The latest addition to the list of wonder ingredients — honey — is being used for health, beauty, and even sport and as an alternative to refined sugar.

In the Venn diagram of health, beauty and sports trends, honey is firmly in the centre as a powerhouse of an ingredient.

The benefits of honey are its antioxidant and antibiotic properties, vitamins, minerals, energy – the list goes on.

Drinking honey dates back to Ancient Greek athletes as well as being used in medicine for over 2,000 years. More recently honey is associated with treating mild illnesses like colds.

However, the scope of honey in modern retail is gradually expanding.

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From manuka honey face masks to honey blend hair care, it is becoming increasingly prominent in beauty and skincare.

However, soft drinks and food that use honey are a newer concept.

Similarly to many teas that include honey as a more natural sweetening element, Hellmann’s has launched a new ketchup to its range that is solely sweetened by honey.

Hellmann’s can now claim it is made with natural ingredients.

Honey water is being seen more regularly with a company called Just Bee leading the trend. Like Hellmann’s it can claim its drinks use no refined sugar, no artificial additions, and are therefore 100 percent natural.

Making inroads in the US, another company, Blume Honey Water, claims to offer artisanal waters with 100 percent bee-friendly honey. The company identifies the need for bee-friendly honey production due to the recent disappearance of the world’s bees as part of a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder.

Meanwhile, Italian made BeeBad energy drink have launched a distinctive drink sweetened entirely with honey and marketed as “the first completely natural energy drink”.

It also uses royal jelly and ginseng which are both seen regularly in skincare alongside honey.

Producers such as Pip & Nut (honey and vanilla almond milk) and Bio-tiful Dairy (honey and mint smoothie) can emphasise their product contain ‘no added refined sugar’ all over their packaging and marketing.

Honey as a natural sweetener may prove to be the next go to ingredient.