Sometimes it’s difficult to find honey in grocery stores. Is it a sweetener? A jam? Or syrup? Or maybe even sold in produce? A lot of folks wonder where is honey found in the grocery store.
Honey is typically found on the same aisle as jam, jelly, and bread in most grocery stores. But in some cases, honey may be on the baking aisle with sugar and other sweeteners.
But how do you ensure that what you’re getting is real, pure, natural honey? And, as you know, that may not be obvious from the label.
I’ll answer this question and other interesting ones soon.
I know a thing or two about honey, considering that I spent over twenty- years working as a general manager at Whole Foods. Let’s get started with a simple (and probably amusing) question.
What aisle is the honey in at Walmart, Safeway, Kroger, and Publix?
Different stores have slightly different arrangements.
At Walmart, check the aisle where they have condiments, spices, and sauces. While at grocery stores like Safeway, honey can be found close to bread, peanut butter, and jelly. You won’t find it in the baking section.
In most Kroger grocery stores, honey is typically found in the condiment aisle, where items like jams, jellies, peanut butter, and syrups are located. Sometimes, it may also be placed in the baking aisle near other sweeteners such as sugar and molasses. If you’re unable to find it, asking a store employee for assistance is always a good option, as store layouts can vary slightly.
I get it. We are all busy than ever, and if you have no experience working in a grocery store, some ‘basic’ stuff might not be visible. In one of my recent articles, I went into detail on the different sections of a grocery store.
And, if you have ever wondered what makes a grocery store different from a supermarket, I’ve got you covered in another recent article. You’ll find both highly helpful. Just click the links to read them on my site.
I CAN GET MANUKA HONEY IN THE GROCERY STORE HERE IN THE STATES OMG pic.twitter.com/nBBQQ52JuY
— Joanna Grelle (@willsdarklady) January 11, 2019
Can you buy raw honey at Walmart?
Yes, you can buy raw honey at Walmart. They typically carry a variety of honey products, including raw honey options. The availability of specific brands and types of raw honey might vary by location, so it’s a good idea to check your local Walmart store or their online platform for the current selection and availability. Walmart’s online store often provides a broad range of options and the convenience of seeing what’s in stock at your nearest store.
Raw honey is honey in its most natural state, untouched, just as it exists in the beehive.
Of course, beeswax, dead bees, and wings of bees, are not present as it does usually go through a mild filtration process. Most of the honey in some grocery stores has undergone pasteurization and filtration. And, ultra-filtration, in some cases. These can no longer be classified as raw honey.
Raw honey often contains pollen, which is a treasure trove of health benefits. The Federal Ministry of Health in Germany regards pollen as medicine. But, you need to be careful because some authorities say it could be dangerous for pregnant women and infants.
You can also get raw honey to buy at most farmers’ markets. In fact, in a recent article of mine, I provided a highly-detailed guide on farmers’ markets.
Just click the link to read it on my site.
At farmers’ markets, you do not merely have the opportunity to buy fresh organic products at affordable rates. The whole experience is more laid-back and enjoyable. And, note that local honey, which you can buy at such markets, is among the best. It helps with allergies, in addition to other benefits of honey.
There are a ton of sweeteners in the grocery store, but honey is my go-to sweetener almost every time. Why do you choose honey? pic.twitter.com/a17CaRRx9g
— Big Island Bees (@BigIslandBees) September 4, 2019
Is honey in grocery stores real?
Grocery stores often stock several brands of honey. Most of the brands are real, natural, unadulterated honey. But there may be cases where some are outright fakes or a mixture of what’s genuine and some other products.
The first and most natural step to ensure you’re getting real honey is to read the label. Honey is made-up of honey. Yes, it’s a single-ingredient product. So, there shouldn’t be a list of ingredients, right? There should be no additives.
The Food and Drug Administration says that honey should contain an ingredient statement that only contains one ingredient. (source). So if it’s been watered down, had added sweeteners, preservatives or other additives, it’s not really honey and should not be labeled as such.
Here, I’ll share a few simple tests you could conduct to determine if what you bought is real or fake.
- Water Test: Real honey, like maple syrup, has a dense texture and doesn’t dissolve easily in water. If the honey you bought dissolves quickly in water, then, you know you’ve been had.
