The New Zealand company's decision to launch in North America follows hot on the heals of another New Zealand personal care company, Parrs Product, which last month launched a line of skin care products based on indigenous plant extracts. When Parrs made its debut on the US market last month it said that interest in its products was being driven by the fact that more and more US citizens were traveling to New Zealand and bringing back natural-based personal care products such as their own brands. Now it appears that Apicare is tapping into the same trend and capitalizing on natural products that feature ingredients only found in New Zealand. In particular Apicare claims to be the leading provider of personal care products based on Manuka honey, an ingredient that is said to exhibit over thirty times the anti-bacterial properties of normal honey. Manuka honey comes from the Manuka flower, which is indigenous only to New Zealand. Interestingly it is also included as a key ingredient in skin care products produced by Parrs. Although the University of Waikato has been studying the benefits of the Manuka flower for over 20 years, researchers say that they are unable to explain exactly why the active ingredients contained in the honey are so effective. Dr. Peter Molan, director of the Honey Research Unit at New Zealand's University of Waikato, stated "All honey is antibacterial, because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide, but we still haven't managed to identify the active components. All we know is (Manuka honey) works on an extremely broad spectrum." "In all honeys, there is, to different levels, hydrogen peroxide produced from an enzyme that bees add to the nectar," Molan added. "In Manuka honey, there's something else besides the hydrogen peroxide. And there's nothing like that ever been found anywhere else in the world. We know it has a very broad spectrum of action. It works on bacteria, fungi, protozoa. We haven't found anything it doesn't work on among infectious organisms." The Manuka honey based skin care products are aimed at a broad spectrum of skin types, and in the US and Mexico the company is launching a total of nine multi-product skin care lines that will be available through Apicare.net. The company says that it is also readying the launch of a therapy line for damaged or extremely sensitive skin types for the North American market later this year.