Why is there such a discrepancy in the price of Manuka? I've got lots of reasons, and the consumer can be fooled by everyone of these things:
1) They are not getting Manuka but a similar honey, like Kanuka, an indistinguishable cousin of Manuka.
2) They are getting a blend of Manuka and another honey (mono-floral needs meet percentage levels or it is a blend,
3) The Manuka is being cut with clover or wildflower honey, sometimes with sugar water or fructose,
see, for example the article at Apitherpy News:
4) There are a lot of companies that just want to make a buck and will sell anything and call it Manuka.
5) Why would the man, Dr. Peter Molan, who discovered the healing factor in Manuka Honey suddenly be ousted from his own university, along with his original research? Research that has subsequently been replaced by their own studies? (Check "Learn More" and the first link will give you the link to both sites.) Perhaps big bucks from the monopoly that wants your hard-earned dollar were just too hard for the university to turn down.
Real Manuka honey, certified and organic, is very expensive and very rare. If you buy your Manuka honey based on price, and it doesn't work for you, what did you really get? There are a few vendors in the industry that are not caving in to the price-gauging created by the huge demand for this wonderful product. Our prices, unfortunately, reflect that. Quite honestly, I'm glad we have the honey that we have because it is becoming harder and harder to find the real thing.
Be an informed consumer. Ask questions. Get involved. It doesn't stop here.