Honey sales are down 5.4%, by volume after six consecutive years of growth [TNS 52w/e 4 October 2009].

Own-label honey led the decline, with sales down 7.4% in volume [IRI 52w/e 31 October 2009].

Colony Collapse Disorder has impacted global supplies of honey, forcing retail prices up almost 18%. Value sales have risen 11.4% as a result [TNS]. However, the higher prices have proved offputting to recession-hit consumers who have opted to buy less honey and buy smaller jars.

UK producers were also hit by the wet summer. Bernard Noonan, partner at Heather Hills honey farm in Scotland, said yield in 2009 was around 50% to 60% lower than in the two previous years due to wet weather during key pollination times.

“We keep honey in stock from bumper years, so we can carry on supplying during a bad year. But we know fellow beekeepers have had trouble with very low stocks,” he added.

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