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NyQuil Honey… Where’s the Honey?

With the cough and cold season approaching, NyQuil Severe Honey is being advertised on radio and TV. Listen for all the references to honey in this commercial.

In just 15 seconds, the word “honey” or a variation of it is used six times. That might give you the impression this cough remedy contains… honey.

No wonder they say it so many times. Honey is a time-honored home remedy for sore throats and coughing according to the Mayo Clinic.

Even looking at the bottles one might believe there was real honey in it because they show a big honey dipper dripping with the sweet stuff, and one version of the bottle (perhaps an older one) says it is made with real honey.


NyQuil bottles

But looking at the ingredients statement, honey is not listed as an active ingredient. And on the inactive ingredients list, all it says is “flavor” – not honey, not honey flavor, not natural honey flavor… just “flavor.”


NyQuil ingredients

So where’s the honey? We asked P&G, the maker of NyQuil. The company did not respond to our questions including how much actual honey, if any, was in the product, and whether they would modify their advertising to not give consumers the false impression that real honey and its medicinal benefits are features of this product?

We have turned over the issue to the National Advertising Division of Better Business Bureau Programs suggesting they open a case about this matter.

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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13 thoughts on “NyQuil Honey… Where’s the Honey?”

  1. This is another good example how companies with a well established international reputation for many many years are still trying to mislead / cheat on millions of clients.
    It is very possible that they have a technical problem putting honey in the product but they had a hard time admitting it and continue to ride on the reputation of the product

  2. I would think I was getting honey in this product if it said Honey on front of the package.

    The word flavor is very vague for sure.

  3. It looks like it’s shrinkflated as well—8 ounces instead of 12. Or is this a different size? I’m not sure.

  4. Very interesting case! Please give us a follow up Edgar. If the BBBP does take on this case, I would be interested of their findings.

  5. Thanks a lot for your vigilance. There used to be a Truth in Advertising section in the US federal government. Where are they when we need them?

    • What bugs me is I see a lot of packaging that will say, “distributed by [blank company]” but no indication of where the product is made. I’d like to know and then decide if I’d like to buy a food product made in China or not. Used to be the US required this info but I have no idea if the law changed or else it’s not being enforced.

      • Several years ago I went looking for that same information because I prefer not to buy food stuff from China. I was never able to find where these Foods were made only as you say where they are distributed from. Which doesn’t tell me anything. I think we should have a right to know this especially if it’s a food item.

  6. I purchased a bottle of the “honey” NyQuil, mainly because I HATE the taste of the ‘blue’ kind. The “honey flavor” is HORRIBLE. Doesn’t taste like honey at all, now I know why. Plus it was the “severe” formulation. ( which I did not need, just the regular formula was fine). The word “severe” was cleverly hidden on the label, the (fake) honey labeling being the eye catching portion. Now that I’ve used some, I can’t bring it back.

  7. This is so irritating please be honest with the consumer. I guess we have to learn to read the ingredients before purchase

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