How do I start a successful sauce business

Posted by Damian Roberti on

How do I start a successful sauce business





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 How to Package and Market Your Own Barbecue Sauce

With the addition of a high-quality sauce, even the most pedestrian dish can be transformed into something sumptuous. The increased interest among customers in ecologically responsible business operations, international cuisines, and healthy ingredients has resulted in the creation of niche markets, which manufacturers of sauces are now able to capitalize on. Whether you have a great pepper sauce recipe and want to learn how to bottle and sell your hot sauce or you run a barbecue restaurant and want to sell your house-made barbecue sauce in stores, there are business methods and legal standards that you need to uphold. We will guide you through the process of bottling and selling sauce in order to assist you in launching your own successful sauce business.

How to Get Started in the Business of Making Sauce

Starting a sauce business is now more accessible than ever thanks to developments in e-commerce, social media shopping, and localized marketplaces. On the other hand, you can't just put your sauce in a jar and start selling it through an online marketplace. You have a responsibility to adhere to the requirements for food safety and implement effective business strategies. Follow these easy steps to turn your homemade sauce recipe into a profitable business.

1. Create a Recipe That Can Be Scaled Up

If you want to launch a sauce business, you undoubtedly already have a mouthwatering recipe up your sleeve that your loved ones and close friends gush over. The question is, can you scale your recipe? To put it another way, are you able to manufacture your sauce in large quantities throughout the year using ingredients that are not only inexpensive but also retain a consistent flavor? To find out if the recipe for your sauce is commercially viable, you should ask yourself the following questions.


How do I start a successful sauce business

How much time does it take to make a single batch of sauce from scratch? If making a small batch of your sauce takes a lot of time, then the recipe generally isn't the best one for making a large quantity.
Are there any pricey components in the sauce? You have to sell your items at prices that people are willing to pay, but you also have to make a profit from the sale of those products. This is difficult due to the high cost of the ingredients.
Are the components available at any time of the year?
Even if you have perfected a delectable seasonal sauce, it won't be able to serve as the cornerstone of your company if its components aren't consistently accessible throughout the year.


You can determine how to produce your sauce in large quantities by using our recipe converter.

2. Create a comprehensive business plan.



How do I start a successful sauce business

It's time to prepare a business plan for your sauce firm once you've developed a reliable recipe for sauce (or numerous versions that you wish to sell under the same brand name). A business plan gives you the ability to map out your objectives, projections, and strategies for your sauce company, regardless of the size of your operation. You can get financial aid from banks and investors by presenting them with your business plan, and you can promote your goods to local stores by using it. The following components make up an efficient business strategy for a sauce company:

Provide a concise overview of the mission, products, and long-term objectives of your organization in the executive summary.
In the section titled "Organization Description," please give us an in-depth look at the mission, growth plans, and strategies of your company.
The Idea and the Menu: Explain what your company sells and what sets your brand apart from others.


How do I start a successful sauce business

Establish a firm footing for your sauce company by designing an ownership structure and management system that have been given careful consideration.
Employees and the Requirements for Staffing- Determine the number of people you will require in order to bottle your sauce. Even if you are the only employee at first, you need think about the staffing demands of your growing firm even if you are the only employee.

You need to determine who your primary client base is and do an analysis of the competitors operating in your sphere. Marketing and Competitor Analysis
Promotional Efforts in Advertising and Marketing—
Conduct research on various marketing and advertising tactics, and devise a strategy to reach the audience you have selected.
Concerning the finances, you need to determine both your initial and recurring costs. Create a strategy that takes into account the constraints of reality to determine when you may anticipate seeing a return on the initial investment of capital.

Are you prepared to dig in and start writing a business strategy for your spicy sauce? Consult our in-depth guide to developing a business strategy so you can get started.

3. Pick Out Some Bottles of Sauce

You will be able to choose a package that is suitable for your requirements if you are familiar with your brand, your intended audience, and your baseline financial situation. You'll need to select sauce bottles as the first activity on your to-do list. Although bottles with unique angles contribute to the aesthetic appeal, we recommend utilizing bottles with spherical walls instead. Your sauce will have fewer opportunities to clump together and become dry in containers with round walls. You'll also have to specify whether you want the bottles to be made of glass or plastic. Below, we discuss the advantages of each option, as well as the reasons why glass is the better choice for bottling sauce.

