Sauer's FAQ's

What is the best way to store Sauer's products?

The life of all our spices, extracts, flavorings, food colors, seasoning envelopes and baking bags can best be preserved by storing them in ideal conditions. These include dark, dry, and cool locations with limited exposure to light, moisture, and heat. Extended light exposure will cause your green herbs to fade to a tan color and your red spices to darken to a brown color. Avoid shaking spices out of the jar directly over a steaming pot – moisture and heat can cause clumping. We suggest shaking the spices into your palm before adding to food that is being cooked, as this keeps your spice jar away from heat and moisture. Also avoid storing spices over the stove, sink, or other heat and/or steam producing kitchen appliances.

How do you read the date codes and where are they located on the jar?

We use a Julian date for our production codes. If the code has four numbers followed by a letter, then the first number is the year and the next three are the day of the year. The letter stands for which plant it was produced in. A code of 6212R means it was produced on July 31, 2006 in our Richmond plant. If the code has five numbers followed by a letter, then the first two numbers are the year and the next three are the day of the year. The letter stands for which plant it was produced in. A code of 10027R means it was produced on January 27, 2010 in our Richmond plant. Date codes can be located on the back of the jar printed on the clear plastic, not the paper label.

What is the recommended shelf life for Sauer's products?

The recommended shelf life for our products is:

- Spices and seasonings: 3 years
- Extracts (except Vanilla Extract) and food colorings: 4 years
- Vanilla Extract: indefinite

Spices and seasonings never go bad, they simply decrease in potency over time. There are no health concerns associated with using spices and seasonings past their optimal shelf life date.

How can I tell if my spices and seasonings are still fresh?

Keep in mind that you use seasonings to impart flavor to your recipes. Many spices should have very distinct aroma when opened. The proper flavor will not be in your completed dish if the aroma is not present (this is particularly true of “baking” spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice). Spices lose their flavor and aroma with time. If you are unsure of available flavor in your dried spices (Dill Weed, Italian Seasoning, Onion Powder, etc.), it is recommended that you hydrate in a teaspoon of warm water for 5 minutes, then taste or smell the product to check for flavor and freshness. Also, you can place some spice between your thumb and index finger and rub gently to see if it releases the fragrance that you are seeking. Fresh spices will have the proper color, taste, and smell.

Always check for these characteristics before adding to your favorite family recipes. Without the proper color, taste and smell in the spice, your recipe will not taste the way you expect.

What steps and measures toward sustainability has Sauer Brands, Inc. taken in order to maintain its business with minimal long-term effect on the environment?

Sauer Brands, Inc. is committed to responsible business practices and exploring ways we can make our business more sustainable, including:

- corrugated and white paper products wherever possible;

- recycling plastic wrap wherever possible to minimize the amount of waste sent to landfills;

- actively conserving energy by shutting off computers and other appliances when not in use, and turning off lights when rooms are not occupied;

- reducing the use of plastic in containers wherever possible and looking towards using fewer petroleum-based raw materials while maintaining the integrity of the products we make;

- reducing our carbon footprint by using shipping and receiving options that incorporate full loads whenever possible to limit the use of fuel per load;

- regularly evaluating sanitation procedures to implement proper cleaning practices to minimize chemical residues sent to municipal water systems;

constantly looking at examples of green practices as a model for our business to make less of an impact on the environment.

Are Sauer's products certified kosher?

Most all of Sauer’s products, with a few exceptions, have been certified kosher by the Orthodox Union. All Sauer’s products certified as kosher include the kosher “circle U” symbol on the label. Please contact us if you have questions about a particular product.

How do I create different colors with your egg dye kit?

Orange5 parts yellow + 1 part red
Aqua5 parts blue + 1 part green
Purple4 parts red + 1 part blue
Brown4 parts yellow + 3 parts red + 2 parts green

How do I color eggs with your Food Colors & Egg Dye kit?

Add one teaspoon of vinegar to half cup of boiling water. Drop enough food color into mixture to obtain desired shade. Immerse egg and remove when brightly colored.

Where can I find Sauer's Spicy BBQ Sauce?

