A Honey Tree Grows in Michigan

OU Kosher Staff

HoneyTree has an 87-year heritage in the honey industry. Our 130,000-square foot facility in Onsted, Michigan is centrally located to serve the entire nation. HoneyTree markets a full line of honey products to the retail and food service as well as the industrial market.

The company packs many store brands and private labels along with its company brands, Great Lakes and HoneyTree. The company also packs and distributes Winnie the Pooh honey under a license from Disney.
HoneyTree has always fostered a relationship with the Orthodox Union; the OU has helped us in establishing our overall quality program. This cooperation has benefited our relationships with both direct customers and the consumer. Consumers throughout the country respect the OU symbol as an important standard of quality.

HoneyTree’s primary job is to search the world for the finest honey nature has to offer and to process that honey with minimal impact so as to preserve the natural subtle flavor of the product. HoneyTree purchases all raw honey based on samples received by producers and importers. Honey is graded on the basis of color, moisture content and flavor profile. HoneyTree is highly selective in the honey chosen for purchase.

Honey received into our plant has already been extracted from the comb and is placed in 55-gallon drums. The honey we receive is most often in a solid, crystallized state. Samples of the incoming honey are checked against the pre-shipment samples for color, moisture and flavor. A composite shipment sample is retained as a reference used to assist in batching product prior to processing. Processing consists of melting the selected batches of raw crystallized honey in ovens and then filtering the honey in a filter press. Processed honey is held in 30,000 to 60,000-pound capacity storage tanks from which it is packed into containers ranging from six-ounce bottles for retail to 48,000-pound tanker trucks for industrial customers.

Honey is very versatile and can be used as an all-natural substitute for sugar or corn sweetener in making other food products. Americans consume over 150 pounds of sweeteners per year, but only 1.1 pounds of honey. The growth potential for honey, therefore, is enormous.

The OU will be working with us as we aim to achieve that potential.