Bottles of sauce made of plastic versus glass

Plastic bottles are typically cold-filled, which means that the producer pours the sauce into the bottle once it has cooled down. This makes plastic bottles more cost-effective than glass bottles. The use of cold filling helps businesses save money on the cost of purchasing chilling equipment while also preventing burns to customers and employees. However, your sauce is more likely to become contaminated with bacteria if it is cold filled, unless the manufacturer utilizes a blast chiller. It's possible that flavor-altering chemicals and preservatives will need to be added to the sauces you buy in plastic bottles. Glass bottles are your only realistic option if you want to establish a business selling hot sauce since peppers contain acids that can disintegrate plastic bottles when they come into contact with hot sauce.

The hot fill method, in which sauce is dispensed at a high temperature, works exceptionally well with bottles made of glass. Because bacteria can't grow in hot filling, you won't need to use any preservatives, which are both unhealthy and detrimental to the flavor. Glass containers are resistant to being dissolved by acidic substances. Glass bottles are the best option to choose if you want to create a niche or premium sauce brand because they meet the requirements of both your product and the customers you are trying to attract. However, purchasing, filling, and shipping glass bottles can be more expensive.

4. Ensure Your Label Meets All FDA Requirements

Labels have two purposes: first, they distinguish one brand from another, and second, they include the information on ingredients and nutrition that is mandated by the FDA.

The majority of companies that make sauce utilize two distinct labels, applying one to the front of their sauce bottles and the other to the back of their bottles. The front label is referred to as the "Principal Display Panel" in its official capacity (PDP). The PDP of a product must satisfy certain specifications imposed by the FDA about its dimensions and constituents. You should design an eye-catching logo for your PDP and apply it consistently throughout all of your items in order to boost customer loyalty and awareness of your brand. The label on the back provides information regarding the ingredients as well as the nutritional value.

The rule requires that the majority of packaged foods reveal both the ingredients they contain and the nutritional value of those substances. It's possible that you'll need to divide your sauce into several serving sizes and list the number of calories associated with each one. If your product contains potential allergies like nuts, gluten, or soy, you are required to list these components on the product label. An independent food scientist has the ability to perform a nutritional analysis and assist you in adhering to the regulations that govern food labeling.



How do I start a successful sauce business

Food certifications and labels can help you stand out from the competition as having a product of higher quality and attract the kind of customers you want to do business with. For instance, if you sell Italian goods and you produce, process, and package them in a certain geographical area while adhering to regional packaging and production practices, then you are eligible to apply for a DOP label to represent the authenticity of your product. People who follow alternative diet plans such as veganism, gluten-freeism, or keto can be attracted to products by their labeling if those products satisfy the dietary restrictions of such alternative diet programs. Customers who are specifically interested in purchasing kosher or halal products will be more likely to notice your product if it carries the proper certification labels.

What Kind of Information Is Required to Be Presented on the Primary Display Board?

The front label of a food product is called the Principal Display Panel, or PDP for short. Below you will find an explanation of the FDA's regulations for PDPs.

Specifications for the Dimensions of Primary Display Panels

The dimensions that a PDP must meet are very dependent on its particular form.

PDP Dimensions for Rectangular Packages The PDP must extend completely across the front of the package.
PDP Size for Cylindrical Packages must cover at least 40 percent of the total side area of the package. Simply arrive at this number by multiplying the circumference of your package by its height.
PDP Size for Miscellaneous Packages must cover at least 40 percent of the total surface area of the package.
Required Elements on a Principal Display Panel

The PDP must have all of the following information in order to satisfy FDA regulations:

The name that most people call the culinary item.
The amount of product in the package, calculated net.
FDA Labeling Requirements

Take a look at our rundown of the typical labeling standards imposed by the FDA down below.

A Nutrition Facts Table Is Required to Be Printed on Every Label: The Nutrition Facts Chart, which is required by the FDA, lists the amount of calories that are in each serving along with the serving size. You are required to adhere to the Nutrition Facts Chart's predetermined format, which was established by the FDA. Acquaint yourself with the font sizes, the order the things are listed in, and the location of each item on the Nutrition Facts Chart.
Labels are required to list each and every ingredient that a product has, including:

Please list each ingredient in descending order based on the percentage of its weight. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cites unlisted allergens as the top reason for requesting product recalls. Be sure to include a list of the most common allergens, including peanuts, eggs, wheat, fish, shellfish, milk, tree nuts, and soybeans, even if there is only a trace amount of each. You are required to disclose the allergens that were present at the facility that produced your sauce even if it is the case that the sauce itself does not contain the allergens.

