Hot? Hot? Hot?

Above please find one info graphic comparison of salsa hotness. See those little chili peppers? They're telling you something.

We are a two-salsa household. My wife prefers Hot salsa and my daughter and I prefer Medium. We shop at Trader Joe's (TJs) a lot so it's easy to grab a jar of Trader Joe's® Double Roasted Salsa (Medium) and a jar of Trader José's Hot Chipotle Salsa (Hot, as the name suggests).

Above, the Meduim is on the left and the Hot is on the right. Now, I realise that the graphics used to indicate hotness on each jar are "for illustrative purposes only" but taking a closer look... As I was wont to do during dinner tonight, you may notice that each graphic uses a different scale by which to measure caliente-ness.

Medium uses 0-7 while Hot uses 0-11. From a scale perspective, their spiciness becomes virtually the same. By taste however, they are not the same. At all. ¡Ai yi yi!

Label Design

While these salsas are not made by TJs, they are made for TJs. As such, and as evidenced by the labels here, TJs has control over how the labels are designed.

Here is an opportunity. You have a category of product (salsa) with different varieties. There is a single identifying characteristic about salsa in which everyone is interested. You have an easily identifiable icon with which to indicate said characteristic.

Why not use a standard graphic?

I am not an aficionado of salsa (or chili peppers), but would the Scoville Scale provide a reference in this case?

Supporting the Decision Making Process

Yes, yes. I am "going off" on salsa label design. But think about all the salsa you've ever bought. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Sometimes you'll get a Medium and it will burn your tongue off. Other times you go for a Hot and get barely a tingle. It isn't enough to say Mild, Medium, or Hot (I'm looking at you Indian restaurants!).

That might be enough to get the consumer to the right class of salsa, but if there was a 0-12 scale and the graphic neatly identified a Medium as a 6 (compared to a Medium 5 or 7 let's say) you'd have a better understanding of just how spicy that fancy-pants Corn Pepper Black Bean Relish Salsa was going to be.

There's a lot going on in a grocery store. Particularly TJs on a Saturday. Designing your labels to support decision making can help your customer. It would ensure your customers are getting exactly what they want. It could also get your customer to branch out a little and buy 2 different Mediums instead of one. "Matthew! Increase sales, you say? ¡Ai yi yi!"

¡Ai yi yi!, indeed.