- Flame Test: Did you know that real honey is inflammable? You’re not alone. Most people don’t. You’ll need to be careful when conducting this test. Simply dip a matchstick in the honey, then strike it against the matchbox. If it fails to light up, it is adulterated or fake honey. The moisture in what’s been added prevents the matchstick from catching fire.
- Thumb Test: Because of its thick consistency, real honey is not runny. It’ll stick to the surface it comes in contact with. So, put a small portion of the one you bought on your thumb. If it’s the genuine article, it’ll stick to your thumb. But, if it’s not, it’ll merely drip away.
If what you bought is labeled as a blend, it implies that something else has been mixed with it. Of course, that does not necessarily imply that it’s harmful to consume. In some cases, real honey is blended with corn syrup.
— Various Comestibles (@varcomest) February 26, 2013
Where can I buy real honey?
You can buy real honey from regular grocery stores, supermarkets, or health-stores.
Most small and large grocery stores sell honey. You can also purchase real honey directly from beekeepers or at farmers’ markets. You could visit physically or place orders online and have them delivered to you.
As we’ve discussed above, just look for honey that does NOT say:
- Have anything else listed in the ingredients
Moreover, now you are also aware of what raw honey is.
One of the main things we learned is what the FDA defines as honey. This is important to know. We also looked at how vital pollen is.
We also found out where honey can be located in a grocery store, the aisle in major stores. Besides, now you know how to check out if the honey you have is real, and where to buy real honey. Adulteration in honey is common, but you can easily avoid them if you follow the tips I shared.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does honey look like?
When shopping for honey in grocery stores, one can typically find it in the condiments aisle, nestled among jams, jellies, and syrups.
The appearance of honey varies, from light, almost translucent hues to rich, deep ambers.
This color variation is largely due to the floral sources from which the bees have collected nectar. In addition to color, honey’s consistency can range from thick and gooey to more fluid, depending on its processing and storage conditions. Labels play a crucial role in identifying the type of honey – raw, organic, or regular.
Raw honey, minimally processed, often contains bits of bee pollen and wax, giving it a cloudy appearance.
Organic honey guarantees the absence of pesticides and other chemicals in the beekeeping process. Regular, or pasteurized honey, is clear and smooth, having undergone a heating process to improve its shelf life and appearance. High-end supermarkets and health food stores may also offer artisanal honey varieties, which provide unique flavors and textures.
These might include single-origin honey, which is made from the nectar of one specific plant, offering a distinct taste profile. When choosing honey, consider your usage – whether for culinary purposes, as a sweetener, or for its reputed health benefits.
Honey’s packaging varies widely, catering to different preferences and uses.
Commonly, it’s found in glass jars or plastic containers, ranging in size from small 8 oz jars to larger 16 oz or 32 oz options. The shape of these jars can be traditional—cylindrical or hexagonal, reflecting the honeycomb structure—or more modern and streamlined.
A distinctive and iconic packaging choice for honey is the plastic honey bear squeeze bottle, known for its novelty and convenience. These bear-shaped bottles are typically made of clear plastic, allowing the color of the honey to show through, and often come in sizes like 12 oz or 24 oz.
This packaging is particularly popular for its ease of use, especially for drizzling honey without the need for a spoon.
The choice between glass and plastic often depends on consumer preference; glass is preferred for its purity and sustainability, while plastic offers durability and lighter weight.
How much does honey cost?
Standard 8 oz jars of regular processed honey typically cost between $3 to $7.
Raw and organic honey in 8 oz jars range from $6 to $12. Specialty Manuka honey, often sought for its unique health properties, is priced higher in 8 oz jars, ranging from $15 to $40. In 16 oz jars, regular honey averages $5 to $14, raw and organic honeys are between $12 to $24, and Manuka honey spans $30 to $80.
The wide price range for Manuka honey is influenced by its UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) rating, which measures its unique properties, like antibacterial strength.
The UMF rating system assesses key markers such as Leptosperin, DHA (dihydroxyacetone), and Methylglyoxal (MGO), with higher UMF numbers indicating greater potency and therapeutic benefits. This rating significantly affects the price, as higher-rated Manuka honey is rarer and considered more beneficial.
Local honey, which can sometimes be found at farmers’ markets or specialized grocery sections, might be priced higher than generic grocery store honey due to its fresh, small-batch quality.