All nutrition and health claims need to be approved by the FDA. Before including any health claims on your label, you are required to first submit such claims to the FDA and verify that there is sufficient scientific evidence to support those claims. Labels are not allowed to make claims without supporting evidence that the product would alter the normal structure or function of humans.
Information on total calories, calories from fat, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, dietary fiber, sugars, vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron are required to be listed on labels by the FDA. Calculate nutrient percentages using the daily dietary allowances that are advised.
The following should be written in English:
Although labels may include words written in other languages, the Food and Drug Administration insists that the "Nutrition Facts" section be printed in English.
A return to the top five Determine the method via which you will market your sauce.

How do I start a successful sauce business

You might believe that you can create your sauce in the comfort of your own home kitchen if you are just getting your sauce business off the ground. Although doing so may be the greatest plan while you test your product and build your brand, the number of stores in which you can sell your sauce will be reduced as a result. Cottage food rules determine whether or not individuals can legally make low-risk foods in their homes for the purpose of selling them. Different states have different regulations regarding home-prepared foods. They are applicable to very small firms with limited revenue. In the following, we will explain the common methods in which cottage food enterprises can sell their products as well as the normal ways in which they cannot. Make sure you are abiding by the cottage food rules in your area by checking with the requirements for both your state and your local government.

How can I make my cottage food products more marketable?
From your residence directly to the end user
Farmer's markets
Flea markets
Roadside Stands
Where Would It Be Impossible for Me to Sell My Cottage Food Products?

How do I start a successful sauce business
Use a commissary kitchen to prepare your sauce if there are no cottage food laws in your area or if you feel that the laws that are in place are too restrictive. The commissary kitchens are commercial kitchens that are available for rent. They make it possible for small enterprises to have their products prepared in a kitchen that is FDA-approved without the need to invest in a costly facility. You will have the ability to sell your sauces in any marketplace if you prepare them in a commissary kitchen.

6. The Production Schedule

The scope and magnitude of your sauce business should inform the production method that you choose to implement for your company. You have the option of producing your sauce on your own or with the assistance of a few staff if you are only going to be making small quantities of it to sell at neighborhood markets. If you sell to a large number of people through your e-commerce website or in grocery stores, you might want to think about outsourcing the production of your sauce to a co-packer.

What exactly is a "Co-Packer"?

An established food production company known as a co-packer is one that other businesses pay to create their goods on their behalf. Co-packers are companies that own heavy-duty equipment that helps to speed the manufacture of food. This practice is also known as co-manufacturing. They can either package your finished product or produce your product line for you as part of their services. The majority of co-packers provide several service packages, giving their clients the option to decide how much of the logistics they want to handle on their own and how much they want to be handled by the co-packer.

For instance, a single customer might hire a co-packer to bottle and package their barbecue sauce on their behalf. Another customer might simply be interested in paying for the bottling process, while they take care of the packing and shipping on their own. It's possible that a third client will have the co-packer handle everything, from the production of their spicy sauce through the distribution of it to their customers.



How do I start a successful sauce business

If you want to bring your product to market without having to develop your own manufacturing plant, one of the most cost-effective ways to do it is to work with a co-manufacturer. Additionally, it reduces the costs associated with labor, such as pay, benefits, and training. According to the findings of a poll conducted by Contract Packaging, 85% of respondents stated that co-packing enabled them to save money and generate more money, and 68% of respondents stated that it made their firm more flexible.

When Is Your Company Prepared to Begin a Partnership with a Co-Packer?

Because of the many advantages of co-packing, you could be interested in collaborating with a co-manufacturer right from the beginning of your project. Nevertheless, co-manufacturing is something that should only be considered for larger operations. You are not ready to collaborate with a co-manufacturer unless you are selling thousands of units on your e-commerce site or selling hundreds of thousands of units to grocery stores in volume, whichever comes first.