Sauer’s Spicy BBQ Sauce is no longer available to consumers – it was discontinued in 2017.

Will Sauer’s products remain the same after The C.F. Sauer Company's acquisition?

Of course! We will continue to produce the high caliber of spices, seasonings, extracts, and more that you’ve come to expect from Sauer’s. There are no plans to change product formulations or discontinue any products.

The Spice Hunter FAQ's

When will my spices expire?

All of The Spice Hunter products include a Best By date on the label, with the exception of Grill Shakers, which use Julian date codes (see next question). Spices are at their freshest when first opened, and will retain their flavor for longer when stored in a cool, dark place. See the list below for our general recommendations by product group.

Vanilla ExtractIndefinite
Lemon & Almond Extracts72 Months
Mulling Spices/Hot Buttered Rum Packets36 Months
Grinders36 Months
Turkey Brine36 months
Whole Spices (includes savory Peppercorn Blend)48 Months
Whole Spices Exceptions: Poppy Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Vanilla Beans, Saffron Whole, Whole Nutmeg, Pine Nuts24 Months
Sea Salt Blends36 months
Ground/Granulated Spices24 months
Herbs/ Capsicums/Salt Free Blends24 months
Minced/Chopped/Crushed36 months
Organic Dip and Seasoning Mixes24 months
Global Fusion Rubs24 months

My Grill Shakers don't have a Best By date - how do I interpret the code on the jar to determine when they were produced?

Our Grill Shakers are stamped with a Julian date code that states the date each item was manufactured, in the form YY-JJJ-C.

Helpful hint: you can estimate the month your jar was manufactured by dividing the Julian date by the number 28. The resulting number will correspond to the month of the year. For example, the Julian date 208 corresponds to July 27. 208 divided by 28 is about 7, or the 7th month of the year, July.

YYYear (last 2 digits of the year the product was manufactured)
JJJJulian date (3 digits representing a day of the year, e.g. 001 = January 1, 365 = December 31)
CPlant code

What is the best way to store my spices?

The life of your spices can best be preserved by storing them in ideal conditions. These include dark, dry, and cool locations with limited exposure to sunlight, moisture, and heat. You may have noticed how pale your dried herbs on the countertop become after just a few months – sunlight will degrade the color and flavor of your spices! Avoid shaking spices out of the jar directly over a steaming pot – moisture and heat can encourage the growth of bacteria and mold! Other common, but inadvisable locations for storing spices include over the coffee pot, sink, or other heat and/or steam producing kitchen appliances. Temperature fluctuations can cause condensation, and eventually mold, so if you choose to store your herbs and spices in the freezer or refrigerator, return them promptly after use.


Why are my spices clumping?

Clumping may occur due to excessive moisture being introduced into your spice jar. Over time, the spices can become clumped together into a hardened clump which can be broken apart and used.


Do The Spice Hunter products contain any artificial flavors, preservatives, or MSG?

No, The Spice Hunter products do not contain:

Artificial, FD&C Colors
Artificial Flavors
Artificial Sweeteners
Chemical Preservatives
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Proteins
Hydrogenated Oils
Irradiated Ingredients

What does "natural flavor" mean in the ingredients statement? 

Occasionally, The Spice Hunter uses natural flavors in products and lists them as “natural flavor” in ingredient statements. These flavors comply with the FDA definition for natural flavors, which states they must be derived from the specific food the flavor represents. Natural flavors included in The Spice Hunter products meet our natural product integrity standards.

The Spice Hunter Products may contain:

Autolyzed Yeast Extract
Meat Products
Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP)
White Sugar/Organic Milled Cane Sugar

Are The Spice Hunter's spices and products kosher?

All of The Spice Hunter’s products (categories listed below) are certified kosher. Kosher items are certified by the Orthodox Union (OU) and carry the kosher symbol on the label.

Kosher Product Categories
Spices & Herbs
Salt Free Blends*
Organic Spices & Herbs
Organic Salt Free Blends
Sea Salt Blends
Global Fusion Rubs
Turkey Brine
Organic Dip & Seasoning Mixes
Crunch Toppers

What does "organic" mean?

