August Honey Market Report

What’s Important In Selling Honey.

We surveyed our reporters again this month to find out what principles and what items were important to their honey sales strategies. Price is always important, but that focus changes occasionally. A couple of years ago it was most important to almost 60% or our reporters, dropped to almost half, then slowly rose again to this year’s 66%. We suspect it has to do with pressure from inexpensive foreign competition keeping prices lower than we would like. Having your name on the label is mandatory almost everywhere, and is becoming even more important in marketing plans and food safety regulations. We suspect it has to do with identifying a local honey, the two subjects being no. 1 and no. 3 for most important this year. And being local is important, but seems to be slowly dropping as this is the lowest it’s been since we started.

Other label information is important, such as what variety the honey is (wild flower most common, unfortunately), is a second label used for, say variety, or feeding to children, or how to liquefy is rising, and having a Raw label, somewhere, is always a good thing to do, as long as it is raw, OK?

One pound, quarts and 12 oz. still dominate for containers, while specialty jars lag far behind. Glass is still popular, but not dominant anymore. We weren’t surprised at the low popularity of the gallon container as it continues to drop. To get your money’s worth it should cost over $100, which few civilians are willing to pay upfront. $10 for a pound is steep enough for many. Where honey is being sold seems important as it is the most important marketing item for two thirds of our reporters. Work, home, farmers markets, grocery stores…these are explored in another survey we do in the March issue each year. Last year’s top locations were home of course, but followed by seasonal and year round farm markets, organic and health food stores and local mom and pop stores. Well, that’s where most folks sell, but the most honey, by far, goes to small, medium and large packers, who use it for their outlets. We also asked again this year if having additional items to sell was important and remain surprised at how little influence this had.