A Guide to Shipping Chocolate

Tips and best practices for packaging and shipping chocolate products.

While the winter months are long and cold, they do have positive implications when it comes to shipping chocolate. Colder weather means colder shipping temperatures, which makes it easier and cheaper to prevent chocolate from melting while in transit.

Shipping chocolate using web fulfillment, including FedEx or UPS Ground, comes with certain difficulties, and various considerations must be made to prevent goods from spoiling while on their way to your customers. Questions you should ask include:

  • How long will the product be in transit?
  • What will the temperature be during transit?
  • What is the minimum temperature I can achieve inside the container without causing blooming due to too low a temperature? (Blooming refers to when chocolate turns white on its surface when too cold.)
  • At what temperature will my chocolate products begin to melt?
  • How can I find the perfect balance between the amount of refrigerant and insulation to get the performance I need at the right cost?

Chocolate being shipped inside a PopupLiner Box Liner

If you want to prevent your products from melting in transit, while also maintaining a cost-efficient shipping process, it is important to have a clear understanding of the above factors.

Due to the relatively low melting point, chocolate deliveries are generally either overnight or second-day shipments. When shipping distances require a transit duration exceeding two days or temperatures are elevated, refrigerants such as cold packs can be used to maintain cold temperatures for longer.

Packaging Your Chocolate

When preparing to ship chocolate products, make sure you have all the required materials to provide sufficient protection.

Required Materials:

  • A box large enough to fit the product you are shipping, with some extra space for refrigerant cold packs. Movement and friction within the box can also be a cause of damage to your products.
  • A reflective insulated box liner. A foil backing combined with foam or fiber fillers makes this type of insulation liner highly effective for providing temperature control for over 48 hours. This advanced material lines the inside of your insulated shipping box to provide both conductive and reflective insulation.
  • Refrigerant cold packs. While the insulated box liners help to keep temperatures low for up to 48 hours, cold packs can be added to keep your shipments cold for even longer durations. The quantity of gel packs required depends on the total transit time and temperature of the transit location. Sweat-proof ice packs are available if you are concerned about condensation ‘sweating’ onto your products.
  • Additional packaging materials if required – such as kraft paper or bubble wrap – to ensure your box is packed properly and chocolate shipments are kept securely in place.

Cold packs help to keep your chocolate shipments colder for longer

The Packaging Process:

  1. Prepare your shipping box.
  2. Place the reflective insulation liner inside the box, covering all six sides of the box’s interior.
  3. Take the chocolate product from refrigerated storage and place it straight inside the shipping box. Spacers such as bubble wrap can be used to prevent cold packs from freezing the chocolate.
  4. Place the required quantity of refrigerant gel packs in your box alongside the chocolate products.
  5. Seal the insulated box liner using the adhesive strip.
  6. Close the outer box and seal the edges with tape.
  7. Ship the package efficiently to its destination.

Tips for Shipping Chocolate

  • Know your melting temperature
    It is important to know the melting temperature of your specific chocolate products, which will depend on their specific contents, including the amount of cocoa fat, sugar and milk. Being aware of this will help you to ensure shipment temperatures remain low enough throughout transit.
  • Keep products as cold as possible before packaging
    Storing your chocolate products in a well-refrigerated area prior to packaging will help to ensure the retention of cold temperatures during transit. Using cost-effective passive insulation helps to maintain the existing temperature of the shipment, so it’s important the chocolate is cold prior to loading. It is important to note, however, that certain chocolate products should be kept at room temperature, or slightly under.
  • Choose shipping times wisely
    It is essential that the time between when the order is shipped and delivered is as short as possible. For this reason, many chocolate companies only ship their products on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, avoiding weekends and national holidays.
  • Consider seasonal changes and destination locations
    Temperatures differ substantially depending on the time of year and location you are shipping to, so make sure you take this into consideration when planning shipments and use of refrigerants. The best web fulfillment companies keep a keen eye on national temperatures, in their local area as well as the shipping destination.
  • Keep temperatures low with refrigerant cold packs
    Shipping chocolate with cold gel packs provides a cost-effective method of maintaining colder temperatures for a longer duration.
  • Choose the best type of chocolate box packaging
    There are many types of insulated packaging available, such as insulated box liners, pouches, and pallet shippers. Consider the transit time required when selecting the type of insulation most suitable for your shipments.
  • Provide customers with accurate delivery times
    To prevent melting, it is essential that the recipient of your delivery is available to receive and refrigerate the chocolate products as soon as they reach the destination. Provide accurate delivery times so the recipient can be available. If the recipient is not likely to be available, extra protection with foam or fiber-type insulators should be used.

The advice we have provided applies to all types of chocolate shipments, whether you’re looking to ship chocolate-covered strawberries, gourmet chocolate bars, or something else. Know your processes and take precautions to ensure a smooth and successful delivery every time.

IPC can provide custom insulated packaging solutions to any chocolate-shipping requirement. Whether you are sending single units to consumers, or sending bulk shipments to your business customers, we help you to do it quickly, efficiently, and cheaply. Get in touch today for a custom quote.

Related Products

PopupLiner Box Liner

Available in custom sizes, PopupLiner box liners are high-performance thermal liners that effectively protect your chocolate shipments for up to 72 hours.

Chocolate Shipping Boxes
EcoLiner Box Liner

An Earth-friendly insulation liner that protects against extreme ambient temperatures, the EcoLiner is 75% more space-efficent than molded coolers.

Insulated Shipping

Call 310-638-0900

Request a Quote Order a Sample