New Zealand's manuka honey has taken the world by storm. But Zealandia Honey in Taupō is taking honey to another level.
Zealandia says the new ZH 2020 is the most potent honey in the world, and naturally it's expensive.
But this new honey is more than just honey. Zealandia collaborated with other local businesses to create a sought-after, limited-edition artwork.
"Zealandia Honey tries to support the local community," the honeymaker's "strategist" Robin De Geus said.
"We're all about working together."
"Doing that with people who are from here, who feel Covid and feel the pressure of tourism leaving Taupō actually made us think 'actually, we should keep it within the region and close to ourselves.'
"It made the process a lot easier."
The honey is sold in hand-blown glass jars that are works of art in their own right.
"It keeps everybody busy, it gives a lot of life to the community and this project involved a lot of different people around Taupō," Lynden Overs from Lava Glass Taupō said.
"There were wood-turners, metal workers, they needed a glass blower, Zealandia Honey's marketing team, everything."
The honey itself was harvested five years ago, and like a good cheese or whiskey it's expected to get better with age. But good luck if you want a taste. It's being sold to an exclusive customer base, with a large waiting list willing to pay more than $3000 per jar.
"Our honey is really based on the land we live in and surrounded by," Sri Govindaraju, head of communications for Zealandia said.
"The honey from Central Plateau... is very different. Depending on the region, the taste of Manuka honey also differs."
Zealandia is planning more honey products, working with other local businesses.
"With the success of the current limited release, we actually decided to do a next limited release already," De Geus said.
"There's already quite a bit of interest from overseas, people seem to like the product, it's been accepted by the crowd and we're working on the next limited release already.
"It's not as easy as just buying honey and putting it into a glass jar," he said.
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