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Jar of Kiwi mānuka honey will cost you $1800

A 250g jar of New Zealand mānuka honey is now selling for $1800.

Spread your toast with a teaspoon of this honey and that's about $50 worth sliding off the knife.

For the cost of one jar you can buy 180 jars of mānuka honey from the supermarket, but the Christchurch-based company which makes it says it is special enough to justify the price.

mānuka South sales manager Sam Haines says only 300 jars will be sold.

That would bring in $540,000 if they all sell, which he is confident they will. In fact most have already been pre-sold to retailers.

The secret behind this honey's value is how intensely "mānuka" it is.

mānuka South follows the rating system used by the New Zealand-based UMF Honey Association which measures the Unique mānuka Factor of a honey. This looks at how much of mānuka signature components it has - things like leptosperin, DHA and methylglyoxal.

Gradings can go up from 5+ and 20+ is the highest grading with the highest price.

But this special jar is rated at UMF 28+. Haines says he doesn't know of any higher.

He says the taste is very strongly mānuka flavoured and it has a silky texture.

Likely buyers will be (wealthy) tourists taking it back home as a travel souvenir from New Zealand, and possibly displaying it like they would a vintage wine or whisky.

So being spread on toast is unlikely.

The honey comes in a fancy oak display case and with a gold spoon.

Haines says it's so expensive because of its rarity. The window of mānuka flowering is only about six weeks a year and the 28+ honey comes from mānuka-dense Northland areas.

In some parts the hives and beekeepers are dropped in and retrieved by helicopter because the area is so inaccessible.

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