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    Is Costco Honey Real? We Tested To Find Out

    We’ve heard many grumblings about fake honey lately, with many expressing concerns that the sweet substance was cut with other ingredients. These fillers help reduce costs and allow manufacturers to meet increased global demand. 

    This had us thinking as we came across the Kirkland Signature plastic bear in our cupboard. We wondered, “Is Costco honey real?”

    While our favorite retailer is known for quality products like olive oil and frozen shrimp, sometimes there are some misses. We wanted to determine if their bee products were legitimate, so we researched and tested Costco honey to see if it was the real deal. 

    Read on as we test and review Costco Honey to help you make an informed decision.

    Costco Honey Options

    The warehouse contains three types of honey. We discussed the options in more depth last fall, but here are some simple facts.

    1. Kirkland Signature Wildflower Honey—This honey is an Argentinian product. As its name suggests, it has a more floral taste. 
    2. Kirkland Signature Raw USA Honey — This product looks different depending on where you live in the US. In 2019, Costco partnered with local beekeepers to provide members with local options. If your state produces lots of honey, the warehouse product will contain it, and if your area doesn’t, it will be a regional or national blend.  
    3. Kirkland Signature Organic Raw and Unfiltered Honey — Made in Brazil, this is the honey we tested. Sold in plastic bears, it’s most comparable to the honey most Americans purchase in grocery stores.

    Is Costco Honey Real?

    Several indicators lead us to believe that Costco honey is real. The main one is displayed on the label, the Truce Source Certified Stamp. The True Source program began in 2010 to ensure that honey sold in North America meets U.S. standards while remaining traceable and authentic.

    U.S. beekeepers and honey industry leadership, including the American Honey Producers Association and the American Beekeeping Federation, have lauded the True Source Program. The two largest beekeeping organizations in the United States value that the initiative provides traceability from hive to table, helping ensure the food safety and security of the honey used in the United States.

    Costco honey is real if we take the True Source Verified seal at face value. But we wanted to take it a step further.

    Testing Costco Honey

    In our reading, we found several ways to test honey for authenticity. These include checking texture, flammability, and taste. Intrigued and seeing it as a challenge, we tested Kirkland Signature Organic Raw and Unfiltered Honey using various methods. This was not scientific, as it was done at home and not in a lab, but the results were interesting nonetheless. 

    New Zealand Honey Company has a great breakdown of honey testing methods. Mainly, we were looking to confirm the following properties:

    1. Pure honey is very runny
    2. It’s very sweet
    3. It does not crystallize

    Armed with that knowledge and New Zealand Honey’s tests, we conducted our tests.

    We Tested Costco Honey For Purity

    Again, let’s preface this with the notion that these were not scientific by any means. Also, there is some debate about whether home tests are valid, but we were curious. 

    Consistency Tests

      Pure honey is fairly thick. To test this, we placed a small drop of the Kirkland organic version on our thumbnail to see how long it stayed put. At first, it ran right off, but that was based on honey at room temperature (during a heat wave). Then, we placed it in the refrigerator to cool for 20 minutes, and it stayed a little longer. 

      Another consistency test is blotting. Since honey is thick, it won’t absorb into a paper towel like water or other liquids. We tested that theory and blotted some honey with a paper towel (Kirkland Signature, of course). Costco honey performed in line with a pure version. It did not absorb into the weave and instead clung to the outside. 

      Honey and Vinegar Test

        Since honey is naturally acidic and vinegar is basic, neutralization should occur when the two come in contact. There should be no reaction after adding a few drops of vinegar to a glass containing two tablespoons. This is exactly what happened when we combined the two.

        Testing Pure Honey With Water

          Pure Honey does not contain water since H20 helps fungi grow, which is undesirable to bees. Therefore, we added a few tablespoons to a glass of water to test if Costco honey is real. The two items stayed separate which is indicative of pure honey. 

          Light It Up

            Honey is flammable; if lit, it will go on fire or bubble/caramelize. We dipped a cotton swab into a glass of Kirkland Signature honey and lit a match. Nothing really happened besides the cotton swab going black. This was the only test that was in line with honey that’s not pure. 

            Costco Honey Is Real

            Based on our testing and the more reliable True Source verification, we believe Kirkland Signature Organic Raw and Unfiltered Honey is real. The verification ensures it passes US standards and is pure, while the home tests confirm. 

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