Hot Sauce Branding That’s Truly On-Fire

Category

Inspiration

Read Time

12 min

Published

25 October, 2022

It’s almost always hot, it can be pretty spicy, and it always stands out on supermarket shelves; it’s hot sauce branding.

I should point out that the focus here is solely on branding, so if you want a taste test you’ll have to give them a go for yourself!

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Hot sauce branding tends to be very bold and vibrant to reflect the product inside. You wouldn’t want something subdued and minimal for a sauce that’s going to ignite your taste buds and leave a lasting impression.

In this blog, we delve into a list of hot sauce brands to explore their unique branding strategies. From fiery graphics to clever names, we’ll uncover how these brands captivate consumers and stand out in a sizzling market.

Whether you’re a heat-seeker or a branding enthusiast, get ready to discover the hottest trends and techniques in the world of hot sauce branding

That said, let’s turn up the heat and get started!

it's too hot website banner with lous hot sauce written on it
Credit to Lous Brews

It’s Too Bloody Hot Sauce

Products inspired by other media can be pretty hit-and-miss. Thankfully, this Peep Show-inspired bottle of hot sauce is an absolute hit.

Believe it or not, this is actually one of several hot sauces created by Lou’s Hot Sauce, in collaboration with Dobby Club – a brand that makes a living selling merchandise inspired by one of the greatest UK sitcoms in history (if not the best).

The bottle itself isn’t going to win any design awards – no matter how good the illustration is on the front.

Mark Corrigan has never looked so good.

I’ve included It’s Too Bloody Hot here because it’s one of the best examples of nailing your brand messaging.

For FMCG products to be successful, consistency across every touchpoint is crucial.

With this product, both Lou’s Hot Sauce and Dobby Club do a fantastic job of staying on the same page. From the name itself to the product description and how it’s marketed on social media, everything aligns seamlessly. The brand messaging is cohesive and consistently engaging, making it a standout in the market.

A collection of Sauce Shop sauces sitting outside
Credit to Sauce Shop

Sauce Shop

If you consider yourself a connoisseur of the sauces – both hot and otherwise – odds are, you’ll have come across Sauce Shop in your travels.

They’re the brand with the logo that looks like it was made by a label-maker.

From a design perspective, the brand does a great job of distancing itself from some of the other hot sauce brands you might see in Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.

The label-maker design is so effortlessly done, leaving enough room for the contents of the bottle to sell itself. And sell they do, both in-store and online, mostly because of the taste, but also, because of how it’s branded.

A lot of Sauce Shop’s success comes down to how they showcase its values.

If you head over to the Sauce Shop website and skim through some of the pages, their brand values will become apparent:

  1. They produce all-natural ingredients
  2. There’s an entire webpage dedicated to recipes
  3. There’s a strong sense of giving back/local pride
  4. They have a page dedicated to sustainability
  5. There’s a loyalty program for people to join

Many brands in this market struggle to translate their values creatively and scale their business without losing touch with those values.

Sauce Shop, however, is a prime example of how to successfully navigate both challenges, staying true to itself and maintaining the impact it aims to make with its product.

Also, they’re an example of how great hot sauce can taste when you use the best ingredients, so take note if you’re looking to get your own business off the ground!

truff website on black background
Credit to TRUFF

TRUFF Hot Sauce

Is there such a thing as high-end hot sauce branding? Apparently, there is in the case of TRUFF Hot Sauce who sell some sauces at £35 a bottle!

Is it worth it though, that’s the question?

The branding would suggest it is based on how lavish the product looks in its packaging and how it’s shown in photos/videos scattered across the TRUFF website and social media. The following statements they use to sell the brand certainly help too:

  • ”No Limit to Indulgence”
  • “An Elevated Dining Experience”
  • ”Luxury Condiments”

The positioning of this brand is excellent, showcasing a keen understanding of their target audience and the unique concept of ‘luxury condiments’ in a market known for its laid-back branding.

Many will undoubtedly buy TRUFF’s hot sauces based solely on the website design, the bottle and packaging, the logo’s style, and the language used. This perfectly illustrates the immense power of effective branding.

Siri Sriracha Sauce concept mockup
Credit to Packaging Inspiration

Siri Sriracha Sauce

From one classy example of hot sauce branding to another, only this one comes in a silver tin and is a lot more colourful in contrast.

I’m of course, referring to Siri Sriracha Sauce, the mock design project created by André Moreira that might have changed the way I think of hot sauce packaging for good!

In terms of the design, the rough and ready style of the illustrations, coupled with the laid-back type, make for a relaxing vibe overall, despite how much pain you might be in from consuming the sauce within.

The designs are also very organised which adds a level of sophistication to the packaging. The structured layout contrasts nicely with the playful illustrations and relaxed typography, creating a balanced aesthetic.

Moreover, the use of cool tones in the orange and green colour palette might initially mislead you into thinking the sauce isn’t very spicy. This intriguing contradiction between appearance and reality makes the packaging even more engaging. It’s a clever design choice that invites curiosity.

Yellowbird hot sauce on a light background
Credit to Yellowbird Foods

Yellowbird Sauce

Yellowbird Sauce is next up on our hot sauce branding deep dive, a brand straight out of Austin, Texas, that packs some serious punch, both in taste and in branding.

There’s a lot to like about the Yellowbird Sauce brand, be it the simplistic design of the bottle, to the various colours it uses for different flavours, to the name of its ‘Bliss & Vinegar’ flavour.

Still, none come close to the yellowbird itself, the brand’s signature mascot found front and centre on every bottle.

It reminds me so much of the Tweety Bird from Looney Tunes, only with a lot more attitude.

