How good is the UMF 28+ manuka honey from New Zealand Honey Co?

This is New Zealand Honey Co's highest graded product, with an MGO level of 1450, one of the highest on the market today.

Fetching a UMF 28 grading from the UMF Association is no easy feat. It requires a near-perfect manuka season with a long bloom, pristine manuka forest, and a flawless processing and extracting system, and even then, the grade is hard to come by.

This product by NZ Honey Co is a testament to its expert network of apiaries, best-in-class execution and an undying respect and passion for the art of beekeeping and honeymaking.

Let's take a closer look at this product and what it means for you.

Who is NZ Honey Co?

We're big fans of the manuka honey from New Zealand Honey Co due to their dedication for producing raw, organic, and unadulterated honey that New Zealand can be proud of and at a price point everyone can afford.

They've been instrumental in making high quality manuka honey accessible to many people in the world, when it was often price prohibitive and hard to come by for many years.

Nowadays, NZ Honey Co has an extensive range of manuka honey that suits everyone, ranging from UMF 5 all the way to their latest product - the UMF 28 grade. This is what we love most about the company - no manuka honey is too expensive, and everyone can afford high quality, UMF graded honey that is raw, organic, and free from impurities.

New Zealand Honey Co partners with many apiaries all over the country, meaning their honey can come from anywhere between Northland to the depths of southern Otago. 

The company itself is based in the heart of New Zealand in Mount Maunganui (not that far from where we live!) - a coastal town in the mid North Island, and a favourite among holidaygoers and beach lovers.

The business is led by owners Scott Brundell and Marc Eurell – who purchased the business some time ago and transformed it into the global honey producer we know today, bringing the best of New Zealand Honey to the world.

Product overview:


The UMF 28+ product is NZ Honey Co's highest graded honey, and one of the highest graded honeys in the world today.

Most honey producers don't achieve grades higher than UMF 20, and some even top out at UMF 15.

To understand why this is, you need to understand both the honey production process and the grading process.

Here's a quick sixty second lesson:

To produce manuka honey, bees need to collect nectar from manuka flowers and bring it back to the hive where they produce honey. The manuka flower holds the secret to all of manuka honey's antibacterial compounds, which make it so valuable. 

Unfortunately, the manuka flowers only bloom for about 3-6 weeks per year. This means there's a very short window where flowers can be pollenated and nectar can be collected. To make things even more difficult, sometimes the weather means there is a bad bloom, which can shorten the window further.

On top of that, hives need to be kept in dense manuka forest, which is not always easy to find. If there are too many types of flowers around, bees will collect nectar from various flowers and the honey will lose purity. When you see the words "monofloral honey", this means the honey has been made from mostly manuka nectar, but if other nectars are involved, the honey is downgraded to "multifloral honey", which is less potent and therefore less valuable.

Once the honey is produced, it goes to grading. The UMF Association is the gold standard in manuka honey grading, and will test for various compounds in a honey to determine its UMF rating.

This grading includes testing levels of MGO, DHA, NPA, HMF and leptosperin. You can read more about these compounds and the grading process here.

A honey needs to achieve exceptionally high readings on these tests to receive a UMF 28 grade, to the point where there are only a handful of companies that have ever achieved it in history. This is because, like we mentioned, you need almost-perfect growing conditions, almost perfect manuka forest, and a surgically clean extraction process to achieve honey of this purity.

We don't love the plastic packaging, but the BPA free certification is some consolation. We do love they are certified glyphosate free, which is always important when buying New Zealand products.


Interestingly, manuka honey is not like, say, Nutella. Since every harvest is different, and every season is different, and no jar comes from the same apiary every time, the honey will always have a slightly different taste each time you buy it.

As a high UMF product, the taste is very strong "manuka flavour", which usually means a sharp sweetness followed by a bitter aftertaste.

The honey itself is darker than table honey and thicker, much like a caramel. 

Personally, we think it's delicious. The contrast is like a sweet wine - the sugar sensation, but cut away with a slight bitterness at the end. You'll love it.

value for money

What we find most impressive about this honey is the price point.

High UMF honeys are nothing new, but usually are prohibitively expensive for most people.

A UMF 30+ honey usually goes for over $1,000 per jar, and are often produced in limited editions, as the conditions to produce such high purity manuka only come around a few times a decade, if that.

Even UMF 25+ products can fetch close to $1,000 for a jar.

This UMF 28+ product by NZ Honey Co can be had for as little as $150 per jar, and manuka honey generally lasts a long time, depending on how you use it.

This means it's probably the only manuka honey of this UMF/MGO level that can be used as part of your daily diet without breaking your bank account.

suggested uses and benefits:

Usually, a honey of this grade is not used as a daily addition to your oatmeal or a sweetener for your coffee.

However, as we said, the price wouldn't prohibit you from doing that, as this honey is extremely affordable for the quality it is.

However, the true benefit of a honey like this is its medicinal and antibacterial qualities. A UMF 28+ honey is medical grade, meaning it is not only suitable but ideal for things like wound dressings, treating infections like staph, as a remedy for stubborn flus and colds, and even used internally for chronic ailments like inflammation.

There are many benefits that manuka honey offers, and a honey of this quality would be suitable for helping with almost all of them.

overall summary:


  • Sustainable / ethical practices
  • New Zealand owned and operated
  • Exceptional UMF grade (28+)
  • Glyphosate free
  • Non GMO
  • BPA free
  • Halal & Kosher certified
  • Medical grade


  • Plastic jars (but BPA free)


Why is nz honey co umf 28+ so expensive?

While the price tag might look high on the surface, it's actually a very affordable honey for the quality it is. UMF 28 honeys often reach prices over $1,000 a jar, so NZ Honey Co's offering is a fraction of that price.

Is NZ honey co manuka genuine?

Yes, NZ Honey Co is one of the most established manuka honey producers in the world, offering real manuka honey made from real manuka plants and nectar and is graded by the UMF Association - the gold standard in manuka honey grading.

Is nz honey co umf 28+ honey medical grade?

Yes, generally honeys over UMF 24 are considered suitable for medical purposes.

is this the cheapest umf 28+ manuka honey?

Yes, to the best of our knowledge, there is no cheaper manuka honey on the market today that is graded UMF 28+ by the UMF Association.

Where to buy:

To ensure your NZ Honey Co products are genuine, we recommend purchasing directly from their website.

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About the author 


I'm Erin, and my family has been raising bees for over two generations. 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. Haere mai to our site, written by us and designed by our brilliant computer whiz of a son, Byron. We hope you find it helpful!