As packages go, the “honey bear” has to be among the most iconic, right up there with the Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup bottle. Remember those plastic bears? We’re talking about them as if they’re remnants of our childhood, but thankfully, they still make them.
We’re on a honey kick today because September is National Honey Month and honey happens to be one of the favorite ingredients around the Pavone office. Our love of the sticky stuff sent us to the Web in search of honey facts. Here’s what we found:
- One-third of the U.S. food supply requires the assistance of honey bees. That’s remarkable, but also scary because a phenomenon called “Colony Collapse Disorder” (CCD) has been killing off bees around the world for more than a decade. In 2010, the U.S. and U.K. lost a third of their bee populations. Italy lost half.
- A typical beehive can make up to 400 pounds of honey per year. To make one pound of honey, the bees in a colony must visit 2 million flowers and fly over 55,000 miles, and it will be the lifetime work of approximately 300 bees.
- Honey stored in airtight containers never spoils. Sealed vats found in King Tut’s tomb contained still-edible honey, despite over 2,000 years beneath the sands.
- Honeybees are the only insects that produce food for humans.
- Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and water. It’s also the only food that contains “pinocembrin,” an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning.
- According to a National Honey Board survey, the current top uses for honey in foodservice are:
- Ingredient for sauces, spreads or glazes (70 percent)
- Barbecue or wing sauce (60 percent)
- Single-ingredient dipping sauce/spread (54 percent)
- Ingredient in bakery items (52 percent)
- Salad dressing ingredient (48 percent)
- Meat or seafood glaze (47 percent)
- Compound butter/honey butter (41 percent)
- Plenty of foods borrow the appeal of honey, including Honeycomb cereal, Honey Nut Cheerios, and Bit-O-Honey candy. Which of these three snacks contain actual honey? You’ll be happy to know that they all do!
MARKETING LESSON: Honey is one of the oldest known foods for a reason: It’s delicious. If your brand is among those that can put honey to use as an ingredient, consider yourself lucky.