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AlabamaGrillBillies
12-19-2008, 08:33 PM
So I have a question about 'branding' your own sauce. Its really more of a moral question than a technical how do you go about bottling your own sauce.

Here is the question:

A year or two ago I was in a bbq store and saw a book by the BBQU guy Steve Raichlen I think. Anyhow it was full of about 100 sauce recipes. I saw one that looked good. Went home and tried it and liked it a lot. I ended up tweaking the sauce recipe a bit. I cut one of the ingredients in half (there are 11 total ingredients) and substituted apple cider for apple juice (doesn't sound like a lot but it made a noticeable difference). We have been using this sauce as "our" sauce. When we cater we use it, when we sell product by the pound, we use it. People really like the sauce, it is relatively cheap to make and has a good shelf life.

I'd like to brand it as our sauce, not to sure on bottling and selling, that's kinda down the road right now.

Given the above, what do you guys feel about the situation. Would you sell it as your sauce, would you consider bottling and mass producing?

MilitantSquatter
12-19-2008, 09:02 PM
If you think it's good, have the energy to bottle and market and believe that consumers would buy and enjoy it for a fair price... then by all means go for it !!!

Given that you've tweaked it, it's definitely your own...

Chit... many sauce recipes start with ketchup... Think anyone is concerned with how Heinz or Hunt's feels about that ? The other half all basically have all the same ingredients also

KC_Bobby
12-19-2008, 09:14 PM
Check to see if the other recipe is patented. If not, you should legally be OK to patent your recipe. If the original is patented - then they might have some legal rights as far as slight changes one way or the other - check with a lawyer. If you patent it, register and trademark the brand.

I respect your moral concerns

Plowboy
12-19-2008, 09:45 PM
Patenting "flavors" is almost impossible and definitely not something you typically see. Look at every name brand of every food item in your local grocery store and then look next to the item for the "store brand" item which is virtually the same. If the big boys aren't able to protect their IP, I wouldn't worry about it... legally. I'm not talking ethically.

The original author of your starter recipe may have a copyright protection because it is in the book and the book has a copyright. However, they intend for you to MAKE it and USE it. Look at your book and see if there is anything there that says that these recipes cannot be used commercially. Most likely there isn't. The author and publisher likely doesn't care, or they wouldn't have published their prized recipe. Even if they did, they'd find it fairly impossible to come back and protect the intellectual property.

Legally... don't sweat it one bit.

Ethically... don't sweat it. You are modifying what you learned from a source made available to the general public.

AlabamaGrillBillies
12-19-2008, 09:52 PM
Thanks guys, and Todd I was hoping to hear from you on this. I have a couple of questions about labels and shakers I'll pm to in a day or two so I won't hijack this thread.

Gonna still think this one over, and take a good look at that book again.

But most of you have firmed up what I was thinking, if they put it out in the book, it must not have been some big secrete and they probably aren't worried about a small business using the sauce.

Now for naming it....

Plowboy
12-19-2008, 10:03 PM
Find your packer first. They will have a label maker that you can work with. There are specific things that will need to be on your label in a specific way. You'll want a label maker that knows these things. Some don't. Make your co-packer review your label as well. Since they made your product for you, they have liability until that product is consumed. Oh, and get some business insurance... and an LLC... and a State Tax ID... and pay your sales tax!

Make them sign a nondisclosure before you give them a recipe. The first packer I talked to didn't know what an NDA was. They didn't get my recipes!

If you want to do some bottling yourself, check out Fruend Container. Great customer service with those guys.

Your co-packer may have bar codes that you can use, but understand that using their barcode makes it harder to leave them since you've invested in labels. The more labels you buy the less expensive they are. I buy 5000 at a time, which isn't much compared to some products.

I don't know what it takes to get a sauce off the ground, but a rub costs about $2000-$2500 as an initial investment. You could enter with a lower investment, but your costs per unit are going to be a LOT higher. The first product takes some Moink Balls to take the initial step. The second and third products get easier and easier. You have more confidence, cash flow, and retailers. In other words, you aren't starting at ground zero.

Good luck!

TN_BBQ
12-19-2008, 10:13 PM
I was at a flea market and saw folks selling their BBQ sauce. I guess that's one way to get it done.

KuyasKitchen
12-19-2008, 10:58 PM
Yup, if you have tomatoes, vinegar, and onion in your sauce ... that's the basis for tomato ketchup.

