By: Berlin Packaging Specialist
Date: July 28, 2021
Harvesting Honey – From Nature to Consumer
More than a third of the world’s food supply wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the work of bees, beekeepers, and other pollinators, according to the National Honey Board. Honey harvesting typically occurs two to three times per year with collection scheduled between mid-June and mid-September.
Beekeepers know when to harvest honey based on local climate and plant life since poor weather conditions, pests, and disease can all affect the quality and amount of honey produced. If honey is harvested prior to 80% completion, it can cause bees to no longer produce for the remainder of the season, meaning less honey production.
Without the beekeeping craft, managed crop pollination would suffer drastically since over 90 different crops rely on honey bees for pollination.
How to Store Honey
Once honey has been harvested, choosing the correct container for safe honey storage will preserve the quality and taste of your product. Select the honey container that best suits your product, filling capabilities, and brand messaging. Follow the best practices on how to store honey for consumer use and relay decisions with your packaging consultant to choose the best honey container for your application.
Should honey be stored in a refrigerator or freezer?
Honey should be stored in a cool, dark place with consistent temperatures below 50°F. Honey can be stored under 32°F. However, it should never be allowed to reach high temperatures to preserve flavor. Keep in mind that “food safe” and “freezer safe” are not equivalent when referring to container use. Without freezer safe approval, plastic can deteriorate, and chemicals can end up leaching into a product.
Can honey be stored in steel containers?
Although honey is a sweetener, it is acidic, meaning it is best kept in glass, ceramic, or stainless-steel containers. Other metal containers should be avoided since honey produces oxidation, which can cause metals to corrupt honey profile and taste.
Can honey be stored in plastic bottles?
Honey can be stored in plastic bottles, provided the containers are air and moisture tight. Ensuring a sterile filling environment will prevent unwanted particles from entering containers that can lead to organic matter growth in a product. PET plastic bottles are used in a variety of food packaging applications. PET is also impact resistant, durable, and moisture proof.
How to Package Honey for Sale & Distribution
While the honey market is projected to grow annually by 8.2% between 2021 and 2028, breaking into the food and beverage industry requires tactical skills on all fronts. Berlin Packaging’s innovative solutions in conjunction with the world-class design of their Studio One Eleven in-house design agency make transferring honey from its natural state to a fully packaged product for consumer use a seamless process.
The Studio’s design team has helped several honey producers create custom packaging to tell their unique brand story and stand out on the shelf. For Desert Creek Honey, the Studio’s graphic and industrial design teams worked together to develop a custom bottle with a honeycomb pattern decorated with bold, cheerful labeling that speaks to the purity of the product and authenticity of the brand.
Studio One Eleven worked closely with Nature Nate’s Honey team to replace a stock container with a custom PET honey bottle with bold hexagonal texturing on the shoulder and depressions on the sides that resemble a honeycomb being dipped in a beehive.
Meeting Honey Packaging Requirements
Honey can be sold in both glass and plastic containers anywhere from farmer’s markets to boutique shops to common grocery stores. Due to honey’s long shelf-life of 5 years, packaging nature’s sweetener comes with less restrictions than some food and beverage products, yet competition in marketing and packaging design remains strong. That’s where learning how to package honey in unique ways can make a difference in catching a consumer’s eye.
Is honey sold by weight or volume?
Honey is measured by weight and therefore is sold by weight, not volume. You cannot use the volume of canning jars to meet label requirements. Weight must be listed in ounces and grams and cannot include the weight of the jar and lid. At minimum, the product weight must match the descriptive label weight. (Read article "Calculating Honey Weight".)
What are honey jar label requirements?
Honey jar labels have basic requirements. They must contain the word “honey” on the front label in large legible font and the net weight of the honey on the lower third of the same front label. To meet FDA regulations, if any additional ingredients are used, they must be mentioned in an ingredient list (aside from spices and flavorings), and contact information of the distributor. Check with your local agricultural department for nutrition label requirements.
Do you need FDA approval to sell honey?
To sell honey in the United States, you must comply with FDA regulations. For complete recommendations it’s best to directly consult the FDA Honey Industry Guidance Documents. Different regulations may apply for different countries, so please consult your national or local regulations.
Another consideration of honey packaging is careful use of terms such as “organic” and “natural.” Although these terms are often part of strategic marketing, they can result in issues related to regulation and authenticity.
Selling Honey in a Competitive Market
Whether launching a honey harvesting start-up or scaling brand growth of an existing product, packaging choices have large effects on consumer choices. Careful deliberation over imagery and text for visual brand labeling and strategy that capitalizes on expectations and trends can improve a consumer’s experience to increase sales.
Container shape, size, closure and overall product design can determine how a consumer uses and interacts with your product. Container material can affect perceived value of a product and can even contribute to quantity order.
Trust the experts at Berlin Packaging to handle more than just your basic packaging needs with services ranging from financing to supply chain and warehousing opportunities. What are you waiting for? Let’s talk about how to package honey for your next venture.