October 04th 2018
Try to picture nearly 37 million litres of honey. That’s more sweet, golden nectar than there is water in the Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto and the Vancouver Aquarium combined. And doubled.
Incredibly, that’s how much honey is expected to be produced in Canada this year.
Honey bees have existed since the Earth was one big Jurassic Park, but humans crashed the party much later on. It’s reasonable to assume humans and our ancestors have been helping themselves to what’s in the hive for uncountable millennia. Right now, however, the best archaeological evidence suggests we’ve been “liberating” honey for at least 9000 years.
We also know the Egyptians were keeping bees in the 7th century B.C., and perhaps even earlier. Beekeeping spread throughout the Mediterranean, and then across Europe along with the Roman Empire. Honey remained a vital sweetener until the proliferation of sugar, and beeswax went into the candles that lit the world for centuries.
Why a historic food is seeing historically high sales
In modern days, this prehistoric sweetener is still incredibly popular. Canadians are expected to spend more than $162M on the sticky stuff this year, with sales projected to top $172M in 2020.
Sure honey is absolutely delicious, but why is this ancient liquid more popular than ever? It probably has something to do with prevailing consumer attitudes towards food. A 2017 Nielsen survey shows that the five health attributes Canadian consumers look for the most are:
No artificial ingredients
Low / no fat
Offers health benefit
Incredibly, honey ticks all those boxes. It’s a completely natural product, and doesn’t need anything added to it for flavour or preservatives (Billy Bee, part of the McCormick family, adds nothing to its 100% Canadian-sourced honey). It’s also totally devoid of fat and beekeeping is about as enviro-friendly as an industry can be. If it weren’t for bees, both wild and commercial plants would suffer unimaginably due to their pollinating prowess.
When it comes to wellness, honey is golden
But what about health benefits? Being natural doesn’t always equate to being good for you, but that’s not the case for honey. There are many reasons why honey and products that contain it appeal to health-conscious consumers and those who just want to feel they’re doing the right thing for their bodies. Here are some of the best:
Honey contains antioxidants for fighting free radicals in the body
It can lower LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind)
It’s a pure, natural alternative to refined sugars and artificial sweeteners
Health and healing properties have been ascribed to honey for generations
So plentiful are the wellness applications for honey that some scientists refer to honey as a “nutraceutical agent.”
What could a taste of honey do for your product?
Because honey can be used anywhere sugar is used, there is virtually no product that couldn’t benefit from a drizzle.
Honey is commonly used in Asian cuisine which makes it a natural choice for some trendy meals. Why not a honey-wasabi glaze for your grilled chicken or seafood Yakitori skewers? And speaking of grilling, sweet & sour barbecue sauces are #1 in Canada! Add honey to your BBQ blend for a chance to be basted on ribs and wings across the nation.
If beverages are your business, honey can be used to sweeten up bitter blends, or tame fiery spices. For example, a bit of honey in an RTD kale and ginger smoothie will help it delight the palate without taking away from your clean label.
Of course, as highlighted earlier, honey also brings label cachet thanks to it’s all-natural status and consumer familiarity with its numerous wellness attributes. Since 46% of the population believes artificial sweeteners are bad for their health, and 45% think it’s best to avoid food and drinks that contain them, using honey as a sweetener and flavour additive makes good business sense.
The honey is here
If you think honey could be the key to unlocking your product’s full flavour potential, think of us as your personal hive. You might not know it, but we can supply you with not only our flavouring expertise, but also delicious liquid and organic honey.
Place your order for more information and samples today with our simple online form. We’re confident we’ll get you buzzing about honey.