Honey Prices: A bull market in this liquid asset

If you make a lot of mead, you buy a lot of honey. I like to buy in bulk and keep an eye on prices – there’s been a lot to keep an eye on in the seven months since my last price report. The stable prices in March have given way to much more expensive honey in October. Price increases ranged from 6.5%, on Miller’s clover, to 38.9% on Dutch Gold wildflower. Have a look at the table below for the details on how various honey prices have changed.

Source and Type Price March 2008 ($/lb) Recent Price % Change
Costco Clover 1.47 1.57 +6.8
Sam’s Club Clover 1.53 1.86 +21.6
Miller’s Honey Clover 1.55 1.65 +6.5
Miller’s Honey Wildflower 1.15 1.35 +17.4
Dutch Gold Clover 1.30 1.71 +31.5
Dutch Gold Wildflower 1.26 1.75 +38.9



The more things change, the more they stay the same

Clover honey at Costco is still a better deal than at Sam’s or at the packers. Its not just cheaper than the others, but it comes in smaller 6 lb jugs plus you can avoid shipping charges by picking it up locally. The lowest unit price is still Miller’s wildflower – a high quality honey at a great price.

What about other varietals?

I keep track of the prices I do because they’re widely available in the United States. Almost every honey vendor sells clover honey, and wildflower is almost always the cheapest honey a vendor offers. Keeping track of these prices lets me compare like with like and is the best way to spot trends.

Improved price information

I haven’t made much headway in tracking honey prices overseas. I just don’t have enough local knowledge to pick benchmarks (I think acacia honey might be the one to follow in Europe, but I’m not sure) or suitable vendors (Tesco in the UK?). I do plan on recording prices as of Jan 1, 2009 to better compare with the USDA’s “all honey” price, and I’m thinking of adding other sweeteners like malt extract, sugar, and maple syrup.



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2 thoughts on “Honey Prices: A bull market in this liquid asset

  1. John Smith

    Yes, Mr. Winemaker, or may I make that Meadmaker?

    Prices of honey seem to be a taboo topic.

    We have this YahooGroup called honey_australia where we try to get people (especially beekeepers) to focus on the price and the value of honey. We welcome honey packers too, but they tend to be a bit reticent.

    Your candid, upfront, to the point message suggest to me you might like to look in on us, and also maybe you like to make comment, which is welcome. One of our members is responsible for posting a link there telling us of this site of yours.

    My personal message is that is honey it one of the planets greatest bargains, even at today’s prices. I am a honey producer, or course, so have vested interest. So does everyone who wants to drink real mead, and stay real healthy and enjoy real food.

    Anyway, if we don’t see you there, thanks for this factual report. It is always good to hear from real people, regardless of the message they may bring. Too much official double-speak these days.

    Cheers,

    John Smith

  2. Erroll Post author

    Hello John,

    Consumers and producers often have different preferences about where prices should go, but they both benefit from a clear idea of market conditions. That’s what I try to provide. Thank you for the kind words; I’ll drop by your group.

    Erroll

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