamy and very thick. This is a good indication for a fine manuka product. After all, you would likely be eating no more than three spoons a day. So, getting used to the taste should not be of such a grave concern.

A PIECE OF MIND

The best manuka honey brands are not necessarily the largest corporations, or the biggest sellers on Ebay.

I personally admire businesses that engage in ethical harvesting. Such enterprises, whether family owned or larger corporations, take great care of their most valuable employees – the bees.

My research has led me to believe that all five brands reviewed above (Comvita, Wild Cape, Happy Valley, Tahi and Kiva), are such companies.

Removing pollen from the bees, as they enter the hive, is a practice that lower tier commercial companies engage in. Pollen traps are used in order to remove most pollen from the bees. This not only leaves the bees starving, until fed with artificial sugar, but it also hurts their wings.

Healthier bees will always produce higher quality honey at a faster pace. After all, pollen is essential to the growth of the hive colony.

For this, and other reasons, I have assured that the top brands reviewed here are ethical manuka harvesters.

Unique Manuka Factor Grades