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Labeling Jars of Homemade Food Products for Sale

| 1/5/2017 10:10:00 AM


Boost sales of your homemade food products with attractive labels and packaging that communicates the hand-crafted quality of your value-added items. The fact that you made that jar of pickles by hand — crafted in small batches by you in your farmhouse or homestead kitchen perhaps with your own organic produce — should be a key selling point. This differentiates your product from the mass-produced, commercial jars found on the shelves of a supermarket.

But don’t lose sales with products that look too homespun. Ditch the hand-written labels affixed with packing tape. Instead, create packaging with a more professional look that communicates the hand-crafted nature of your product while helping increase sales and diversify the revenue generated by your homestead enterprise.

Cook Up a Home Business

Do your friends and family tell you that your strawberry jam is so good you should sell it? How about making some money off your pickles or salsa? Thanks to expanding cottage food laws across the country, depending on where you live, you now have an open sales opportunity to create such “non-hazardous food products” in your home kitchen for public sale. Just about every state in the country has a variation of what’s called a “cottage food law” that allows us to create specific, non-hazardous food products made in home kitchens to sell at certain direct-to-the-consumer venues such as farmers’ markets.

In most cases, your state’s cottage food law covers high-acid food products, canned items with an equilibrium pH value of 4.6 or lower, such as salsas, pickles, jams and jellies.   Remember each state law is different. Connect with and read your state’s specific regulation and requirements, usually via your state’s department of agriculture, which will include gross sales limits (if any), labeling requirements, plus an explanation of where you can sell your products and what you can produce. Our book, Homemade for Sale, goes into more detail on everything from business structure to kitchen organization to marketing for someone just starting out.

Boost Profits with Attractive Labels

We produce small batches of sauerkraut, bread and butter pickles and pickled pumpkin in our home kitchen for sale at public venues such as farmers’ markets and community events. We quickly learned that while it’s important to have a quality, tasty product, it’s what is on the outside of the jar — how our product looks — that often closes a sale at market.

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