When it comes to custom labels that show off the originality of their brand, revel in irreverent and even ribald humor, and experiment with color, shape, and design – hot sauce labels give craft beer and wine labels a run for their money. If you’re looking for label inspiration for your brand, take a stroll through your local grocer’s hot sauce aisle – or better yet, the next hot sauce expo, chili contest, or “saucetoberfest” in your area.
Will you be able to resist taking a few bottles home? We hope not!
Here are some of our favorite custom labels from the world of scorching peppers, fiery spices, and tongue-numbing deliciousness:
The Inked Up
Brand: Jak Jeckel
Sauce: Gourmet Pepper Sauce
Hot sauce lovers (aka, “chiliheads”) can be an offbeat bunch with edgy tastes in cuisine and fashion. Jak Jeckel’s flagship Gourmet Pepper Sauce nods toward its free-spirited fans with a tattoo-like spin on Day of the Dead imagery.
The Medicinal Purposes Only
Brand: Professor Phartpounders
Sauce: Colon Cleaner
This mustard-based concoction scores top marks on review sites. But the label’s retro snake-oil design paired with juvenile humor make it a collector’s item even for those of us who are too scared to try a drop.
Brand: Born to Hula
Sauce: Reaper of Sorrow
The demon that adorns this wicked brew made with the Carolina Reaper pepper (the hottest pepper on Earth!) wouldn’t be out of place on a Slayer album cover.
The Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You
Sauce: Lethal Ingestion
For the daredevils among us, there’s something irresistible about things that are off limits. This excruciatingly hot sauce rewards the bold who defy its toxic warning label.
The Existential Anguish
Brand: Pain Is Good
Sauce: Louisiana Style Batch #218
The plain paper labels of this line of hot sauces may as well feature a mirror. The agonized faces reflect what you’ll look like if you sprinkle a little too much of this sauce on your scrambled eggs.
The Cuddly Friend
Brand: Secret Aardvark
Sauce: Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce
Hot sauce labels don’t need to be all skulls and mushroom clouds. This Portland-area cult classic features a curious aardvark poking his nose where it doesn’t belong.
Sauce: Hamajang Smoke Ghost Pepper
This Hawaiian hot sauce brand makes the most of its wraparound label, throwing a heat meter and map alongside the usual list of ingredients.
The Less Is More
Brand: Whitehouse Station
Sauce: Jalapeno Sauce
We’ll give your eyeballs a soothing rest (but maybe not your taste buds) with the minimalist approach from the father-son team at Whitehouse Station. All their sauces feature an elegant image of their main ingredient.
Brand: El Yucateco
Sauce: Green Habanero Hot Sauce
El Yucateco is an iconic hot sauce brand from south of the border. This label uses striking yellow and red to draw a contrast against the green sauce.
The…Wait, That’s Not Hot Sauce
“Sauce”: Sriracha Hot Stout Beer
There’s plenty of crossover between chiliheads and hops enthusiasts. Both groups love trying new things, taking risks (flavor-wise), and quirky labels. For this brew, Rogue Ales and hot sauce legend Sriracha figured, “Why not combine the two?”
Feeling Inspired Yet?
We hope these labels got you thinking about a new look for your hot sauce brand. Want to know how to make sure your hot sauce labels stand up to as much abuse as the sauce dishes out to your customers? Download our free Custom Label Buying Guide today.