10th April 2017Brand ProtectionRetail

Could your Manuka honey be fake?

Is Manuka honey part of your daily routine? Do you enjoy the benefits it has on your health? Well, you are not on your own as figures show that around 9,000 tonnes of Manuka honey are sold worldwide every year except that only 2,000 to 3,000 tonnes of genuine Manuka honey are actually produced every year.

Yes, that means that there is a high chance that you bought counterfeit honey and didn’t get what you paid for.

Superfood status

Manuka honey, which is produced in New Zealand, contains an ingredient called methylglyoxal (MGO) which is responsible for the honey’s Non-Peroxide Activity (NPA). It is only found in Manuka honey and has antibacterial properties, giving it a “healing property”, hence the superfood status.

Misleading claims and labelling

So what is fake or counterfeit Manuka honey? The issue comes from misleading labels which claim that the product, often sold at a premium rate, contains high levels of NPA and MGO when it doesn’t. Fake Manuka honey is not a health hazard, but consumers are paying a lot of money for what they think is a rare product when it is, in fact, common garden honey with no specific health benefits.


Mānuka honey is the latest brand to be targeted by fraudsters. However, they fought back!

Brand protection

What can the genuine producers of Manuka honey and the New Zealand government do to protect their customers and their revenues?

In partnership with Hamilton’s Analytica Laboratories and Comvita, the UMF Honey Association has developed a device able to test the purity of Manuka honey manually. The plan is for the device to be distributed in New Zealand and overseas to make it easy for the likes of retailers, wholesalers and food regulators to test honey.

A great innovation which will certainly help but what if brand protection started with the packaging? There is an opportunity for genuine Manuka honey producers to protect their products and their reputation by using bespoke holograms on their packaging which would allow for secure authentication by retailers but also consumers themselves.

Bespoke holograms are one of the most effective solutions to fight to counterfeit, and they are used widely by premium brands such as Rolex and Channel to protect their brands and products.

As well as being very difficult to remove, bespoke hologram labels are virtually impossible to replicate, and with eye-catching features, holograms appeal to human perception like no other security technology.

As brand protection specialists, Hague helps its customers protect their brand against fraud with bespoke secure solutions, such as holograms.

Contact us to discuss how we can help.

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Contact us to discuss how we can protect your brand.