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Thread: Bottling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Upstate SC


    Anyone bottling in recycled baby food jars for sample/gift sizes?

    Pros . . . Cons . . .

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    jfischer Guest


    > Anyone bottling in recycled baby food
    > jars for sample/gift sizes?

    > Pros . . . Cons . . .

    Pros: They are free.

    Cons: I could list an infinite number of them,
    but most of all, it LOOKS like a baby-food jar.

    Tacky. Very tacky.

    My honey labels say "So good, you shouldn't
    even try it once!", so I'm not going to skimp
    on packaging. I sell a premium product at
    a premium price to people who know what they
    are buying, and are willing to pay serious
    money for serious honey.

    As for gifts, would you give a gift "wrapped"
    in a Mall-Wart bag? Of course not. So why
    wrap your honey in a crappy container?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Whidbey Island, WA, USA


    Perhaps a distinction should be made between the hobbiest (sp?) and the commercial seller. Unless someone here can give me a health related "con", as a hobbiest, I am going to reuse bottles (and yes, maybe even baby bottles)and give them out as freebies to people in the office. Jeez, they're lucky to get even that.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Columbia, South Carolina USA


    To answer the health question, if you run everything through a pressure cooker, or boil them, there should be no health consequences. I can tell you that those lids don't really fit back on so well after they are removed, and it is often hard to get some of the pigments and off flavors out of the plastic sealant on the underside. How this will affect your honey I cannot say, but it might not be good. Mmmmmmm, turkey flavored honey . . . .

    Now my personal opinion is that even if you are giving you honey away the packaging is important. I don't sell my honey (yet) but what Jim says is true - package it up nicely and it makes a gift/purchase that much more special/premium, and can command a greater price. Honey is beautiful stuff - show it off.

    I figure I worked hard towards the harvest, and my gals worked hard to produce it - to me the final and one of the most important steps is to pack it up in a manner that reflects the care taken when producing it. Of course this is just MHO - I am sure there are those whould would appreciate the gift regardless of what it was in (provided it was santiary).

    Keith Benson, purveyor of "Bee Sting Honey . . . so good, it hurts™"

    [This message has been edited by kgbenson (edited July 24, 2004).]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Winterset IA

    Thumbs down

    The trouble with cheap jars is that you are trying to get your product out there but folks won’t take you seriously. Betterbee and Drapers both have cute little 6oz honey bears with lids for about $.30 each and they will sell you 1 bear. For $.30 and your honey you will show them you are in the business of selling honey. Good luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County


    The honey bear is the best way to go. First it looks cute, and then people want to buy more so that they can give the honey to a friend. I sold most of my honey with 2 lb jars, and my biggest seller was honey bears. The kids of the customers fell in love with the package. You'll sell ooodels of honey that way.
    I agree about the baby food jar thing. Tacky to say the least. Hey if the person who packages the honey does not care how it looks why should I care about buying more. Must be he is not serious about the honey or maybe even the quality. Number one object is impression that you are a professional. You can if they ask give them a discount, x number of cents per pound, in their jars that they bring in to your place. This is really the cheapest and best way to move your honey. I did thousands of pounds that way.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Rochester, Washington, USA


    The key word was GIFT or SAMPLE, alot of my honey is given away and I've yet to receive any complants about the bottle, the people who receive my gifts are greatful to know that I'm thinking of them and am giving them a gift of food. I use baby food, mayo, salsa, yes, even pickle jars they've all been run thru the dishwasher at least once and no one to this date has complained. So IMHO recycle, reuse, but as the others have said IF selling use quality, new jars, and if you are giving samples to prospective new customers don't be cheap, you want their business, gifts are another thing.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    McMinnville, TN, USA


    I agree with both side. If you use the baby food jars atleast decorate the gift with ribbon or such(I would spray paint the lids). I would rather use 1/2 pint jelly jars. What is weird about my rural local is honey even sells better in canning jars. If you put it in bears or flat sided honey jars they acuse you of buy and selling honey(this was relayed to me from the old vet with 150 hives). This may just be a local thing but he does have nice labels printed to fit the jars. I forgot the brand of jar he uses but it have little marking(raise writing) on them. He takes honey off at the close of each bloom and sell the honeys by name(more like season as poplar and private are in bloom at the same time here and it is called poplar honey). He has a line on the label that says type of honey above the line. He has to keep honey for himself as people beg him to sell more. Prestation is everything even when giving it as a gift but you can make anything look nice with the right touches.

  9. #9


    I think for gifts and samples baby food jars(attractively labeled and ribboned)are great. Look at the Bert's Bees stuff, packaged in tiny glass jars, not to mention lots of the gourmet spices and condiments. Everybody can reuse little glass jars for something, they can be cleaned easily and thoroughly, and as you mentioned it's a responsible use of resources. That last reason in itself says a lot about your ethics as a person and a beekeeper.
    The stores are full of plastic jars of honey and the cute bears...I think to most people that says "commercial", "mass produced", "el cheapo", "landfill", and "Made in China". Not to mention the thought of "how much is this person adding to the price just because the honey is in a squeezy bear bottle rather than a normal jar?"
    You have a unique local product so you don't want to make it look like what they see on the shelves at WalMart. Most people are so far from the land anymore that an honest, down-to-earth, rural product is truly an amazing and awe-inspiring thing to them...hence the success of canning jars. Wow, a real person put real honey from actual bees into this jar! It didn't get squirted out of machines on an assembly line!
    Think about industrial chicken factories and cow barns and genetically modified crops and mad cow disease. That's the professional, commercial food industry.
    Discerning people who truly want a quality product do not go for that kind of thing, so I don't see any reason to package the beautiful honey your bees have made as if it's part of that industrial nastiness. Quite the contrary. Certainly there are individuals who equate quality with commercial type packaging, high prices, and the special snob appeal percieved by the seller, but that's an unpleasant demographic perhaps best left to those who really enjoy parting fools from their money.
    Anyway, to some people plastic gives food a nasty taste. Some people also believe that plastic leaches chemical toxins into food it's packaged in.
    Nope, I think the only way baby food jars and canning jars could be considered "tacky" is if you forget to wipe the honey drips off the sides.


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