Manuka Standards

Manuka Honey is one of the most sought-after superfoods in the U.S. but until recently there was no single standard for what constituted a “real” Manuka Honey, which led to significant confusion and misinformation about what makes Manuka genuine.

To help clear up confusion and establish once and for all what real Manuka Honey is, the New Zealand government’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) created the first global standard and scientific definition for Manuka Honey in early 2018.

This is the only government-regulated and approved standard for Manuka Honey in the world!

As of February 5, 2018, all Honey labeled as Manuka and exported from New Zealand is now required to be tested to show that it meets the MPI standard before it can lawfully be exported. The test results from the certifying lab must accompany the export documents for the Manuka honey ensuring that product packed in New Zealand is genuine. 

Wedderspoon is committed to delivering Manuka Honey of the highest quality and purity and has aligned the KFactor methodology to embrace and comply with the MPI’s new regulatory definition for Manuka Honey.

Any Manuka Honey which claims to be authentic without specific adherence to the above MPI standard is non-compliant with the only official standard for New Zealand Manuka Honey.

5 key indicators must be present in the chemical and genetic makeup of the honey in order to be considered Manuka.

The difference between Monofloral and Multifloral Manuka honey is the required levels of these key indicators. 

The test results must accompany the final export shipment document for Manuka Honey.

The New regulatory definition focuses on defining two levels of Manuka Honey - Multifloral Manuka Honey and Monofloral Manuka Honey.

Monofloral Manuka

A honey that is "wholly or mostly" from the Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) plant. 

As bees have a considerable flight distance and need variety in their diet, a honey will never be 100% one nectar source.

Shop Manuka Kfactor 16

Multifloral Manuka

A honey blend that has a variety of plant sources, but has a significant amount from the Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) plant.

Shop Manuka Kfactor 12

Read more about the changes and the science behind the mpi's new definition

Learn More

FAQ on manuka honey standards

How can someone tell if their jar of Manuka Honey is real?

The single best way to know if a Manuka Honey is genuine is to make sure the label says “packed in New Zealand” or the Fernmark Seal (an even higher stamp of authenticity for products produced in New Zealand) on the package – this guarantees the honey was tested before export, is authentic, and meets the global MPI Manuka Honey standards.  

As of February 5, 2018, all Manuka Honey packed in jars and exported from New Zealand is now required to be tested to show it meets the MPI Manuka Honey standard before it can lawfully be labelled as Manuka.

What about UMF? I thought this was the best grading system for Manuka?

UMF or Unique Manuka Factor is just one methodology, like KFactor or MGO, that some Manuka Honey brands use on their packaging – it was created by The Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) which is a voluntary member trade organization. It is not a governing body for regulating Manuka Honey. The only governing body that regulates what makes real Manuka Honey, is the New Zealand government’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), which created the first global standard and definition for Manuka Honey in early 2018. This is the only government-regulated and approved standard for Manuka Honey in the world!

What’s great about the MPI standard is that as of February 5, 2018, all Manuka Honey exported from New Zealand is now required to be tested to show it meets the MPI Manuka Honey standard before it can lawfully be labelled as Manuka. Wedderspoon’s KFactor methodology goes above and beyond the MPI standard for Manuka Honey and is comprised of five ‘key factors’ that focus on the holistic qualities of authentic Manuka Honey. Wedderspoon never adds or takes away anything from its Manuka Honey – it’s truly pure, raw, hive-to-home Manuka.

What about MGO? I thought this was what made Manuka Honey so special?

In order to be true Manuka, there are four chemical markers and one DNA marker that must exist. It’s important to note that methylglyoxal (aka MGO) is not one of the compounds that defines a true Manuka Honey. This is because MGO levels can change over time and thus is not a reliable marker. This infographic created by MPI explains the definition in more detail.

MGO is just one of a few different methodologies, like KFactor and UMF, that Manuka Honey brands use on their packaging, but all Manuka Honey that is packed in New Zealand must be tested and the results provided to MPI proving it meets the new standards before being exported.  

Wedderspoon’s KFactor methodology goes above and beyond the MPI standard for Manuka Honey and is comprised of five ‘key factors’ that focus on the holistic qualities of authentic Manuka Honey. Wedderspoon never adds or takes away anything from its Manuka Honey – it’s truly pure, raw, hive-to-home Manuka.