Keeping honey bees can be a rewarding hobby, but when it's time to recoup money from selling the fruits of your bees' labor, you'll have to start thinking in business terms.
The process of marketing backyard beekeepers' homegrown honey at farmer's markets and local stores or selling directly to customers involves branding and design sense. Though your operations aren't on the same scale as large food producers, the same general principles apply. This means you should invest in high-quality custom labels for your honey jars.
Creating Accurate Custom Labels for Honey Products
When you're selling honey that comes from your own beehives, you have an excellent marketing hook. Today's customers are interested in foods that are wholesome and natural, without any preservatives or additives. Honey is such an item, and emphasizing that fact on food jar labels is an excellent way to catch customers' attention.
While you are creating the text and design elements for your honey labels, however, you have to be sure you are within the bounds of product labeling laws. Keeping Backyard Bees, an information resource for apiarists, explained that there is no such thing as USDA-certified organic honey, for instance. While some other countries have systems for declaring honey organic, the U.S. does not. Therefore, you will have to use other, more accurate terms to describe the freshness and simplicity of your honey. Keeping Backyard Bees recommends the phrase "local honey" for jar labels. This lets your customers know the product they're getting was made in their area and wasn't mass-produced by a large corporation.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has its own rules around honey labeling, dictating which items are allowed to be called "honey" in the first place. For example, items that blend in sweetening agents such as sugar or corn syrup have to disclose that fact. If your honey is pure and not combined with another ingredient, saying so on the label can make it more attractive to potential buyers.
Attracting Customers at Farmer's Markets
Your custom honey labels are only part of the presentation when it comes to selling your products. The plastic or glass jars themselves are also an important element of presenting honey to customers. Keeping Backyard Bees recommends using multiple jar sizes or bear-shaped bottles, as well as plastic containers that open from the bottom and aren't as messy to use as traditional honey vessels. Textured mason jars are another option, with round labels on the caps rather than stickers on the sides.
You can pick die-cut labels that will suit your honey jars of choice, no matter what sizes and shapes you favor. If you opt for minimal labels or ones with clear sections, this can spotlight the color and texture of the honey inside the bottle, using its natural golden color to attract customers. When dealing with small, local honey brands, farmer's market customers likely won't have any past experience with your offerings or your competitors' honey. This means it is up to you to craft eye-catching packaging that will win over first-time buyers.
If you take individual orders for honey instead of selling at markets, you can get even more specific with packaging. Personalized labels for a specific customer can make your honey special. No matter what your labeling strategy is, you should turn to a partner that enables flexible order sizes to ensure you aren't stuck buying more labels than you need at any one time. Lightning Labels uses all-digital printing processes that allow you to get as many or as few roll labels as you need to keep your honey jars looking great.
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