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Sweet snobmoddity

Retail

Most supermarket honey is imported from China and Argentina, and/or blended from many sources, creating a homogenous taste. But, like other commodities that preceded it (water, salt, tea and coffee), honey is now striking back with a sweet vengeance, and artisanal honeys are on the rise. Since honey’s flavour and colour are determined by the source of nectar, there’s a huge variety of very local and exclusive types of honey, with floral sources varying from tupelo gum tree and Tasmanian leatherwood to cranberry and orange blossom. Honey is becoming what trendwatching.com calls a snobmoddity: a mundane commodity turning into luxury item, offering consumers a bewildering number of varieties of what was once an invisible part of daily life. Like any good snobmoddity, a honey’s story is a key aspect of marketing. The Savannah Bee Company, for example, sells its honeycomb jars with this awe-inspiring description: “Filled with honey equalling the life’s work of two bees, each golden cell brims with the concentrated nectar of thousands of rare and remote Georgia flowers.” In New York, the Blue Ribbon Bakery Market has installed a honey bar, selling imported raw honey from Mexico. Seasonal (read: limited time only) varieties include mesquite blossom, orange blossom and golden reserve. Also emphasizing the unique flavours of different varieties, Bee Raw Honey sells sets of honey samples, packaging the liquid gold in test-tubes corked and hand-sealed with beeswax. Honeybees and beekeepers have sadly been on the decline for years. Hopefully, honey’s new star status will turn that trend upside down. Find your own region’s apiarian specialty, build an attractive online honey boutique, and help keep the bees in business.

Website: www.savannahbee.com, www.beeraw.com

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