Pack of the Month: The True Honey Co. Harvests $1,000 Honey

by Casha Doemland on 05/30/2019 | 4 Minute Read

Honey and I never had a good relationship.

Of course, that was until about a year and a half ago when I got sick with a sore throat and a cluster of stomach issues (you don’t want to know) and discovered the magic it does to not only the flavor of hot tea but for your body. Honey has been known to soothe sore, itchy throats due to its power to fight inflammation, which is also why it works wonders for your digestive tract. As someone who is meticulous about what she puts into her body, sans the Doritos and Sour Patch Kids, I've always sought out ethically-sourced jars of the honey packaged in glass. And while I haven't settled on a brand, I appreciate the varieties available.

When I discovered luxury manuka honey brand, The True Honey Co., my mind was blown, especially with the newest addition to the family.


Founded by Jim McMillian, the company’s philosophy is to not only look after the honey bees but to look out for the consumer as each product they produce is premium Manuka honey independently tested, and free of any contaminants. To prove their commitment to transparent, ethical practices, they’ve done the work to create solid relationships with landowners, farmers, and even the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

Given that type of dedication, it only makes sense that The True Honey Co. would harvest the highest rated Manuka honey recorded at a certified 1,700 MGO (31+UMF).


“What makes this particular honey special is both the unique taste (which we can only dream on, though it's amazing or so we hear) and the concentrated wellness properties. Manuka honey has a naturally-occurring healing antibacterial property called Methylglyoxal,” says Tristan O’Shannesy, design director of Marx Designs. “This particular honey has the highest level of Methylglyoxal ever recorded. There was a delay to launch as the certifying body had to create a new measure and certification to the epic level this honey reached.”

Stickered with an impressive price tag of over $1,000, you best believe The True Honey Co, sought out the best of the best in the design sphere otherwise known as New Zealand-based design agency, Marx Designs to produce the luxurious, and exceptional packaging to match this opulent, and oh so very rare, honey.


“Our goal was to deliver a jaw-dropping, desirable collectible piece,” begins O’Shannesy. “Growing up in a remote part of New Zealand with views over vast Manuka forests, I have fond memories of looking out over an especially rare season of intense manuka bloom and seeing hills so white with flowers it was as though snow had fallen mid-Spring.”

This vivid memory served as the inspiration for both the cardboard form created by their dear friend, Mat Bogust at Think Packaging,  but also the reason behind the white-on-white aesthetic featured throughout the design.


“Think Packaging are our go-to guys for bespoke cardboard form,” states O’Shannesy. “They are great to work with, masters of their craft, and they bring their idea-driven creative excellence to their work. We also worked with them to develop the original retail packagings for The True Honey Co’, so they have a great understanding of the brand.”


Collectively, they produced 1,000 manuka flowers out of G.F. Smith’s Colorplan, an FSC certified and heavy metal free paper company that avoids using harmful chlorine throughout the bleaching process. This iconic wedge packaging,  handcrafted by Think Packaging, magnetically locks each petal together. When you wish to open it, gently pull back each petal to unveil the jar of honey with it's sustainably sourced wooden cap. One petal even reveals the custom drizzler made of rimu wood that delivers a beautiful, marbled grain texture.


From there, Marx Design strategically placed the embossed gold text and typography on a piece of texturized paper that wraps around the packaging to maintain the clean and pristine aesthetic they strived to create. Only once this wrap is taken off does the interior reveal the Rare Harvest story retold by Kate Phillips at Citizen.

Throughout the entire design process, as Marx Design and Think Packaging worked hand-in-hand, they successfully navigated past the hurdles that come along with pushing the boundaries of both material and form.

"We’re lucky enough to have a great team internally to troubleshoot and conduct open, collaborative communication with our partners," says O'Shannesy. "Having a patient and supportive client who believed in the concept helped us achieve the final result."


The collective team effort resulted in a one-of-a-kind experience, from the Manuka flower inspired packaging to the rarity of the honey placed inside.

It's truly a collectible item that would sit nicely on display in my kitchen, to never be touched ever.

And why? Because ONE tablespoon of honey is going to cost roughly $62.50, and I know for damn sure my Sleepy Time Tea from Target ain't worth that. This exquisite honey will only be popped open and dished out when I start sipping high tea with the Queen of England or Obama. 


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