Honey's big buzz is sweet for firm

KAT PICKFORD
Last updated 08:08 13/12/2012
Georgia Devlin
Hive of activity: The high demand for New Zealand-made honey beauty products from overseas markets is fuelling Marlborough company Honey Collection’s growth, says general manager Georgia Devlin.

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The Honey Collection is expanding its Grove Rd shop to keep up with increased global interest in its honey products, says general manager Georgia Devlin.

The Grove Rd business which produces unique manuka factor honey-based beauty products and remedial creams is owned by Blenheim man Nick Coombe and was started by his mother 40 years ago.

Ms Devlin has worked for the company for 10 years and said they were increasingly being approached by overseas companies hunting for products.

"Business is booming.

"People overseas are in love with New Zealand products and New Zealand honey."

The surge in popularity was because celebrities, including the Duchess of Cambridge, reportedly use an anti-ageing bee venom cream similar to the Honey Collection's Beetox.

Their New Life sheep placenta cream, also an anti-ageing skin repair cream, has been a hit since it was featured on TV One's Close Up this year.

The company distributes products around the country and exports to the Netherlands, Britain, Australia, Korea, Hong Kong and Russia.

They were working with companies in China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore to get their products on the shelf, she said.

"It takes a long time from designing a product and its packaging, to trialling and getting it on the shelf overseas."

Ms Devlin works closely with their distributors to meet food and drug administrators' requirements, which are different in every country.

It took a year to get approval from the Korean Food and Drug Administration, but now they were in, opportunities were endless, she said.

The store is being expanded to increase the size of their shop, offices, production room and warehousing area. They took on two fulltime staff this year and had a network of casual people to fill in as required, she said.

She was excited about a new honey-based stretch mark cream soon to hit the shelves, because of the glowing reviews it had received from their triallists.

They were also working with Marlborough seed processor Garth Neal to produce a natural exfoliant made with honey and his crushed grape seeds, she said. "It's wonderful to be teaming up with another local and working together to develop a product."

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- The Marlborough Express

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