Updated: Sep 14, 2020
We first published our Retail Honey Labeling State To State post back in 2018, hoping it would be a handy resource for our readers. Two and a half years later, it’s become the most popular blog post we’ve ever published by a long shot. It’s the 2nd-most visited page on our website (behind thebeecorp.com homepage), accounting for 7% of all pageviews in the past 30 months. The numbers are truly astounding.
Despite its popularity, the post is a little out of date. Readers noticed that some links are no longer active, and some states have added new regulations since 2018. With all the love we got from the original post, we figure our visitors deserve an update.
Here’s a new interactive map with links to each state’s current honey labeling requirements (use the scroll bar to view states on the east coast):
A few things to note:
Some links contain rules for lots of other food products. Use CTRL-F and search for “honey” or “label”.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, check out some additional resources on this page: http://ti.afdo.org/honey.html
Not every state has specific laws on honey labeling, so they defer to the guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Beekeepers in all states still need to adhere to these standards in addition to their state regulations:
Common name: For most food labeling, FDA lists common names to help consumers correctly identify the food. The honey label must contain the name “Honey” on the label. (403(i) of the FD&C Act and 21 CFR 101.3(b))
No other sweeteners: Beekeepers are not permitted to label a food source “honey” if it contains any other sweeteners. Doing so is a misdemeanor in Alabama! (21 CFR 102.5(a))
Prominent: The label must be placed in a prominent and easy to find location. Letters need to be at least 1/16th of an inch in height, and contrast with the background so it is easy to read.
Contact information: FDA requires food labels to have contact information of parties responsible for the honey. This includes the name and address of the person responsible for bottling the honey.
Net Weight: The label must contain the net weight of honey in the jar or bottle. This should be represented in fluid pounds/ounces and grams. This must be placed in the bottom 30% of the label.
You might consider including some additional info on your labels not required by law. These are good ideas to help you become the brand of choice for your customers.
Flower name: Though it's not required by the FDA, if you decide to put the name of the floral source on your label, you must include information to justify that it's the main floral source (FDA Compliance Policy Guide, section 515.300 and section 403(a)(1) of the FD&C Act).
Warning: It's a good idea to place a warning on your honey label indicating that honey is not safe for infants to consume. Some states require this, but even if yours doesn't, your customers might appreciate it.