The Spice Hunter’s organic products are USDA Certified Organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI). Among the many reasons to choose organic (including the positive impacts on the ecosystem – improving water, soil, and air quality – and helping to build local farming economies), certified organic products are guaranteed free of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and are never grown from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
The Spice Hunter carries over forty certified organic products including spices, herbs, salt free blends, salt free grinders, dip mixes and seasoning mixes.
Look for the QAI and USDA logos on the label.

Are The Spice Hunter spices irradiated?

Our products, and the ingredients they contain, are never irradiated.

Which The Spice Hunter products contain allergens?

Sauer Brands, Inc. has an Allergen Control Program in place aimed at controlling the nine (9) major food allergens designated by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004* created by the Food & Drug Administration. The nine major food allergens, which account for 90% of the food allergies, are SOY, WHEAT, MILK, EGGS, FISH, SHELLFISH, TREE NUTS, SESAME, and PEANUTS. Sauer Brands, Inc. may use all but peanuts in our San Luis Obispo, California manufacturing facility. Please see below for details and a complete list of allergen statements for The Spice Hunter products.


Item No.Item DescriptionAllergen Statement
1351Crunch Topper Everything BagelContains Sesame
1431Japanese 7 Spice Global BlendContains Sesame
1937Sesame SeedsContains Sesame
1955Szechuan Seasoning Global BlendContains Sesame
1957Thai Seasoning Global BlendContains Sesame
1991Crunch Toppers 7 SeedContains Sesame
1992Crunch Topper Garden VeggieContains Sesame
1993Crunch Topper Roasted & Onion GarlicContains Sesame
1994Crunch Topper Sweet SeedContains Sesame
1995Crunch Topper Zesty ItalianContains Sesame
2243Smoky Chile Global Fusion RubContains Sesame
2253Korean BBQ Global Fusion RubContains Soy and Sesame

Which The Spice Hunter products contain gluten?

The Spice Hunter Spices, and spice blends do not contain gluten. See list below for The Spice Hunter products certified gluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group. 

Item No.Item DescriptionItem No.Item Description
1351Crunch Topper Everything Bagel5330Spicy Chili Organic Seasoning Mix
1991Crunch Topper 7 Seed5331Fajita Organic Seasoning Mix
1992Crunch Topper Garden Veggie5332White Bean & Chicken Chili Organic Seasoning Mix
1993Crunch Topper Roasted Onion and Garlic5333Mild Taco Organic Seasoning Mix
1994Crunch Topper Sweet Seed5334Spicy Taco Organic Seasoning Mix
1995Crunch Topper Zesty Italian5335Dill Organic Dip Mix
2240Global Fusion Rub Mild Sriracha5336French Onion Organic Dip Mix
2241Global Fusion Rub Chipotle Cinnamon5338Guacamole Organic Dip Mix
2243Global Fusion Rub Smoky Chile5339Ranch Organic Dip Mix
2244Global Fusion Rub Smoky Turmeric5346Chiplotle Lime Bean Dip Mix
2245Global Fusion Rub Spicy Garlic2246Global Fusion Rub Green Hatch Chile
2246Global Fusion Rub Tandoori
2246Global Fusion Rub Mango Habanero
2252Global Fusion Rub Korean BBQ
5101Original Turkey Brine
5102Lemon Garlic Herb Turkey Brine

Is Cassia the same as Cinnamon?

There are at least 4 species of the Cinnamomum genus which are used for cinnamon:Cinnamomum cassia, C. burmanii, C. loureirii, and C. zeylanicum. C. cassia, C. burmanii, andC. loureiriiare all considered “cassia” types of cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon isreddish brown in color with a strong characteristic aroma and flavor.Quite different from cassia type cinnamon is C. zeylanicum, theSri Lankan or Ceylon cinnamon often referred to as “true” cinnamon. Notwidely available in the U.S., this cinnamon is tan in color, with flavorand aroma so much milder than that of cassia that the average person inthis country would consider it a weak or poor cinnamon. In labeling,any bark from the Cinnamomum genus (whether cassia orCeylon-type) may be called “cinnamon.” The higher the oil content, themore intensive the aroma and flavor. Thus it is that the cassia types ofcinnamon, which average higher in oil content than the Ceylon types,are rated superior by the cinnamon-loving American market.

