Hawaii is converting several thousand dead fish left behind by a deadly molasses spill that happened earlier this month.
One marketing risk some food manufacturers take is to make their products seem so extreme that they might even cause harm. A segment of the marketplace where this is evident is in hot sauce labeling. Hot sauce labels often represent the product as painful or even deadly, daring culinary thrill seekers to try the concoction to test their tolerance.
They come under labels like “Crazy Jerry’s Brain Damage – Mind Blowin’ Sauce,” “Anthony Kern’s Inferno Guts” and simply, “Pain 100 Percent.” While their crazy branding is tongue-in-cheek, the game is to tempt hot sauce connoisseurs to take their palates to the limit. This appeals to consumers because despite the pain and suffering high-heat peppers cause at first, it can transform into a pleasurable experience through the wonders of human physiology.
“When you eat hot peppers, especially the really hot kinds like scotch bonnets, the body feels pain in the mouth and throat that causes a release of endorphins,” writes Abby Schneiderman of The Daily Beast. “These endorphins create a sense of euphoria or well-being, which makes you want to eat more peppers for more endorphins.”
These strategies have filtered down to other snacks and food products. From incredibly sour candies to heart attack hamburgers, sometimes the best branding walks on the wild side. Sometimes, appealing to the most pleasant and popular aspects of your brand misses the point altogether when you can take a more audacious approach.
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