All across the United States, people are making food at home to sell in their communities. Together, they form a small but growing industry—the homemade or “cottage food” industry. The movement fits within a larger trend toward healthy eating and responsible sourcing, as consumers take greater interest in where their food comes from and who makes it. Kansas does not have specific cottage food laws, but the Kansas Department of Agriculture allows direct-to-consumer sales of homemade foods.
|Grades For Homemade Food Laws||Kansas|
|Food Varieties Grade||C-|
|Sales and Venue Restrictions Grade||A-|
|Regulatory Burdens Grade||B|
Kansas cottage food types
|What Shelf-Stable Foods Can I Sell in Kansas?||No restrictions|
|Can I Sell Refrigerated Baked Goods in Kansas?||No|
|Can I Sell Meat in Kansas?||Yes, fish, seafood, under 1,000 personally-raised poultry and 250 rabbits.|
|Can I Sell Acidified or Pickled Foods in Kansas?||No|
|Can I Sell Low-Acid Canned Goods in Kansas?||No|
|Can I Sell Fermented Foods in Kansas?||No|
Many states regulate “cottage food,” meaning food made in a home kitchen for sale. A guide from the Kansas Department of Agriculture authorizes the sale of cookies, breads, cakes, cinnamon rolls (with or without icing), fruit pies, fruit cobblers, cookie mixes, brownie mixes, tomatoes, melons, okra, apples, basil, mixed greens with only intact leaves (including microgreens and shoots), cut berries, cut herbs, cut carrots and zucchini noodles (frozen, fresh or dried), walnuts, pecans, peanut butter, honey, eggs and poultry, fruit jams and jellies, canned applesauce, canned fruits, apple juice, apple cider, vegetable juices, cinnamon hard candy, caramels, toffee, chocolate-covered pretzels, strawberries and nuts, vanilla, cultivated mushrooms, fish and seafood (but not catfish and must be sold whole on ice), spices, dried pastas and fruit leathers.
Cottage foods not allowed for sale include home-canned pickles, meats, vegetables, naturally fermented canned foods, cream or meringue pies, custards, cheesecakes, cream-filled cupcakes or donuts, cream cheese-based frostings or fillings, homemade dairy products.
Kansas cottage food venues
|Sales and Venue Restrictions||Kansas|
|Annual Sales Cap||None|
|Where Can I Sell Homemade Food Direct to Consumers in Kansas?||No restrictions|
|Can I Sell Homemade Food to Retail Outlets Like Restaurants and Grocery Stores?||No|
Kansas cottage food producers may sell their products at farmers’ markets, roadside stands and other venues that allow direct-to-consumer sales. Kansas also allows home pickup and delivery of cottage food. Online sales may occur within Kansas and across state lines. A guide from the Kansas Department of Agriculture says: “Note that for foods sold online to a person in another state(s), the seller must also follow the rules of the receiving state(s).” Kansas prohibits cottage food sales through third-party vendors, such as grocery stores and restaurants. Once someone starts a Kansas cottage food operation, the state puts no cap on annual revenue.
Getting started in Kansas
|Inspections Required Before Starting||No|
|Are Local Ordinances Preempted or Overridden?||No|
|License, Permit or Registration Required||No|
|Recipe Approval or Lab Testing Required||Only for canned foods.|
|Food Handler Training Required||No|
Setting up a Kansas cottage food operation is easy. No government license, training or inspection is required.
Kansas cottage food labels
Kansas cottage food producers must package their products with labels that include the following information: Common name of the product, name and physical address of the person that made or is selling the product, product ingredients in descending order of predominance, and quantity (net weight, volume, or count, depending on product).
Kansas cottage food facts
Myths about cottage food abound. Here are the facts:
- Cottage food is safe. Critics who talk about the risk of food-borne illness give hypothetical examples of what could go wrong because real-world cases are rare or nonexistent.
- Cottage food is local. When neighbors trade with neighbors, money stays in the local economy.
- Cottage food is transparent. People who buy from a cottage food producer know what they get. If they have questions about ingredients, sourcing or safety, they can ask.
- Cottage food creates jobs. Many homemade food producers use their income to provide for their families. Others seek a secondary or supplemental income.
- Cottage food empowers women. IJ cottage food research shows that most cottage food producers are women, and many live in rural areas with limited economic opportunity.
- Cottage food expands consumer choice. Some stores simply don’t sell what you want. This is especially true if you have a gluten-free, peanut-free, halal, kosher or vegan diet. Cottage food fills market gaps, giving consumers more options.
Kansas cottage food resources
As part of its Food Freedom Initiative, the Institute for Justice provides a variety of resources for home bakers and other food entrepreneurs. These include:
- Model Food Freedom Act from the Institute for Justice guides activism efforts at state capitols nationwide.
- Flour Power: How Cottage Food Entrepreneurs Are Using Their Home Kitchens to Become Their Own Bosses surveys 775 cottage food producers in 22 states about what their businesses mean to them.
- Ready to Roll highlights nine lessons from the Institute for Justice’s cottage food victory in Wisconsin.
- The Attack on Food Freedom examines the impact of regulations on farmers, chefs, artisans, restaurateurs, food truck operators and others.
Tell your Kansas story
Is government violating your homemade food freedom in Kansas? Do you have a potential case for IJ? Get started here…
Support Kansas legislation
Help expand cottage food laws in Kansas by teaming with the Institute for Justice. Send an email with your name, background information and availability to get started…
Defending homemade food freedom nationwide
People have a right to earn an honest living without arbitrary and excessive government interference. Since 2013, the Institute for Justice has defended home bakers and chefs as part of its Food Freedom Initiative. Read about IJ’s nationwide food freedom advocacy…
Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky |Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | Washington, D.C. | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
All information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Statutes, regulations, and processes are subject to change at any time, and specific facts and circumstances could alter how they are applied. If you have questions about the regulation of cottage foods in your jurisdiction, we recommend consulting a lawyer who can help you navigate the process.