What is Saigon Cinnamon?

Saigon Cinnamon (Cinnamomum loureirii) has traditionally been considered the finest quality cinnamon due to the fact that its volatile oil content runs higher than that of other types. Saigon cinnamon is reddish brown and has a distinctly sweet flavor. The Spice Hunter’s Highland Harvested Saigon ™ Cinnamon is sourced from the highlands of Vietnam, with a minimum of 5% volatile oil – which accounts for its intense aroma and wonderful taste!

What are the origins of The Spice Hunter spices and herbs ?

When a Spice Hunter product has an origin on the front of the label, that item will always come from the stated origin. Otherwise, origins are subject to change with market conditions and availability of ingredients that meet our stringent standards for high quality.

Where are your Grill Shakers?

All Grill Shakers have been discontinued as of summer 2018.


Where are your soup cups and bowls?

All soup cups and bowls have been discontinued.

Where is Fresh at Hand?

Fresh at Hand was a beloved line for a handful of our loyal consumers. Unfortunately, demand for Fresh at Hand was not large enough for us to maintain our high standards for product quality, so we have discontinued the Fresh at Hand line as of 9/16/16.

I've placed an order, when will my order be shipped?

The Spice Hunter’s goal is to ship your order from our California facility within two business days of receiving your order (for orders received before 5PM PT). For example, if we receive your order on Monday, we will ship it out by end of business on Wednesday.

Are there general usage tips for spices?

Use a light hand when seasoning with herbs and spices. Your goal is to compliment your dish without crowding out the flavor of the food.

To release the flavor of dried herbs and spices, crumble them in your palm, or grind with a mortar and pestle, before adding them to your dish.

Lightly toasting whole spices in a dry skillet over medium heat before grinding will bring out even more flavor.

For long-cooking dishes, add whole spices during cooking to permeate the food, and add ground or cut herbs and spices an hour or less before serving. Finely crush dried herbs before adding to your dish…after measuring!

Black pepper, granulated garlic, salt and cayenne pepper are excellent “after cooking” seasonings.

Don’t be afraid to experiment!

How do I measure fresh vs. dried herbs in a recipe?

1 T fresh chopped herbs = 1 t dried herb leaves, or 1/4 T ground dried herbs.

Twelve “Must Have” Spices:





Granulated Garlic

Granulated Onion

Ground Cinnamon

Ground Ginger


Ground Cumin

Ground Coriander

Chile Pepper

Tellicherry Peppercorns

Twelve “Must Have” Spice Blends:

Italian Seasoning
Herbes de Provence
Garlic Pepper
Lemon Pepper
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Curry Seasoning
Poultry Seasoning
Seafood Grill & Broil
Steak & Chop Grill & Broil
Mexican Seasoning
Garlic Herb Bread Seasoning
Fines Herbes

Can I make my own blends?

Yes! Combine the following spices and herbs in proportions to suite your tastes:
Fresh Italian Herb Blend
basil, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, sage, and oregano
Dry Moroccan Curry Blend
curry seasoning, basil, mace, fennel, and mint leaves (grind with mortar and pestle).
Cajun Creole Blend
cayenne, thyme, garlic, allspice, sweet paprika, and granulated onion

How do I brew mulling spices?

Combine apple juice or apple cider and mulling spices, simmer 20 minutes, remove spice and serve hot in mugs or cold with ice.
Can also be made with red wine: Add 1/3 cup sugar if simmering with wine.
*If using loose mulling spices, place in tea infuser, tie in cheesecloth, or add loose to liquid and strain before serving)

To 1 quart of apple juice or apple cider, add 2 Tablespoons loose mulling spices OR 1 mulling spice bouquet ball.
To 1 gallon of apple juice of apple cider, add 8 Tablespoons loose mulling spices OR 4 mulling spice bouquet balls.