Top Recommended Honey Brands
The honey market offers a variety of brands, each boasting unique qualities. For aficionados of raw honey, brands like Y.S. Eco Bee Farms and Nature Nate’s are highly regarded. They offer honey in its most natural form, retaining all the beneficial enzymes and pollen. Fans of more traditional, smooth honey might prefer brands like Langnese or Rowse, known for their consistency and mild flavors.
Artisanal honey brands have also gained popularity. Brands like Bee Raw and Savannah Bee Company specialize in single-origin honey, each with a distinct flavor profile reflecting the unique flora of different regions. These honeys are often used in gourmet cooking or as a sophisticated sweetener in teas and coffees.
Manuka honey, native to New Zealand, has become globally renowned for its purported health benefits. Brands like Comvita and Manuka Health are sought after for their high-quality Manuka honey, often used for medicinal purposes. When selecting a honey brand, consider factors like flavor profile, intended use, and any specific dietary preferences or needs.
Personally, though, I prefer to buy local honey produced near me. Those brands will be unique to each major metro area.
Finding Honey in Local Stores
Locating honey in nearby stores is usually a straightforward task.
Supermarkets and health food stores commonly stock a variety of honey types. The selection typically ranges from standard processed honey to more niche organic and raw varieties. For a more local flavor, farmers’ markets and specialty health food stores are ideal.
These venues often offer honey sourced from local beekeepers, providing a fresher and more unique taste experience.
For specific honey types, like Manuka or single-origin varieties, gourmet food stores or larger supermarkets with an extensive organic section are your best bet. Many stores also now provide online inventories, allowing you to check the availability of different honey types before visiting.
Guide to Purchasing Honey Online
Online shopping provides access to a wider variety of honey than what might be available locally.
Websites like Amazon and Honey.com are excellent starting points, offering a range of brands and types. For specific varieties like Manuka or raw honey, niche online retailers and the websites of renowned apiaries can be more suitable. When shopping online, reading product descriptions and customer reviews is crucial for understanding the honey’s quality, flavor, and texture.
Some online stores specialize in artisanal or single-origin honey, offering unique flavors that reflect their specific geographical origins. These can be great for gourmet cooking or as a special treat. Always consider shipping costs, which can vary significantly, especially for heavier items like honey.
In some cases, subscribing to regular deliveries or buying in bulk can be more economical.
Shelf Life of Opened Honey from Stores
Honey is renowned for its long shelf life, and when properly stored, opened store-bought honey can last for years. Its natural composition, primarily sugars and low moisture content, naturally inhibits bacterial growth. However, over time, especially if improperly stored, honey can undergo changes in texture and flavor. Factors like light exposure, temperature fluctuations, and humidity can affect its quality. To maximize its shelf life, it’s best to store honey in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
One common issue with stored honey is crystallization, where the honey becomes solid. This is a natural process and doesn’t indicate spoilage. Gently warming crystallized honey in a warm water bath can return it to its liquid state. Properly stored honey, even after opening, can maintain its quality well beyond its expiration date, if it has one.
Best Practices for Storing Honey Post-Opening
After opening a jar of honey, proper storage is key to maintaining its quality and longevity.
The ideal storage condition for honey is in a cool, dry place, such as a pantry or a cabinet away from heat and light sources. Keeping honey in its original container, typically a glass jar or a plastic squeeze bottle, helps preserve its flavor and prevent contamination. It’s important to ensure the lid is tightly sealed after each use to prevent moisture from entering, as moisture can lead to fermentation.
Avoid using wet utensils when scooping out honey, as this can introduce water into the honey and compromise its quality. While honey doesn’t spoil easily, it can crystallize over time, especially in colder temperatures. This crystallization doesn’t mean the honey has gone bad; it’s a natural process that can be reversed by gently warming the honey.
However, avoid microwaving honey, as this can unevenly heat the honey and potentially degrade its natural enzymes and flavor. It’s best to warm honey gently using a water bath method for even heat distribution.
Should Honey be Refrigerated?
Refrigeration is not necessary for honey and is generally not recommended. Storing honey at room temperature helps maintain its texture and flavor. In a refrigerator, honey tends to crystallize faster, becoming thick and grainy, which may make it difficult to use.
If honey does crystallize, it can be easily returned to its liquid state. This is done by placing the honey container in warm water and stirring until the crystals dissolve. It’s important to avoid overheating, as excessive heat can degrade the honey’s natural properties.
Overall, the best way to store honey is in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This ensures the honey remains in good condition, retaining its flavor and smooth consistency for a longer period.