They might have a ray of sunshine floating over their head, but this bird is far from happy, probably to serve as a warning to how hot the contents of this hot sauce are – or to sell a range of merchandise, such as caps, reusable bags, and socks.

Not every hot sauce brand sells brand merchandise, but those that do should consider how transferable the logo is to these products.

If you can nail your logo, then there should be no reason why you can’t make some extra money selling other items; just follow Yellowbird’s lead and you’ll be fine!

Four bottles of Molotov Pepper hot sauce sitting in a row
Credit to Nikita Gavrilov

Molotov Pepper

Introducing Molotov Pepper, the explosive hot sauce brand designed by Nikita Gavrilov, a Russian-based creative, who created this project for a student project!

Discovering that this wasn’t a real product took me back a bit, as the quality of the packaging design and the branding is 10x better than the majority of what you see out in the real world.

“Be careful, inside the bottle, there is an explosive mixture that can set all your favourite dishes on fire and turn your stomach into ashes. The bottle is already on fire and the rebel hand is ready to throw, only the bravest can handle the power of Molotov Pepper.”

– Nikita Gavrilov, the mind behind Molotov Pepper

Who’d have thought that something so simple as a custom label found at the top of the bottle would lead to such a creative approach to its packaging?

Not me, that’s for sure.

The word ‘bomb’ being scratched out of the label is a great touch, too, although I imagine most sellers would want that taken off completely if they were to stock it themselves, unfortunately.

The hand around the base only adds to the character of the design, which applies to all three flavours of the hot sauce. If I had to pick my favourite of the bunch, I’d have to go with the orange, Sea Buckhorn Ghost Pepper flavour.

Can you see why I was harping on about this hot sauce brand now?

red bottles of huy fong foods sauce with green tops
Credit to Behance

Huy Fong Foods Sriracha

When I started putting my list of hot sauce brands I wanted to spotlight, I knew that I was going to have to include a classic in there somewhere.

Anyone that loves hot sauces will recognise the green top bottle from a mile away, not to mention, the rooster found on the front of the bottle. These recognisable elements belong to Huy Fong Foods’ signature brand of sriracha sauce.

I know I said I wasn’t going to include hot sauces based on taste, but I’d be willing to make an exception here.

You see, Huy Fong Foods is proof that branding and packaging design can be amplified when the product you offer has attracted a cult-like following based on its quality.

That said, the rich backstory of the company has also played a significant role in elevating the California-based brand – similar to Sauce Shop, only on a much bigger scale; a global scale.

A quick Huy Fong Foods history lesson:

Huy Fong Foods’ sriracha sauce was created in 1980 by David Tran, a Chinese immigrant from Vietnam who would eventually bring his product to the US.

The sauce was initially supplied to Asian restaurants near his base in Chinatown, LA, but sales grew quite quickly thanks to word-of-mouth. Fast-forward to 2012 and the brand announces that it had sold over 20 million bottles total (all without any form of advertising).

Unfortunately, not every hot sauce brand will be able to do what David Tran and Huy Fong Foods have been able to achieve. It takes years to build up that type of base, which is time that not a lot of FMCG brands have.

Still, it’s an inspiring story of how branding/packaging can be influenced by the product directly and not the other way around.

Seventh Circle hot sauce mockup
Credit to Working Not Working

Seventh Circle

We’re nearing the end of this hot sauce branding blog and have yet to touch on a single brand that has resorted to using demonic imagery in its designs.

It was a nice run while it lasted, but we need to talk about Seventh Circle now, a boutique hot sauce brand that takes its name from Dante’s Inferno.

Don’t worry if you haven’t read it/know what it is, we won’t spoil any of it for you.

Just know that it plays a significant role in how this hot sauce is branded, although, I don’t think the names of each flavour are? Speaking of which, I really like the names of these flavours, not to mention the typeface of each name.

‘Original Sin,’ in particular, is such a memorable name for hot sauce.

Most brands would shy away from using a similar type for both the logo and other text on the front, for some reason or another, but it works really well here.

What also works really well is the logo – a logo that consists of an illustrated scythe and a borderless flame. The two complement each other nicely, especially when paired with the wordmark.

Again, unfortunately, this is another personal project, so you won’t find it on supermarket shelves.

Hot Sauce Branding That’s Truly On-Fire

There’s only one word to describe the hot sauce branding covered in this post, and that’s:

Fire.

I’ve already used the word ‘lit’ but that could also be used to describe what we’ve seen, especially that Molotov Pepper branding, which might be the best packaging design I’ve seen, period.

Would you agree or do you have a different opinion? Maybe you prefer the Truff Hot Sauce branding or one of the many Torchbearer sauces.

Regardless, if there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that branding and packaging design is the fuel that lights the fire of any FMCG product – be it hot sauce, potato chips, sweets, or alcohol.

You can have the hottest, spiciest, and tastiest hot sauce there is, but if you fall short on how it’s branded and how it’s packaged, then it will all be for not.

This is why many hot sauce brands choose to work with creative agencies like Canny, allowing them to focus on what’s inside of the bottle while we take care of the design part (arguably the hardest part).

If you’d like to see some of our previous packaging designs up close, check out the following case studies on the site:

All of these brands have gone on to find great success because they’ve worked with us, which is why most of them continue to work with us to this day, be it through social media assets, marketing materials for events, and even website hosting (yes, we offer that too if you need it).

Get in touch today and find out first-hand how hot we can make your hot sauce brand!

Hey, I'm Will, a Brand Designer here at Canny. I work as part of the design team helping to build amazing brands and websites.

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