Is there a way to add a custom option to cart without first adding it to the product in the admin and saving it? I want to programatically add a note that shows on checkout below the product (just like custom options do) but I don't want to add this custom option to all products in the admin. If I can't do it like this, any suggestions? I want the info to show on emails and in the admin order view too.

I want something on cart like:

Product Name

 Custom Label: Custom Value

I have this code, but it doesn't allow adding a custom option if it doesn't already exist, so I don't know if it's possible:

$params = array(
        'product'   =>  $id,
        'qty'       =>  $qty,
        'options'   =>  array(
            1       =>  'value 1', // works cause is saved to product on edit product
            'Custom Label' => 'custom value' // doesn't work

    $request = new Varien_Object();
  • Will adding a custom cart item message work for you? Message like default stock notification in the cart rigght below the item.
    – Amasty
    Jul 31, 2014 at 23:22

1 Answer 1


I ended up using the code from a similar post: stackoverflow.com/questions/9862309/

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