From Crop to Consumption

Scottish honey producer makes beeline for Far East market

The Scottish Bee Company is following in the footsteps of Scotland’s national drink after cracking the Far East market in Japan and Singapore for the first time.

Last year, the export value of global Scotch Whisky exports grew by 4.4% to £4.91 billion, driven in particular by sales in Asia and Africa. The Scottish Bee Company now hopes its own amber nectar will appeal to the Far East market with a growing demand for premium products made in Scotland.

Foodies in Japan and Singapore have an increasing appetite for a range of more healthy and functional food from Scotland. Over eight tonnes of The Scottish Bee Company’s heather and blossom honey worth around £100,000 will be exported to the Far East in the next 12 months alone, which is destined for high-end health and speciality food retailers.

Produced in beehives located in the Lothians, Dumfriesshire, Stirlingshire, Fife and Aberdeenshire, The Scottish Bee Company’s heather honey was revealed as a world-leading superfood in a scientific study earlier this year. It contains up to 10 times more of the essential micronutrient, manganese, compared to 200 of its global rivals, including manuka.

This unique Scottish honey is amongst the world’s top manganese containing food products. As well as its high antioxidant qualities, manganese plays a role in helping to make and activate enzymes in the body involved in protecting tissues from damage and in the metabolism of nutrients. It also helps maintain healthy bones. This breakthrough is the first of its kind in the world, indicating that The Scottish Bee Company’s heather honey has a range of positive health benefits. 

Suzie Millar, Co-founder of The Scottish Bee Company, said: “We’re really excited to be following in the footsteps of Scotch whisky by bringing our own unique taste of Scotland to the Far East.

“Foodies in Japan and Singapore demand premium quality honey like ours, so it’s a buoyant market. They test everything and want to know that they are getting a great tasting product with clear health benefits. It’s good to know that even during a global pandemic that we’re doing our bit to help drive Scotland’s position as a global leader for healthy and functional food.

“The provenance and heritage of Scottish honey is also akin to the Scotch whisky market, adding to its appeal in the Far East.

“We’re now planning to do more work to develop our export activity in the USA and Europe. The Scottish Bee Company’s online shop is already able to ship throughout Scotland, the rest of the UK, northern Europe and the USA within seven days.”

With support from the Scottish Business Network and The Honey Colony in Singapore, it has taken a year of planning and negotiations for The Scottish Bee Company to finally access the Far East market with its premium ‘superfood’ product.

Russell Dalgleish, Chair of the Scottish Business Network, said: “Following on from the news of the UK completing a trade deal with Japan, it’s excellent to see this dynamic Scottish company entering the market.

“Having worked in Japan earlier in my career, I’m aware of the high value placed on Scottish products and from recent research we commissioned it’s clear there is a growing appetite for Scottish produce.”