Raw Honey Reflection

Sometimes it’s interesting to see which sweeteners get left in our shelf space when someone decides to buy our honey instead of something they picked up elsewhere in the store. Several years ago we started to sell the unheated/unfiltered “raw” honey that has become more prized for its taste and unaltered quality. We didn’t realize there was such a strong market for local raw honey, and it has grown steadily since we introduced it in our stores.

Someone at the Coralville Hy-Vee traded out a Brazilian variety for the local option that we provide (at much lower cost). I do have to admit that the lid on the imported jar is catchy–though the website address on the lid is apparently inactive:

It has been great to see the backing for raw honey grow. One of the major adjustments for buyers in the USA is their typical preference for honey that stays liquid. The usual commercial bottling route to keep honey liquid long-term is to use super filters with the honey warmed to high temperatures. This removes all the particulate matter and dissolves all mini-crystals common in honey–both of which catalyze quicker granulation, especially in cool temperatures. Those processes affect the taste and chemistry of the honey. In northern Europe, on the other hand, it is very common to have honey that is granulated rather than liquid, so there is an interesting cultural dynamic that influences the preferred form of honey. Other places just want the truly raw form of honey–still in the comb!

In any case, I just began to think about raw honey and international consumption preferences after spotting the Brazilian raw honey in our space. Here is an image with some of the common claims supporting raw honey versus highly-processed and artificial honeys:

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