[2 February/Food Navigator USA]

The unique health benefits of Manuka honey are starting to make a mark in the US market with the market leader, Wedderspoon, reporting record sales across all retail channels in 2017.  Wedderspoon has calculated that its products accounted for 73% of the combined growth in the Manuka category across conventional grocery, natural and speciality stores.  Wedderspoon CEO, Rebecca Remley, said that the company recognized the massive potential of Manuka in the US but also noted realizing the potential would take a thoughtful and unconventional approach rooted in consumer education, innovation and supply chain trace-ability.  The product growth reflects much wider distribution in 2017 including through maintain stream retailers like CVS.  The company launched an organic Manuka Honey Pop for kids in 2017 which is made with simple ingredients including organic Manuka honey and 100% RDA Vitamin C.  Ms Remley said that the US is one of the last major markets to learn about the product but she hesitated on providing an estimate of how big the market could be, noting that the product crosses over so well into so many categories, from skin care to food.