The vast majority of co-packers are unwilling to cooperate with independent business owners. Small food enterprises generally lack the financial resources necessary to carry out many test runs in order to validate the production of a product prior to its mass production. Co-manufacturers collaborate with well-established food firms that are able to support the investment. This is necessary due to the fact that conducting trial production runs and line times can cost thousands of dollars.

Co-manufacturers are not required to publicize their locations. They rely on brokers to introduce potentially profitable customers to their services. Working with a broker is beneficial for you in addition to the other party. Brokers will see to it that the co-packer prepares your sauce exactly how you want it and will also assist you in establishing legal protections in the event that the co-manufacturer does not live up to their end of the bargain.


7. Determine Your Sauce's Best Price

When you have completed the first five steps of launching a sauce business, you will be able to choose a price point that will create a profit. Find out what your competitors are charging for their sauces so you can accurately price your own product. If you want to market a specialized salsa, you should research the prices of similar brands of salsa by visiting gourmet and natural food stores in your neighborhood and looking at their price tags.

Your co-packer will provide you with a manufacturing pricing estimate if you express interest in producing a product in large quantities. With that figure in mind, visit some retail establishments to determine whether or not the indicated manufacturing price enables you to charge a sum that is competitive while still generating a profit. If this is not the case, you will probably need to tweak the recipe so that it calls for fewer expensive items. After walking through the aisles, you should conduct research on the sales numbers of your competitors to ensure that customers are willing to pay the amount they are asking.

The Three-Point Calculation System for the Gross Cost

Calculating the entire cost of production is the first step in determining how much you should ask for your product when you go to sell it. For the purpose of determining your gross production cost, add the following three things together:

The cost of the materials, including the packing, the ingredients, and the supplies for shipment

How do I start a successful sauce business

Expenses related to labor include salary, benefits, and materials for training.
Expenses such as taxes, rent, insurance, marketing, transportation, and any other expenses that may be incurred are included in overhead costs.
Formulation of Pricing

As soon as you have an accurate estimate of the total costs involved in manufacturing your product, you can proceed to plug that number into the price formula. If you want to find out how much your sauce should sell for at a wholesale level, multiply the total cost of making it by 1.5. If you are selling your goods to a store, the result of this calculation will be the product's starting price. The retail price of your goods will be calculated by multiplying that figure by 1.5 after it has been determined in the store. If you are selling your product to end users one-on-one, you should increase your product's gross cost by three in order to get its retail price.

Price Ranges for Frequently Used Sauces

We've compiled a list of the average prices for a variety of jarred items to give you an idea of how much you might be able to charge for your sauce. The price of a sauce can vary depending on who buys it and where it's sold (for example, e-commerce versus farmer's market versus supermarket versus gourmet grocery store), but using this information can give you an idea of how much you might be able to charge for it.

On average, a specialized hot sauce will set you back roughly five dollars.

Although there are certain specialist brands that cost more than $5 per bottle, the average price is still less than $10.
Cost of a Unique Brand of Barbecue Sauce: The going rate for most kinds of speciality BBQ sauce is 57 cents per ounce.
Price of One Ounce of Chutney on Average The price of one ounce of chutney is approximately $1.31.
When the prices of specialized and generic pasta sauces are averaged out, the average cost of an ounce of pasta sauce comes out to be $0.66.
There are a lot of speciality salsa manufacturers that charge.71 cents per ounce for their product.
8. Promote Your Sauce

Whether no one is familiar with your sauce firm, it won't matter if you have a delicious recipe, great packaging, or reasonable prices; none of those things will help you sell more sauce. We strongly suggest that you make use of as many different channels of promotion as you possibly can. Find out below about some of the most effective strategies to sell your brand of sauce.

Promotional Activities on Social Media

Building a solid presence on social media helps strengthen customer loyalty to your brand regardless of where you intend to sell your product in the future. If you intend to sell your items at nearby farmer's markets and festivals, you should make use of your social media account in order to inform your followers of your location and urge them to visit your booth. Because they are more likely to attract huge audiences, event coordinators favor vendors who have significant social media followings. If you want to become a vendor, having a strong social media following will make you a more attractive applicant.

