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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Prior Lake, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Raw honey: marketing standards

    I've been beekeeping for seven years. My main market for my honey is at an entertainment center gift shop (uniformed customers) and at three local food co-ops (semi-informed customers).

    I've been rather isolated in my beekeeping, just doing what I do and buying more equipment... not attending beekeeping meetings or reading apiculture magazines. Here is a funny story about my never having heard of raw honey. Raw honey, sounds gross, like raw meat.

    Four years ago, we did a taste testing at a local co-op. Our stand was positioned just across from the honey section. We had brought a frame of bees in my traveling observation hive. Many were drawn in and it was fun to interact with the end-user. However, those introverted honey buyers who did not come over looked over the stores honey selection and avoided our local honey and purchased either stuff labeled raw or organic honey from Brazil.

    One customer said he would never buy our honey. It was liquid honey. It wasn't raw. I just harvested it two weeks ago!!!

    Several more customers asked if our honey was raw. I didn't even know what raw honey was!

    So when I got home I did some internet research. I don't cook my honey. I don't filter my honey to remove pollen grains or tiny of wax. I do strain out the drowned bees and chunks of wax. I bottle my Jan-May honey orders come in, so I decrystallize my honey at 100 to 110 degrees (within the biological norm of a hive), never more than 18 hours. I use a heated knife to uncap my honey. So am I raw? ...

    I'd love to just bottle most of my honey right away and market it as raw and not worry about crystallized honey (My honey crystallizes with chunky crystals).

    Not sure what I'm asking or telling... but my main problem with "raw" honey is that there is no set definition as to what raw honey is. That is there is no USDA (or other agency) definition for me to follow that make me comfortable marketing my honey as raw.

    On our jars, we currently state, "we never heat nor filter our honey to remove its natural properties."

    Thoughts?!?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,070

    Default Re: Raw honey: marketing standards

    Then your honey is definately raw, uncooked honey. I doubt you are using a complicated filter that would require the honey to be hot and forced thru at high pressure, SO, your honey is indeed Raw Strained Honey. Those are the buzzwords the customers are now looking for. If your nanny state allows, have some samples available. I used to make pull apart buns the size of marbles and use them to offer samples on. You have to to talk those people in. It is just like calling ducks into decoys, say enough but not too much. Make sure the customers know that you are the beekeeper. That matters too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tyrone, Pennsylvania,USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Raw honey: marketing standards

    The other day i stopped in a health food store just to see what kind of honey they have.They were selling "Very Raw Honey"that's what they were calling it.The honey was not filtered at all as far as i could tell and they were charging more for it.They had other types of raw honey also.
    It gave me a few ideas to try out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Prior Lake, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Raw honey: marketing standards

    I had to laugh at the brand "Really Raw Honey"... the label is hilarious! They say they have the crown jewels of the bees in the honey: propolis. They really have to go out of there way to get propolis in the jar. I bought it... I thought it smelled rank... not like fermented honey but like something died. They also have bits of bees in there.

    However the semi informed consumer can be confused by all the "buzz" words on the label.

    The WORST label is from Y.S. Honey Farm (organic Brazillian raw honey). Basically its says that if you don't eat their honey how on earth can you possiblity be alive. It doesn't really say that, but it's sooo over the top. But at the honey tasting I did, the introverted honey buyers that would not come near use picked up either Really Raw Honey or the Y.S. Honey Farm Organic Raw Honey.

    I have no problem with other folks selling honey (I love tasting honey from all over), but I don't like marketing gimmicks.

    I'll dig out the jars I have of these honey's that I have so I can properly quote the labels.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,224

    Default Re: Raw honey: marketing standards

    as far as marketing standards you can make up your own. as far as I know there are none. the term raw honey tends to confuse the public. they can relate better to natural, not heated, unfiltered etc. heating to 110 or 120 degrees is not heated as far as Im cocerned because this could be done naturally in the hive. common sense is to at least filter thru a screen to remove foreign parts. this results in a natural product but they have to understand it will granulate as this is normal. so many think it is spoiled when it granulates.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Posts
    19

    Exclamation Re: Raw honey: marketing standards

    I think the word "raw" is a opposition to "pasteurized". Some US packers do pasteurize honeys before packaging, I think this is the meaning of "raw honey", ie., "not pasteurized".

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