How to Buy Good Honey: 5 Things You Need to Know

Walk into the honey aisle at the supermarket and you will immediately be inundated with options — some of which might not even be 100 percent honey. If you want to buy good honey, but are not sure where to start, you have come to the right place. Here are five essential principles for purchasing good honey:

Buy the Brightland Honey Jar Set

Know your honey terms.

There are multiple terms that you need to know when shopping for good honey, some of which are meaningful and others that are mostly marketing talk. First of all, you should look specifically for raw honey, which has not been pasteurized or filtered and thus contains the highest level of pollens (learn more about what raw honey is in our separate guide). You might also see the labels “organic honey” or “GMO-free honey,” but unfortunately those do not mean much because there is no way to guarantee that the bees that made the honey have only pollinated organic, GMO-free plants. Terms such as “pure honey” or “genuine honey” are almost more for marketing as opposed to a meaningful label, so do not fall for them.

Read the labels.

Honey is not always what it seems to be, which is why it is so important to read the fine print when trying to buy good honey. Unfortunately, cutting honey with lower-grade ingredients such as corn syrup is a relatively common practice since it helps to keep costs low and increases profits for big manufacturers. That is why you need to read the fine print on the back of the label, even if the front of the bottle claims that the product is “genuine honey.” In a similar vein, some “organic” honey, which sounds very healthy, is actually pasteurized and filtered, which removes the nutritious pollens. Reading the back of the label will reveal this information as well. 

Shop High-Quality Raw Honey Online

Investigate the source.

It makes a difference whether your honey comes from a small local beekeeper who cares genuinely about their colony or a big manufacturer who is just trying to make a buck. Typically, individual or family farms, like those Brightland sources its honey from, will have the highest quality control and thus make the best honey — but it is always worth it to investigate your sources to make sure they are actually as good as they seem to be. The geographic area that the honey comes from will also impact the taste and smell of the final product, which is directly linked to the plants that the bees pollinated while making the honey. Do a little digging into that as well.

the couplet

Understand honey types.

As we mentioned in the above section, the type of flower(s) that the bees used to make the honey will have a big impact on the final taste. In addition to the plants the honey comes from, it is also important to know a little bit about honey grades. Grade A is usually the darkest in color and most robust in flavor, grade B is somewhere in the middle and grade C is the lightest in both color and flavor. Another type of honey that you might see on the shelves is creamed honey, which is just honey that has been whipped until it has a more butter-like consistency. Understanding these different types of honey will make it easier to choose the perfect honey for your needs.

Check Out Our Unfiltered Honey Set

Choose a glass jar.

Honey is best stored in a glass honey jar, which is why we recommend buying honey in a glass jar at the get-go or transferring it into a sterile glass container of your own for best results. Glass will not impart a taste to the honey; unlike certain plastic containers, which may also contain BPA. Glass is also safe to reheat the honey in if it crystallizes, whereas you will need to transfer the honey from a plastic container to a glass one anyway if you end up needing to reheat it. It is just more convenient to buy honey that already comes in a sturdy glass jar. That way, you never have to worry about storing or heating it.

honey product shot

Ready to try high-quality raw honey? Check out our set The Couplet, which features two distinct raw honey flavors to give you a great introduction to raw honey. Also, be sure to check out the rest of our elevated pantry staples since U.S. orders over $89 ship free!