Island Abbey Foods: Innovation is sweet

Honey for the masses, one drop at a time.

Who: Island Abbey Foods, P.E.I.

What: The Honibe Honey Drop, the world’s first 100% pure, non-sticky, dried, individual serving of honey. Available in honey and honey-lemon flavours, the product launched this year and is currently available at 200 retail and restaurant locations across Canada and the U.S., with the aim of doubling that number by month’s end.

Revolutionary rationale: A product that has consumers burning the barricades between categories. ‘It’s funny, people have jumped the gun on us in terms of how they’re actually using the product,’ says Island Abbey president and product inventor John Rowe, who manages all marketing in-house. ‘It’s marketed as a hot beverage sweetener, but we have a honey and lemon combination [that] people are eating like candy, and they’re using it as a lozenge. So eventually we’ll be coming out with other pure honey and natural flavour combinations for a confectionery line, as well as a natural lozenge.’

Design insight: ‘Our objective was to not only come out with something that was completely unique but to present it in a unique fashion across a variety of retail channels [and] in multiple places on the store shelves,’ says Rowe, who collaborated with Halifax-based Blu Web Solutions on the package design. ‘Our packaging quite easily fits in the honey category, but we also position it with tea, and purposely designed the box to be familiar with a lot of tea packaging. In terms of the product presentation on its own, we still wanted it to be unique when it’s sitting on a tea saucer or a high tea service, so we went with the honeycomb shape for the product itself.’

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