Free Stuff to Give Away: Examples

In the market for speciality sauces, giving away free samples is one of the most effective strategies to turn prospective customers into actual paying clients. At events, offering participants free samples might help bring more people to your booth. Get in touch with the local grocers and gourmet food stores in your area and inquire about the possibility of establishing a booth or sample station within their establishments.

Demonstrations in-store are essential for lesser-known products that aren't typically on the shopping lists of consumers. You can engage with customers and explain why your small-town brand is worth more than a big-box brand if you have a representative on the ground who works for your company. You might explain about how your sauce is prepared in an ethical manner, the local foods that it employs, and how your culture has an effect on the sauce.

Free samples are still available, despite the fact that their availability has been restricted as a result of the pandemic. Spread some of your sauce over some crackers, chips, or bread, and then put individual servings of the snack into containers that can be sealed. You have the option of covering the display with a dome or serving each guest individually upon request rather than exposing the samples to the elements by leaving the tray out in the open air.


Putting together a website

Having a presence online lends an air of legitimacy. You are able to sell your sauce on your website if it is produced in a commissary kitchen like most restaurants do. You can also utilize your website to provide coupons, keep customers up to date on the arrival of new flavors, and establish email lists. If your consumers can buy your sauces at stores, you should provide a list of the locations where they may do so.

If you are not confident in your ability to develop a website, you should engage a web designer to ensure that your website is user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. You want to make sure that people who are looking for a killer hot sauce come across yours when they do a search. Consequently, if you want your website to be visible on the first page of Google search results, you should consult with a search engine optimization strategist.


Creates an Interest in the Media

The exposure that your brand can receive from participating in a food competition, a state fair, or even a magazine's "best of" list can be extremely beneficial. If you come out on top, you may include a note about your victory on the packaging of your product and make use of it in your marketing. It's a great method to get people to know about your sauce brand if you give away free samples to people who write about food and to people who have a lot of influence on social media. If they like it and share it with their following, that will boost sales for your company.

Back to the Top Frequently Asked Questions about Bottle Your Own Sauce

Now that you have a fundamental understanding of how to launch a sauce business, the next step is to acquire the knowledge necessary to run your own distinctive sauce brand. The following is a breakdown of the most frequently asked questions regarding sauce bottling, ranging from the intricacies of beginning a hot sauce business to the nitty-gritty mechanics of bottling a sauce for retail sale.

How to Get Started in the Business of Making Hot Sauce

Starting a business in the hot sauce market can be a lucrative endeavor for entrepreneurs because the sales of the industry's most popular brands only account for one-third of the total sales made in the industry. If you decide to start a business producing hot sauce, the companies that will pose the greatest threat to your success will be other small manufacturers rather than large brands like Tabasco. Developing a product that caters to a certain subset of customers is the most effective strategy for differentiating your brand in the competitive hot sauce industry.

Take into consideration the heat level of your hot sauce recipe when you make it. Even while you can sell your product to a niche audience that enjoys the sensation of prolonged agony, the majority of customers won't be interested in purchasing a scalding sauce. Perform experiments using a variety of heat intensities, and then ask test groups for their feedback. You can use the Scoville scale as a reference and experiment with the intensity of the heat in your pepper sauce. When working with highly hot peppers, you are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). The capsaicin in peppers, which is responsible for giving people a burning sensation in their mouths, can be harmful to the body.

Ask yourself what kind of a warm feeling you want to evoke in the recipient. Do you want your hot sauce to hit your taste quickly or do you want it to linger? You will need to do some research into how the body reacts to various types of peppers. A habanero pepper will cause a burning sensation on the tongue almost instantly and will cause it to stick to the roof of the mouth. After producing a burning sensation on the tongue and the palate, the heat from jalapenos eventually dissipates.

How to Package and Market Your Own Barbecue Sauce in Bottles

When it comes to bottling and selling your own barbecue sauce, in addition to the standard procedures for beginning a sauce business, there are specific aspects to take into account. You will need to decide between the hot packing approach and the cold packing method depending on the different kinds of barbecue sauce that you sell. Hot packing is recommended for acidic sauces, such as vinegar-based or tomato-based barbecue sauces; hence, you should use this packaging method if you offer either of these types of sauces. If you offer Alabama white sauce or Carolina Gold sauce as a unique selling proposition, you want to consider about utilizing the cold-packaging technique.

