As a frequent consumer of manuka honey, I am always exploring new and compelling brands. This time around, I am reviewing the multifloral manuka honey from Airborne. My aim is to provide an unbiased perspective on its taste, grading system, and overall quality. Hopefully, by the end of this review, you’ll have a clearer picture of whether this product aligns with your preferences.
Taste and Appearance
Starting off with the taste, Airborne’s Manuka Honey is agreeable, but it’s the type of flavor that particularly shines when paired with a hot beverage. If you’re a coffee or tea lover, you may appreciate the boost of smooth, creamy sweetness it provides. The consistency is pleasantly thick—not overtly sugary or watery—and imparts a creamy mouthfeel that isn’t commonly found in other honeys. Its caramel color is visually appealing, and the fact that it leaves no bitter aftertaste is a definite plus.
When it comes to grading their manuka honey, Airborne opts for a different method compared to other brands I’ve tried. Personally, I prefer the UMF grading system, which effectively reveals the authenticity and potency of manuka honey. Unfortunately, Airborne doesn’t utilize UMF or MGO ratings; instead, they showcase the percentage of active manuka pollens found in a harvest batch. Their grading system ranges from 25+ to 85+; for instance, a 50+ grade indicates that 50% or more of the batch is composed of active manuka pollens. This method, for me, lacks transparency and does not measure the product quality accurately. Additionally, there’s no mention of the Methylglyoxal (MG) content on the packaging, which is somewhat disappointing.
Purity and Authenticity
Airborne does claim to be a genuine New Zealand brand, but there’s a glaring omission: the product doesn’t bear the UMF seal, nor is the company a UMFHA member, bringing up questions about its purity. Their website states that they use minimal processing methods, such as low-temperature processing, to maintain honey’s quality. Though these practices sound promising, when it comes to their product’s effectiveness as a health remedy, I didn’t notice any significant differences compared to regular honey. This raises some skepticism about the claimed benefits.
Unquestionably, Airborne Honey Ltd. has a strong legacy and reputation. Initiating their operations in 1910, they are one of New Zealand’s oldest honey brands and enjoy high ratings online. Continuing to diversify their offerings, their product line includes clover, honeydew, rata, thyme, beech forest, and vipers bugloss alongside manuka honey. Plus, they offer a blend of manuka and wildflower honey, and even produce manuka honey lozenges that I find quite enjoyable. With a significant presence in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, their expansive reach further testifies their influence in the honey industry.
If you wish to explore more about Airborne Honey, their delightful range of products, and their profound history, you can visit their official website at www.airborne.co.nz.
Packaging and Size
When it comes to packaging, Airborne’s Manuka Honey certainly doesn’t disappoint. The honey is housed in a fully-sealed jar, which preserves the product’s freshness and taste. The side panel provides more detailed information than many other products, listing the Pollen Count, HMF Number (to confirm that the honey remains undamaged by heat), and Batch Number, as well as the packing time.
One particularly innovative feature is the addition of a QR code. By scanning it, consumers are directed to Airborne’s website where they can enter their batch number for detailed information about their purchase. This level of transparency is commendable and something I wish more brands would adopt!
Closing thoughts on the packaging would be incomplete without touching on the available sizes. Airborne offers two convenient options to choose from: 250g (or 8.8oz) and 500g (or 1.1lbs) plastic jars. Whichever size you choose, be assured of a sealed and sturdy jar delivered to your doorstep.
Price and Value
At a glance, the pricing of Airborne’s Manuka Honey seems to be more appealing than many UMF-based brands. For example, an 85+ grade costs around $45.00 for a 500g jar, while the 70+ is priced at $28.00 for 500g. This places it somewhat on the cheaper side, which might be an attractive proposition for some. However, I have some reservations due to the lack of clarity surrounding the quality and purity of the product.
One possible downside is the absence of a “Subscribe and Save” option on their website. However, they do offer free shipping for orders over $50, so it’s definitely worth stocking up to take advantage of that deal.
Pros & Cons
Let’s summarise my thoughts on Airborne’s Manuka Honey by listing its pros and cons.
- Creamy and pleasant taste
- Well sealed package
- Extensive information available on packaging, including batch number and pollen count
- Established brand with a wide variety of honey products
- More affordable compared to UMF brands
- Limited clarity around authenticity due to the non-UMF grading system
- Uncertainty surrounding the purity of the product
- Lack of a significant health edge over regular honey
- No ‘Subscribe & Save’ option for regular users
Taking everything into consideration, it’s clear that Airborne’s Manuka Honey gets a lot of things right, from its unique taste to the detailed packaging. Despite this, the ambiguity surrounding purity and authenticity is concerning, considering the premium one pays for Manuka honey.
The appeal of Airborne’s Manuka Honey largely depends on individual preferences—those who prioritize affordability and innovative packaging might be inclined to try it. However, those seeking verified efficacy and purity might be better suited looking elsewhere. A reflection of these considerations led me to rate this product a 5.2 out of 10 stars.
Other Options to Consider
- New Zealand Honey Co. Manuka Honey
- Comvita Manuka Honey
- Manukora Manuka Honey
- Mānuka Health Manuka Honey
- Steens Manuka Honey
- Egmont Manuka Honey
- Kiva Manuka Honey