PRODUCT REVIEW: 

HaPPY VALLEY MANUKA HONEY

UMF 15+ / MGO 514+

happy valley manuka honey

Happy Valley are one of the oldest Manuka Honey sellers in New Zealand, being able to trace their history back more than half a century. This family owned and operated business have gone through three generations to emerge as one of the most vibrant players in the New Zealand manuka honey market.

Happy Valley is based in Auckland, with around 10,000  bee hives spread around the key manuka bush producing regions of the North Island. 

Who is Happy valley?

Happy Valley Honey is a New Zealand owned and operated producer of premium grade honey. The company’s roots go way back to 1975, when Auckland couple Ben and Dot Rawnsley, purchased a jar of honey from the Jansen farm in the Hawke’s Bay. The Rawnsley’s were so impressed with the product that they started up Happy Valley Honey on their Auckland lifestyle block to package and sell the product of the Jansen’s hives. 

From those humble beginnings, this family run business has grown to become a major force in the manuka honey market. They remain committed to producing premium quality honey products with as little human interference as possible. In 2013, Happy Valley launched their Royal Skin range of beauty products. Two years later they undertook a major beekeeping expansion. In 2017, Happy Valley merged with the Melita Group. They are now poised to achieve their goal of becoming one of the top 3 manuka honey producers in New Zealand.

Product overview:

happy valley manuka honey

Happy Valley UMF15+ Manuka Honey is a pure New Zealand manuka product that is rated for medicinal use as well as for general eating purposes. This product is available in 250 gram and 500 gram containers. The company produces manuka honey with UMF ratings that range from 5 to 20, which puts this UMF 15+ product in the upper range when it comes to medical benefit (the higher the UMF, the greater its health benefits). 

You can be certain that the contents of your Happy Valley manuka honey jar is genuine, original New Zealand manuka thanks to the traceability that Happy Valley provides with their Oaye software. This allows you to trace your product from the hive right to your home. That provides you with peace of mind in an industry that is rife with fake manuka honey!

Grading

Happy Valley are a licensed UMF Member (License #2024). That means that every batch of their manuka honey is tested in accordance with the UMF grading system. The UMF is a worldwide standard that is used to determine the antibacterial strength of the honey. It does this by measuring the strength of the three key antibacterial compounds in manuka honey that makes it so special:

  • Methylglyoxal 
  • Leptosperin
  • DHA

The UMF Grading system rates the medicinal strength of manuka honey as follows:

  • UMF 5+ to UMF 9+ - Certified Authentic
  • UMF 10+ to UMF 15+ - Premium Grade
  • UMF 15+ to UMF 20+ - Ultra Premium Grade
  • UMF 24+ - Superior Rate High Grade

From the above we can see that Happy Valley UMF 15+ manuka honey sits on the cusp between premium grade and ultra premium grade. That means that this honey has all of the medicinal benefits that the vast majority of users would be looking for without the ultra high prices that you would have to pay for the highest UMF manuka honeys on the market. 

Happy Valley packages all of their manuka honey products in PET plastic jars. They are made from natural or pigmented polymer and are BPA free. The tinted nature of the containers ensures that the manuka honey does not suffer any light damage from the sun’s rays. 

Taste

Happy Valley UMF 15+ Manuka Honey has that distinctive golden brown manuka color along with the unique manuka taste. You will pick up traces of caramel and malt in your taste buds as you delight in the rich flavor of this honey. Happy Valley produces their manuka products with a rich and thick texture that delivers a very pleasant after taste. 

value for money

Happy Valley price their manuka honeys competitively, with their UMF 15+ product being about 10-20% less expensive than such competitors as Wild Cape. Their freight charges are in line with other New Zealand companies. Unlike some of their competitors, Happy Valley provides a straightforward returns policy to all online purchasers; if you are not happy with your product for any reason they will either refund or replace it.

suggested uses and benefits:

With its UMF 15+ rating, Happy Valley manuka honey provides all of the medicinal benefits that manuka honey has become world famous for. This tasty honey will also provide a great snack option, whether on a sandwich, added to your favorite hot beverage as a sugar substitute or simply eaten by the spoonful. You may, of course, decide to purchase a lower priced and lower UMF manuka honey for your general eating purposes and keep UMF 15+ Manuka Honey purely for its medical and health benefits.