Companies that make barbecue sauce have the opportunity to sell their wares directly to restaurants that specialize in barbecue. Even if a barbecue restaurant has excellently smoked meat, that does not necessarily guarantee that they serve it with a sauce of the highest quality. Make contact with barbecue joints in your area and offer them samples of your sauce. Becoming a local restaurant's "signature barbecue sauce" generates a consistent flow of money because the restaurant will buy your sauce in large quantities to utilize throughout the year. It's possible that the restaurant will let you sell bottles of your barbecue sauce in their store if you ask nicely enough.

How to Get Your Products Distributed to Retail Outlets

If you want your product to be sold in grocery shops, you should get in touch with local vendors and inquire as to whether or not you can demonstrate it in their establishment. Emerging brands find greater acceptance in smaller marketplaces than they do in larger networks. We recommend getting in touch with local gourmet, specialty, and organic grocers for their assistance. Provide the product manager with a sampler packet of your sauces so that they may evaluate whether or not they satisfy the preferences of their customers. If they believe that your product would be a nice addition to their store, ask if you may put up a product demonstration booth there and offer samples to customers who visit your booth.

You are not limited to shopping at physical locations. You may put up your sauce for sale on the website of an internet distributor. WebstaurantStore, the world's leading retailer of restaurant supplies, is always looking to collaborate with forward-thinking companies and brands. We are able to transport your products to 90% of the United States in just two days, and we can expose your products to millions of people each month.

You also have the option of employing a specialty food broker. A small firm that manufactures and sells food goods may hire a food broker to oversee the placement and delivery of such products. They operate as free agents and are compensated through commissions. Obtain legal counsel before entering into a deal with a food broker.

How to Package Sauce for Retail Sale in Bottles

The majority of sauces that are bottled for retail sale are canned using either the hot-fill or the cold-fill method. Following this sentence, you will get an explanation of the distinctions between these two methods.

Canning method and procedure

The food product and the container that it is going to be stored in are both sterile after going through the hot-fill canning process because heat is used. The heating of the food product to a temperature between 194 and 203 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the first step in the hot fill process, is performed by the manufacturers. They then maintain a high temperature for the container and its contents for around 15–20 seconds after the hot liquid has been injected into the container it will be stored in. This eliminates any microorganisms that may have become attached to the packaging or may have tainted the product itself. The packer waits for the containers to reach a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit before proceeding with the next step. After that, they place the lids on the packages and set them aside to complete cooling.

Which items are made using a hot pressing method? Acidic foods and drinks have to be canned using the hot fill method.
Products such as vinegar-based sauces, hot sauces, juices, and sodas are all examples of hot-filled foods and beverages.
Using a Canning Method Called Cold Fill

Are you curious about the meaning of cold packing? In the past, cold packing meant placing uncooked food inside of a container such as a jar. During the technique of cold packaging, which is used by modern manufacturers, extremely low temperatures are applied to the food items in order to eliminate microorganisms. Before putting the food in the packaging, it is stored at low temperatures, and then the packaging itself is sterilized by being blasted with cold air.

Which items are filled with cold ingredients? -foods that are made with milk or cream
Products such as Alfredo sauce, Alabama white BBQ sauce, bechamel sauce, and Bolognese sauce are all examples of cold-filled products.
How to Make a Profit Off of Homemade Sauce

In order to sell homemade sauce that you make in your domestic kitchen, you will need to research the cottage food rules that are applicable in your region. Cottage food rules control the sale and manufacturing of low-risk foods (such sauces) that can be produced and sold from the home of an entrepreneur. At farmer's markets, flea markets, and roadside booths, you can sell foods that you have grown in accordance with cottage food rules to the consumer directly in the majority of states. You are not allowed to sell things from your cottage food business to restaurants, retail stores, or online shopping platforms in the majority of places.

Are food products have to have nutrition labels attached to them?

The Food and Drug Administration mandates that all food packaging include a Nutrition Facts label. Labels need to feature a heading that reads "Nutrition Facts" in order to be in compliance with the legislation. It is required that the "Nutrition Facts" heading be the largest type size on the nutrition label (it must be larger than 8-point font, but it is not required to be larger than 13-point font). Additionally, the "Nutrition Facts" heading must stretch across the whole width of the Nutrition Facts box.