Often referred to as “liquid gold” by the media due to its rarity and value. Manuka honey has picked up an army of high-profile celebrity fans in recent years.
But how did our New Zealand honey become such a global sensation? And who are the A Listers who love Manuka?
First a short history lesson:
Manuka Honey initially became big news in the 1980’s when scientists in New Zealand begun researching its anti-microbial properties that were more powerful than other types of honey.
This popularity grew into the 90’s when Manuka honey started to be ranked on different grading scales and new brands emerged to cope with global demand. In the UK, the 1990’s was when health food stores become to stock Manuka in limited quantities, as supply was much more sporadic than it is now.
More recently in the noughties, as healthy living and clean eating have become more popular, so have the number of celebrities who swear by Manuka honey.
Part of the popularity is due to Manuka honey’s scarcity. Rare and unique products always attract a cult following as people search for the next big thing. But the other reason is Manuka’s purity and natural properties.
You see, genuine Manuka honey can only come from New Zealand, and has to pass a set of strict lab tests to prove it is the genuine article. This is reassuring for high profile celebrities because there is no risk of contamination, diluting, or blending down.
Just like champagne can only come from a certain region of France, Manuka Honey carries a certain kudos that it really is one of the most special food products in the world.
And unlike some other methods of keeping well like Vitamin injections or extreme diets, Manuka honey is totally natural, easy and above all – delicious!
Who are the fans?
Oscar winner Sir Kenneth Branagh takes a spoonful of Manuka honey every day in his black coffee.
USA megastar Kourtney Kardashian turned to manuka honey initially for its skin-boosting benefits in 2017, when she became a global ambassador for Manuka Doctor. And she is far from alone in her passion for this honey superstar.
Actress and star of the Marvel Movie franchise Gwyneth Paltrow is also a known fan of Manuka honey. Dedicating a page on her lifestyle website Goop to educating her readers about how to spot a Genuine brand.
Cycling Olympian turned jockey Victoria Pendleton revealed in interviews that she takes Manuka honey for its natural anti-microbial qualities, while top tennis star Novak Djokovic is rumoured to power his game with two spoonfuls a day.
Thanks to its naturally soothing properties, Manuka honey has also gained many fans from the world of entertainment and performing arts.
From singer Ed Sheeran whose tour rider is said to include a jar of Manuka, through to award winning performer Ariana Grande – who has used a Manuka honey lollipop to help protect her voice. The New Zealand staple is common sight in the dressing rooms of the elite.
One long standing ambassador for Manuka honey is opera singer Katherine Jenkins, who has been hailing the benefits of Manuka in interviews for more than 12 years. Back in 2008 she told a reporter “I absolutely love Manuka honey – it's my special little health secret. It's anti-bacterial and has amazing health benefits."
Even Royalty are reported to be fans. Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle is said to enjoy Manuka honey for breakfast. According to magazine Harper’s Bazaar, the Duchess chooses to start her day with ‘steel-cut oats with bananas or other fruit topped with Manuka honey and bee pollen, washed down with a hot water and lemon’.
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