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Selling Honey in Minnesota

Your honey sales MAY fall under the cottage food law in Minnesota, if you meet those requirements. But Minnesota's abbreviated rules for selling honey only apply to liquid and comb honey only, not processed honey, which has all the requirements of processed food. Honey (and also maple syrup as whole foods are considered a ‘product of the farm,’ and are already exempt from licensing under Minnesota's food law,  M.S. 28A.15. UNLESS you add flavorings; in that case they would be a cottage food.

 If an individual buys honey from a honey producers with the intent to resell that honey, they would no longer be considered a ‘product of the farm’ or a ‘cottage food’ and that individual would then be required to get a license from the MDA to resell. Aside from this, the requirements specific to honey are pretty much all about the labeling.

So after checking the honey labeling below, go to this page for details about selling cottage foods in Minnesota.


The principal display panel must be large enough to clearly accommodate all required label information without crowding or obscuring designs. All information on the label must be prominent and conspicuous, but in no case may the letters and numbers be less than 1/16 inch high.

Product identity must be on the label, i.e., honey. A complete list of ingredients, if other than honey, including standardized food products, must be on the label in order of predominance by weight if there are two or more ingredients. All artificial colors must be specifically listed. Include your name, and address (including zip code) on the label.

The net quantity of contents must be expressed in terms of weight or measure. This declaration of contents must be expressed both in ounces and full unit if one to four pounds, or one pint to one gallon. The metric equivalent is sometimes required. The declaration must be located in the lower one-third of the label separated from all other print. If the weight is more than one pound, fractions of a pound are expressed as a decimal, e.g., 1 1/2 pounds is 1.5 lb. The declaration must be in letters and numbers in a type and size relative to the area of the label panel of the package as follows:

Not less than 1/16 inch in height for a label of five square inches or less.
Not less that 1/8 inch in height for a label of more than five square inches but less than 25 square inches.
Not less than 3/16 inch in height for a label more than 25 square inches.
To convert ounces to grams multiply by 28.4 and round off to grams. To convert pounds to grams multiply by 454.

Don't make health claims on a food label. Health claims are subject to special nutritional labeling.

All labeling must be truthful and accurate. Food standards must not be violated.

The US Grade is voluntary on honey labels, offered as a fee for service by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service. Grade is primarily moisture and color; Grade A = 18.6 percent moisture and freedom from defects (no foreign material) if filtered. If a Grade is used, the Grade must be accurate and must declare the country of origin.

Many products have exemptions or further requirements to the above label regulations.


Minnesota resources