What steps and measures toward sustainability has The Spice Hunter taken in order to maintain its business with minimal long-term effect on the environment?
The Spice Hunter is committed to responsible business practicesand exploring ways we can make our business more sustainable, including
Corrugated and white paper products wherever possible;
Recycling plastic wrap wherever possible to minimize the amount of waste sent to landfills;
Actively conserving energy by shutting off computers and otherappliances when not in use, and turning off lights when rooms are notoccupied;
Reducing the use of plastic in containers wherever possible andlooking towards using fewer petroleum-based raw materials whilemaintaining the integrity of the products we make;
Reducing our carbon footprint by using shipping and receivingoptions that incorporate full loads whenever possible to limit the useof fuel per load;
Regularly evaluating sanitation procedures to implement propercleaning practices to minimize chemical residues sent to municipal watersystems;
Constantly looking at examples of green practices as a model for our business to make less of an impact on the environment.

Kernel Season's FAQ's

Can Kernel Season's® be used on any type of popcorn?

Of course it can. Kettle popped is always fun, but if you're popping in the microwave or with an air popper, we hav a few tips so you can get the best results.

Microwave Popcorn:

Generously sprinkle one capful on freshly popped popcorn. Reclose the popcorn bag and shake well.

Air-Popped Popcorn:

Spray freshly popped popcorn with Kernel Season's Spritzer or another butter/oil spray to help the seasoning stick. Generously sprinkle with one capful of seasoning and shake well.

Should the popcorn be hot when I sprinkle on the seasoning?

It doesn’t have to be hot, but the steam from the popcorn can help the seasoning stick.

Can I use Kernel Season’s on other foods?

Sure, that’s a great idea. We have heard of people sprinkling our Kettle Corn seasoning on their cereal and our Nacho Cheddar seasoning on French fries and tater tots. You are only limited by your imagination.

Can I mix flavors?

Absolutely, that’s a big part of Kernel Season’s fun. There are over 35,000 possible combinations. (We haven’t tried them all. We’re just good at math.)

Is Kernel Season’s certified Kosher?

Yes, ALL of Kernel Season’s products are certified Kosher by the Chicago Rabbinical Council (CRC).

Does Kernel Season’s take flavor suggestions?

Unfortunately, we can’t. While we are always grateful to hear from loyal customers about their experiences with our products, as a rule, we do not accept unsolicited ideas regarding our products or our business from customers. Our policy is in no way meant to be a rejection of the ideas of our customers or others who have so wisely chosen to enjoy Kernel Season’s. Rather, we have this policy in place to avoid potential misunderstandings. So, we humbly ask that you refrain from submitting any unsolicited ideas or other works to Kernel Season’s or its employees. We are happy to have you as part of the Kernel Season’s family and appreciate your understanding. For updates on new flavors and product offerings, please refer to our website, Facebook and

Does Kernel Season’s provide free samples?

Sorry, due to the high volume of requests we are unable to provide free samples. However, any orders placed with us are 100% guaranteed. If for any reason you are unhappy with a particular flavor we will refund your money or send you a new flavor to try. Also, thousands of movie theatres across the country offer Kernel Season’s as a free shake-on popcorn topping.

Does Kernel Season’s offer donations?

As a matter of fact we do. At Kernel Season’s we believe in doing the right thing and inspiring family fun. If you believe your mission aligns with ours, we are happy to consider any donation requests from your non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Please email donations@kernelseasons.com to receive our full policy and an application.

How long does it take to receive my order?

We know you can’t wait. We ship from Chicago via FedEx Ground to anywhere in the continental United States. Our goal is to process and ship the order within 5-7 business days. Shipping can take 4-7 business days based on your distance from Chicago.

Does Kernel Season’s ship to APO/FPO addresses?

Roger, that. In fact, we are happy to serve the folks who so bravely serve our country and usually include a little something extra along with all orders sent to an APO/FPO address.

Does Kernel Season’s sell products outside the USA?

 Sorry, we don’t sell internationally through our website, but we partnered with a company called American Trading International (or ATI) to distribute our seasoning in the following areas:











The United Kingdom



Hong Kong


New Zealand