Honey is not vegan, according to the Vegan Society, and while a few people who describe themselves as vegan and avoid meat, fish, eggs and milk do allow themselves honey and other bee products, most do not.
Others are allergic to bee-sourced supplements such as propolis or royal jelly or may have severe hay fever / pollen allergies, and also avoid honey as a result — although most commercial honey is filtered / treated and is low in pollen, whereas raw honey will contain much more of it.
Either way, what alternatives are there out there if you miss it? And are these bee-free options suitable for those with food allergies?
Northern Pantry (UK)
Four vegan honeys, made with water, sugar, fruit juices and natural flavourings. Two ‘Original’ flavour (one refined, one unrefined), plus Citrus Twist, and Pear Punch.
The brand hasn’t yet responded to queries about its ‘natural flavouring’ content, nor whether there is any risk of allergen cross-contamination in their kitchen or factory, but will update in due course.
Order it direct from the Northern Pantry site. Prices are £4.50 for all but the unrefined Original (£6).
Plant Based Artisan (UK)
Producer of several varieties of vegan ‘honea’, including Original, Lavender, and Orange Blossom, priced at £6 for 175g. Ingredients are sugar, inulin, apple juice, flowers, lemon, molasses and flavourings. There’s also a taster set available. There are no allergens as ingredients.
PBA also produce a Honea But+er, which is an alternative to set honey or butter, and is made using the Original honea, with the addition of coconut, cashew, cocoa butter and various soy-based ingredients.
I was told that products “are all made in an environment that uses other nuts [ie nuts other than cashews] and gluten” and that “there are no animal products in the production process anywhere”, so clearly safe for egg and milk allergies.
The Golden Ratio (Australia)
Produce Vegan Bee Free Nectar in Orange Blossom flavour.
Available via online Australian store Natural Health Organics, which states that it is nut, soya, gluten, egg and milk free.
I’m afraid I don’t read German, but this looks like a company which offers a wide selection of vegan alternatives to honey — or ‘honig’ — for you to peruse if you’re on mainland Europe.
Click through to their website here to view them.
Vegan Honey Company (US)
Easily the largest selection available on the market in terms of flavours, Vegan Honey Company offer dozens, including Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Cayenne, Cabanero, Sage, Vanilla, Ginger, Spearmint, Lavender … it goes on.
They use ‘plants, fruits, and roots’, with water and raw sugar.
I have enquired about allergens, but am yet to hear back.
See their website here.
Coconut Merchant (UK)
Their Organic Coconut Nectar Honey Alternative is made from 100% coconut nectar. You can use it as ordinary honey: ‘spread it, bake it, cook it’, say the manufacturers.
Sesame Kingdom (UK)
This brand has a Vegan Date Honey (£11, 370g), also known as ‘silan’ in North African and Middle Eastern cuisine.
I have emailed them and they told me it is made from 100% medjoul dates, cooked down. No allergen warnings, hence safely ’14 free’.