hi Newks! Welcome to THP
Congrats on getting this far with your project. Since this product is headed for market, I'll comment with that goal in mind.
The logo has to have the generally recognized name of what the product is, usually below the brand name. In this case, "Hot Sauce". It should also have it because...when printed on a t-shirt or paper stock, how will people know what the shirt/logo is advertising?
Put "Refrigerate After Opening" on the front label below the quantity. Don't say it is 'recommended'. Unless you get approval from your PA that it is OK to leave the sauce unrefrigerated for eternity, always say Refrigerate. This is a huge CYA item.
Regarding Name- Is this the only sauce you'll ever make and sell? If so, then calling it Newks Hot Sauce is fine. If you plan to branch out, then you need to come up with individual names for the different sauces.
Newks Habanero Hot Sauce
Newks Jalapeno Hot Sauce
Newks Depleted Plutonium Hot Sauce
Newks Meltdown Hot Sauce
You get the idea~~~
A HEAT LEVEL indicator is really good to have on a label. Not Required, but a very good idea, especially for when you aren't there to tell customers it's a 3/10 or 7/10.
Your ingredients don't look like they are in order. I'm pretty sure you have more tomatoes and/or carrots than scorpion pepper salt. They have to be listed in descending order by predominance. It can be by weight or volume. Since you mentioned you use a LOT of bananas, is that more than the combined weight of all the peppers? Your PA and licensing inspector can help you getting things in the correct order.
There are 3 peppers listed first (with the less than 2% note). I don't like that 2% thing. Is that to let people know it's not really super hot? You could list each pepper separately in which case it might look something like-
banana, tomato, serrano pepper, onion, habanero, vinegar, garlic, scorpion pepper salt, carolina reaper pepper, ....
it's called the Carolina Reaper Pepper, not NORTH carolina reaper pepper. I don't know if it should be capitalized or not. Google can probably help you with that~
Why use Scorpion Pepper Salt? If you do use that ingredient, it has to be called out like- Scorpion Pepper Salt (sea salt, scorpion pepper flakes/powder). I think a lot of people, especially outside the chilehead community won't know what that is. I'd suggest using some scorpion pepper/flakes/powder, list it separately, and use sea salt listed separately.
Are the tomatoes canned or fresh? If canned, they have to be called out like the sea salt with all the citric acid, etc.
Shrink the MADE IN PORTLAND, OR. Wow, that's just SHOUTING how important it is that people know it's from PORTLAND, OR. People are interested and they'll read the labels. Maybe use that space for a brief description/romance panel. Maybe combine 2 items to something like...
"Proudly made in small batches in Portland OR with no artificial additives or preservatives. Some variation in color from batch to batch may occur.". Work on the ingredients so there is minimal variations from batch to batch. Weigh EVERYTHING. Most sauce makers use grams as that is easy to scale. Personally, I wouldn't say some variations in FLAVOR may occur from batch to batch. While that may actually occur, don't bring it to customer's attention or you'll be refunding for every person who thinks This batch isn't a Banana-y as the Last batch.
If you haven't found this yet, here's some great info regarding salts, weights, and other stuff-
Speaking of freeing up some space on the label....eliminate ETSY. If this design is for production labels, think long term. You don't want to print up 10,000 labels and then POOF! Etsy is Gone! OR---Even better...what happens when you get to selling on other internet platforms like Amazon, your local farmer's market, stores.....It's probably a pretty good bet that you'll be starting a web page or FB page once it's all legal and good to go. To start with, maybe just add a little home printed sticker on the back of the bottle with your "follow us, buy here, FB @ " info.
The Address section should have your legal business name as well as address. This is also a good place to put a WEBSITE.Com address.
Nutrition Information Panels are NOT required! If you sell across state lines you do have to FDA registered as a food processor, you inspector/PA should be able to help with that. But the FDA has a small processor exemption for NIP requirements.
OK, that's enough for now. Hope the comments help. It's a fun process, just take it step by step.
Also, Do NOT print labels until your recipe, and label format has been approved by the PA and your inspector! What happens if the pH is too high and you have to add more vinegar which changes the order of the ingredients? Or instead of vinegar, you choose to add some powdered ascorbic acid (Vit. C)? Now, all those labels are in the dust bin..... Some states have requirements like font size for the product name, ingredients, etc. I'd also suggest doing a few sheet stock prints before committing to the 5,000 from a professional printer. You can put your label on a flash drive and take it to Staples/Office Depot and they can print color or B&W on Avery 2"x4" label stock.
Once you are all licensed, get out to some farmers markets and see what the reaction from customers is. It may be all Loving It, or something may just put them off that you can change before doing a full run.
Good Luck! Post label updates as you work it through. I like the funky retro look of the font. I'm not sure about the faces and breath on both sides. The mushroom cloud might be enough to get the message across and leave more options for names and such. I'm interested to see what others think.
Another post edit....
Real estate on the label is extremely valuable. Shrink the word Ingredients and add the Thank You to the Some variations paragraph.
Edited by salsalady, 16 August 2019 - 08:26 PM.