SG Al Honey brand eyes APAC expansion with new Kyrgyz products
Al Honey, considered Singapore’s pioneer supplier for milky white honey from the mountainous region of Central Asia, is backed by the immediate backing of at least two Saudi investors, its founder Normala Abdul Majid said.
“I don’t mind working with partners in Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, depending on their proposals. The market and purchasing power are large, especially in Malaysia and Brunei. I would try to take it as a challenge. It’s (white honey) something very rare and different, and I’m sure we can sell it,“, said Normala.
Established on June 1, 2021, Al Honey is a brand of the Talico company registered in Singapore and owned by Normala’s daughter, Nur Aisyah Samsul Ariffin.
The brand offers four premium honey SKUs – ‘habbatussauda’ (black seed) honey from Egypt; the “sidr” of Hadhramaut of Yemen; the seasonal premium royal ‘sidr’ available only during the winter months; and Kyrgyzstan’s unique monofloral white mountain honey.
The ‘habbatussauda’ honey sells for SGD$45 (US$32.40) for 500g, while the other three cost SGD$55 (US$39.70) for the same weight via Instagram and WhatsApp. All of its honeys are accompanied by a certificate of origin and claim to be natural and organic.
Unlike the conventional golden color usually attributed to honey, sparkling honey from Kyrgyzstan has a pearl-white hue with a thicker, creamier texture.
The bees feed on the nectar of the sainfoin flower, also known as esparcet, producing a floral taste that accompanies white honey. These flowers are usually found in temperate regions, such as the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, and at high altitudes of around 2,000 m above sea level.
White honey contains more polyphenols, which have beneficial antioxidant properties, aid digestion, boost energy, and have antimicrobial and antiviral effects.
For example, in a separate, unrelated study, the white honey researchers used was successful in reducing redness, scaling, and itching resulting from seborrheic dermatitis.
The research team used a thick, multi-floral white honey mixed with royal jelly produced in the Tien Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan. Subject applied White Honey as a face mask and covered it with cotton gauze daily for over a week.
With these benefits in mind, Al Honey encourages the younger demographic between 24 and early 40s to consume white honey.
“This generation has a preconceived idea that honey is not palatable. The older generation, say above 55, on the other hand, still fear their color,”Normala added.
She said bottles of white honey have been flying off the shelves since January 2022 at 200kg per month. The brand has sold over 800 kg of white honey and aims to sell 2,400 kg per year.
It aims to distribute the product in Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and as far as Australia, in addition to setting up a factory in neighboring Malaysia.
“I can see the potential for growth because of its benefits. Customers have sent feedback and made repeat purchases. Right now I’m trying to push consumers who want to try but are afraid of the taste. There are many factors to consider when attempting to expand. I want to keep the price affordable and keep those price points for now so customers can afford it. This is my vision of the white honey market,”she says.