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SIAL D'or winner Honibe nets big U.S. grocery deal


You could say that it's been a pretty good six months for the makers of Honibe, pure honey drops in a cube.

In October, Honibe, made by Charlottetown, PEI's Island Abbey Foods, won the prestigious Global Sial D'Or Award at the SIAL food exhibition in Paris. In effect, Honibe had been named the world's best new food product.

Then in January, Island Abbey Foods founders appeared on the popular CBC reality show Dragon's Den, showcasing their product.

Now the company has won a deal to supply Honibe to two large, regional American grocery chains: Hannaford Supermarkets and Sweetbay Supermarkets. Honibe will be stocked in 170 Hannaford stores in the Northeastern U.S. and in 105 Sweetbay stores in Florida.

“These locations are ideal for our 100% pure dried Honey Drops as these grocers pride themselves on offering the most vibrant, exciting and diverse foods within their markets," Island Abbey Foods' president, John Rowe, said in a statement.

The company's marketing co-ordinator, Graham Watts, say both deals are significant because of the number of store shelves they represent. Hannaford is the first big chain in the Northeast and New York to stock the product, he said.

The deals are a direct result of a partnership Island Abbey Foods struck in the fall with Dutch Gold Honey and McLure's Honey and Maple Products in New Hampshire.

Honibe launched in the U.S. initially with Whole Foods in California, Florida and a few stores in the Northeast. It's also now stocked in the Northwest region through Fred Meyer grocery stores.

Honibe drops are pure, dried honey in a cube form. They can be either dissolved in tea or chewed as a lozenge.

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