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Selling BBQ Sauce


Joined Sep 4, 2013
Hello all,

I'm in the very early stages of getting one of our BBQ sauce recipes bottled and out to the market, but I need some guidance from someone who has done this before.
I've sent our sauce to the lab and received the results and the nutrition label.

I need to get a UPC code for the product so that I can get it onto local grocery shelves. Has anyone had experience getting a UPC code?

At this point, I haven't officially obtained a business license and started the LLC. I will have this in place shortly. Up to this point, it's been a backyard operation. I have about 10 years before I can retire and want to get my ducks in a row to make money from my hobby!

Can anyone who has bottled their own sauce with a cannery provide any insights / pitfalls? I'm looking to sell locally initially, but hope to expand. I also plan on doing food truck and catering operations. I've heard too many horror stories about opening restaurants!

I realize BBQ won't make me a rich man, but it will make me a happy man!

I am open to any and all insight you BBQ experts can provide! I have three separate sauces, but I'm not a rich man...so, I'm getting one at a time out to the market! I also have a BBQ rub I want to sell.




Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 3, 2009
Have you checked with the local Health Dept yet? I'm sure things could be different in NC but in NY you need to have a commercial facility to process any food product for sale to the public.


Meat Mopper
Joined Dec 23, 2017
Have you checked with the local Health Dept yet? I'm sure things could be different in NC but in NY you need to have a commercial facility to process any food product for sale to the public.
In Alabama, your facility must meet the same rules/regs as any large commercial facility, if it's IN your home, it must not be in any room that is used for living/sleeping and must be able to be completely isolated from the rest of your home, it must have it's own equipment (example, you can't use the food processor in both your home kitchen and your biz kitchen), etc.

Lots of hoops to jump through.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Nov 24, 2011
I have not done this with a food product, but I did market some individual bottled gelled alcohol for public safety years before it was commonly available (back in 1991). Back then it was only available in huge containers for hospitals. We started off buying bulk drums from Kimberly Clarke and having it rebottled in 2 and 4 ounce bottles for ambulance drivers and police officers. Eventually developed our own formula (with higher alcohol content than the commercial stuff), but once the big boys started putting their mass produced product into small bottles for the general consumer, we could not compete at their cost point or volume. Ours was a local thing in north Georgia.

Back to your question..... We paid a commercial co-packer to rebottle the bulk product from drums in the beginning, and later to blend and bottle our formula. The co-packer was already blending/bottling/boxing cosmetics and food products in their factory and had all the required approvals and an inspected facility. Contracting with someone who specializes in making and packaging a product like BBQ Sauce would be well worth not having to deal with all those hassles and hurdles IMO.

And yes, there would need to be lawyers involved as you are giving your recipe over to another and if you have the next great hit on your hands, you want to protect it.

Good luck (and tell us when & where we can buy a bottle!!!!)

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