Happy Valley UMF 15+ provides a rich source of vitamins to boost the immune system. In fact, due to its high levels of MGO, UMF 15+ manuka honey makes an excellent natural antibiotic. It has been shown to encourage harmed tissue to heal while, at the same time, reducing the risk of infection. 

Manuka honey is also effective at treating wounds and burns. However, we suggest going with a UMF rating of at least 18+ for this purpose. Manuka also has strong antimicrobial properties, which can help to fend off infection. Once again, this is due to the MGO content of the product.

A UMF 15+ Manuka honey product is ideal for improving digestion generally and specifically helping to ward off such gut issues as acid reflux, bloating and gas. That is because manuka has the ability to help manage gut bacteria. 

A lot of people rely on UMF 15+ manuka honey to help them get through the winter time. It is especially good at unstuffing blocked noses, fighting off the bacteria that causes sore throat and easing coughing. To supercharge the effects of manuka honey on winter nasties combine it with ginger. 

UMF 15+ manuka honey can even help you to conquer insomnia and get a better night’s sleep. Manuka promotes sleep by ensuring that your liver is storing its maximum quantity of glycogen as well as spiking insulin levels which leads to the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone. 

Many people who suffer from such skin problems as acne and pimples have found that a topical application of UMF 15+ manuka honey does wonders for them. The combination of its low pH level, anti inflammatory compounds and antibacterial ability is what makes high grade manuka honey so good for your skin.

overall summary:

PROS

  • Traceability
  • UMF Certification
  • Competitively priced
  • Sustainable farming practices
  • Refund policy

cons

  • Some online reviewers noted that the inner seal was broken on arrival

FAQ

Is Happy Valley Manuka Honey real?

Yes, Happy Valley Manuka Honey is real. The company owns more than 10,000 hives that are situated in some of New Zealand’s prime manuka bush growing regions to produce pure, 100% manuka nectar. 

Can you use Happy Valley Manuka Honey on wounds?

Yes, you can use Happy Valley Manuka Honey on wounds, so long as you are using a honey that is rated at UMF 10+ or higher. Manuka honey that has a lower UMF than 10 does not contain enough antibacterial compounds to provide any wound healing benefits. 

Is Happy Valley Manuka Honey better than Wild Cape?

Some people think that Happy Valley is better than Wild Cape while others prefer Wild Cape. With taste being so subjective, it really comes down to your personal preference. Happy Valley manuka honey is a little less expensive than Wild Cape and they offer a more extensive range of UMF manuka honeys. 

OTHER OPTIONS:

Happy Valley produce and sell three key product lines:

  • Manuka Honey
  • Other Honey
  • Skin Care Products

The Happy Valley Manuka honey range offers the following:

  • UMF 5+ (available in 250g, 500g & 1kg containers)
  • UMF 10+ (available in 250g and 500g containers)
  • UMF 15+ (available in 250g and 500g containers)
  • UMF 18+ (available in 250g and 500g containers)
  • UMF 20+ (available in 250g and 500g containers)

When it comes to their other honey range, Happy Valley sells Royal Jelly, Propolis, Bee Pollen and Bee Venom. The company claims to sell the world’s purest royal jelly, providing it in a 10 gram container. They also offer a royal jelly / honey blended product. The honey used in this product, however, is not manuka. Royal Jelly with Honey is available in a 250 gram and a 375 gram container. 

The Happy Valley Skincare range includes Skin Care Health cream which contains UMF 15+ manuka honey and propolis. They also have a NZ Royal Jelly and Manuka Honey soap, a blend of manuka with sweet almond oil and a pure manuka oil. The Royal Skin range encompasses a gentle skin cleanser, a skin brightening exfoliator, firming eye serum and natural whitening creme. 

Where to buy:

For fast shipping times, we recommend buying Happy Valley Manuka Honey directly from Amazon.

Happy Valley was one of our top Manuka Honeys for this year. See our full list of rankings here.

Who are we?

I'm Erin, and my husband and I have been raising bees in Northern New Zealand for over 30 years. We no longer raise bees on Manuka flowers, but it remains one of our favorites, and we eat it daily, among other honeys like Kamahi and Rata. Since Manuka has grown in popularity overseas in recent years, we thought we should educate people on the true benefits of Manuka and how to find quality Manuka honey. Above is our guide, written by us and designed by our brilliant computer whiz of a son, Byron. We hope you find it helpful! Learn more about us here.