It's the tweaks and substitutions that make it your own.

Bbq Bubba
12-19-2008, 11:21 PM
Find your packer first. They will have a label maker that you can work with. There are specific things that will need to be on your label in a specific way. You'll want a label maker that knows these things. Some don't. Make your co-packer review your label as well. Since they made your product for you, they have liability until that product is consumed. Oh, and get some business insurance... and an LLC... and a State Tax ID... and pay your sales tax!



Well if that don't scare you off, nothing will. :cool:

Good luck!

Dr_KY
12-20-2008, 06:17 AM
How and where do you find a company to blend/make rubs?

keend
12-20-2008, 06:49 AM
How and where do you find a company to blend/make rubs?


You can start with the PLMA (Private Label Manufacturers Association). Also do a search on co-packers.
Find local seasoning brands and talk to them about co-packing. They are usually looking for more business to cover their overhead and will do small runs.
Talk to the big guys (Griffith Labs, Baltimore Spice, Elite Spice, Milwaukee Seasoning, Flavorite, etc.) They will not want your business, but they usually know smaller minority and woman owned businesses that they refer low volume business to.

Plowboy
12-20-2008, 06:50 AM
How and where do you find a company to blend/make rubs?

Google - There are some sites that have directories that will help you.

Here's one that I found in TN. None in Alabama that I've run across yet.

http://porkysgourmet.com

Spydermike72
12-20-2008, 07:02 AM
Well if that don't scare you off, nothing will. :cool:

Good luck!

Check with your state on the taxes (you would be surprised how helpful they are and for free, again at least here in Michigan), for instance, in Michigan there is no tax on food items unless they are prepared. So a rub or sauce that you bottle and sell would not require any sales tax in Michigan, you would have Income Taxes though. Please consult a Tax Attorney or CPA just to cover your self.

Dr_KY
12-20-2008, 07:23 AM
Google - There are some sites that have directories that will help you.

Here's one that I found in TN. None in Alabama that I've run across yet.

http://porkysgourmet.com (http://porkysgourmet.com)

I'm little lost, if I wanted to have someone make my rubs and sauces so I could market them what would I search for on Google?


Sorry it's all new to me.

Bbq Bubba
12-20-2008, 07:41 AM
I'm little lost, if I wanted to have someone make my rubs and sauces so I could market them what would I search for on Google?


Sorry it's all new to me.

Co-packers, you can't do this kind of thing at home.

AlabamaGrillBillies
12-20-2008, 07:46 AM
We (Catering Co.) already have the tax id, we are a partnership, and have had insurance for a year now, infact we just renewed our policy and this cook tonight is to help pay the premium.

I am no where near wanting to market my own rub. My sauce maybe in the next 12-18months. I was really just looking for a place to buy rub shakers/containers. I like the ones you (todd) use, and would like one in a smaller size as well. Say around 6oz. I was just wondering where you got yours and if it was worth my while to try and buy them in small batches say 100 or less at a time.

Thanks for all the comments guys.

Dr_KY
12-20-2008, 07:48 AM
Co-packers, you can't do this kind of thing at home.
*edit*
I see now 'co-packers' is a company.

Dr_KY
12-20-2008, 07:53 AM
Talk to the big guys (Griffith Labs, Baltimore Spice, Elite Spice, Milwaukee Seasoning, Flavorite, etc.) They will not want your business, but they usually know smaller minority and woman owned businesses that they refer low volume business to.


Thanks, I spoke with a guy from Griffith at the competition but I was too far into doing my thing to get a grip on what he was talking about I'll have to get in touch with him.
Thanks.

Buster Dog BBQ
12-20-2008, 03:49 PM
Who's the guy in KC that makes all the rubs for people? They had him on a few food shows. Old guy wth a beard about a foot long. Dare I say....Father Thyme.

jaronimo
12-21-2008, 08:57 AM
Check to see if the other recipe is patented. If not, you should legally be OK to patent your recipe. If the original is patented - then they might have some legal rights as far as slight changes one way or the other - check with a lawyer. If you patent it, register and trademark the brand.

I respect your moral concerns


If it is patented and you make a modification to it that improves it, you can then patent your version. Its done all the time.

If they are giving out the recipe in a book, I would bet major money that it is not patented. Plus I am sure the author got the recipe from somewhere else anyway and made a few modifications so he could call it his own.