Puriti talks creating the world's most intensive anti-counterfeit Mānuka honey jar

  • News
  • October 25, 2018
  • Idealog Team
Puriti talks creating the world's most intensive anti-counterfeit Mānuka honey jar

A New Zealand honey producer has raised the stakes when it comes to protecting Aotearoa's homegrown Mānuka honey in the global marketplace. This is because despite the honey originating out of New Zealand ('Mānuka' being a Māori word), many are attempting to emulate the products by misleading the consumer on what Mānuka honey is, or even outright copy the packaging with counterfeit products. Puriti is the first retail brand launched by Midland Apiaries, New Zealand's third-biggest packer of honey, and among its range of products, it boasts the world's first Mānuka honey jar with an impressive 11 separate consumer security and anti-counterfeit measures integrated into its design, including an anti-tamper seal, invisible ink, and more. International brand manager Adam Boot talks designing for security and the growing Mānuka honey counterfeit problem globally that the company is trying to tackle.

Idealog: Without giving away any trade secrets, can you describe the design process in coming up with the 11 separate counterfeit security measures in the honey jar? What were the challenges encountered in getting the design right?

Boot: The Puiriti jar, lid and label all had to be designed in conjunction with each other so that they integrated in harmony. The jar and lid join almost seamlessly so that the label can cover the join. The label then has a break line that snaps when twisted. The label also utilises design elements such as invisible ink, high build UV, hot stamp foil and soft touch laminated paper. We also individually laser etch each jar. The combined result is something very hard and very expensive to copy or counterfeit. The jar and lid are proprietary designs exclusive to Puriti. 

Why did Puriti feel the need to take such extreme measures – just how bad is the counterfeit Mānuka honey problem overseas? What kind of issues was Puriti running into?

We believe it is a major and growing problem. Not all of the problem is outright counterfeit though. A lot is just deliberate misleading of the consumer. Low grade blended Mānuka is often marketed as the genuine or premium or pure Mānuka honey. When it is far from it. Multi floral Mānuka is a blend of honey types with enough Mānuka​ to provide flavour and enough Methylglyoxal to provide a measurable MGO reading level. The labelling in markets outside of New Zealand is often more unclear. Honey that has been packed outside of New Zealand has not undergone the same rigorous testing. As a safe guide, genuine Mānuka Honey will be Mono-floral, minimum UMF5 and over 100 MGO. Good brands will show both on the label to avoid confusion.

What is the global marketplace like for selling Mānuka honey? Are consumers getting mixed messages about origins and authenticity of the different honeys available?  

The Mānuka honey market is growing rapidly and demand is very strong but the consumer should show caution when purchasing. There is a mixed message regarding authenticity, testing and grading. Genuine Mānuka must be harvested, tested, certified, packed and labelled in New Zealand. Only Manuka packed and labelled in New Zealand is subject to the comprehensive Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) Manuka Honey Science Definition test. This is currently only applied to Mānuka Honey exported. It is the only robust form of testing internationally recognised. It tests for four chemical markers and one DNA test for New Zealand Mānuka. The pass marks determine if the honey is Mānuka and Mono Or Multifloral. Only mono floral is the real deal.

What about the situation occurring in Australia – can you describe what's going on there and how producers are trying to cash in on New Zealand Mānuka honey's reputation via the Australia Tea Tree Jelly Bush?

Australia has over 100 species of Tee Tree. It has always been commonly called Jelly Bush. Some Jelly Bush Honey has shown measurable amounts of Methylglyoxal, the anti bacteria agent that is naturally created in some Manuka Honey. Australian producers have now renamed their honey Mānuka. This is really faux Mānuka honey. It is not subject to the same comprehensive testing as New Zealand Mānuka honey and it does not have the same properties as genuine Mānuka.

It's early days, but how has the new design been going so far? Have you received any feedback so far with consumers?

At the moment, it is hard to keep up with the demand. We have new stores wanting to stock Puriti placing orders every day. The factory is flat out trying to keep up. Customer feedback is just incredible. We have addressed concerns. We have increased all the testing. The customer knows the are buying the best of the best.

You've spoken out about the export grade standard of Manuka honey needing to be implemented locally – is there also problems occurring with counterfeits in the New Zealand market?

No, the problem in New Zealand is that the standards for our own market are not as strict as they are for export. We now have a higher level of quality required for export. We do not agree that there should be a lesser standard for our home market. Our solution has been to make all Puriti products to a standard that exceeds the export legislation regardless of where they are sold.

Now that Puriti has set a high standard for the classification, packaging and labelling of its products, what would you like to see the rest of the New Zealand Mānuka honey industry do?

The essence or soul of the Puriti brand is based upon lifting standards and continuous improvement. We have created a game changer. If I was to answer honestly, I would say that it would be wonderful if the industry as a whole followed the same direction and embraced higher standards and regulation. Unfortunately, not all producers have the same vision. We may be a lone voice for some time.

You also produce Mānuka crystals as substitutes for sugar and Mānuka honey on-the-go snap packs – would you say these are quite unique products to take to market? Do you think these products will appeal to modern-day consumers?

They're absolutely unique in the quality way we present and deliver different forms of Mānuka honey to the consumer. We want to expand choice and options. Carrying a jar in your hand bag is not really an option, so on the go packaging gets around this. Mānuka is nature's super food and if we can make it accessible and easier to use in different forms, then that's great.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Direct sales: How multi-level marketing works

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: How multi-level marketing works

The $200 million-plus direct sales economy contains many lessons retailers can use. As part of a wider look at this thriving corner of retail, we created a quick explainer showing how this business model typically works.

Read more

Direct sales: Meet the upliners

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: Meet the upliners

We profiled different participants in the direct sales industry to find out what retailers can learn from them. Meet Isagenix distributors Adam Nesbitt and Bianca Bathurst.

Read more

Direct sales: Meet the business builder

  • News
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Direct sales: Meet the business builder

As part of a wider story looking at what retailers can learn from the direct sales industry, we profiled Isagenix distributor Ben Frost.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Leveling up: Exploring multi-level marketing in New Zealand

Is the $200 million-plus direct sales economy retail by another name or something different? Regardless, what can we learn from it?


A spectrum of retailers

  • Opinion
  • April 18, 2019
  • David Farrell
A spectrum of retailers

In recognition of April being Autism Awareness Month, retail commentator Dave Farrell considers the role of those on the spectrum in retail.

Read more

How on-trend is your retail business?

  • Sponsored Content
  • April 18, 2019
  • Sponsored content
How on-trend is your retail business?

New insights from Visa highlight five evolving trends emerging from savvy retailers around the world. We’ve taken these global trends and looked at how they are playing out with merchants in New Zealand, and we’d now like to hear what you think of them.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit