Offering chocolate as a gift is the most thoughtful and handmade item you can provide to your loved one. Come to think of it, if chocolate softens on your hands, what happens when you ship it without considering the appropriate chocolate shipping strategies? With friends and family located in a different locality, the thoughts of how to ship chocolate can be daunting.
Ideally, chocolate is a sensitive item like ice cream, which is why it’s necessary to understand how to ship chocolate. Chocolates have a low melting point; that is why their deliveries should be overnight or second-day shipments. And since you need to prevent your chocolate from melting while in transit, there are various factors to understand.
If you need your holiday-themed bonbons or rose-shaped chocolate delivered without melting, then this ultimate guide is for you. Whether you are just starting your eCommerce food business or you’re optimizing food shipping service, we have covered everything you need to know.
How to ship chocolate without melting
After taking your time to create a delicious gift, your priority should be ensuring it’s safely delivered. Same as different ice cream flavors, various chocolate types have other melting points. Chocolates soften at 72 ℉ which risks it against structural damage, taking on fingerprints, and smudging. For a chocolatier to strive in your online business, you must follow the appropriate sending chocolate in the mail shipping practices. Prevent chocolate from melting by;
- Use overnight shipping
As said earlier, overnight shipping is one of the best ways to ensure your goodies arrive intact, especially during the summer season.
- Select an insulating packing material
Use metalized bubble packaging to insulate your chocolate and deflect heat. If you nest the chocolate box in ice packs, it’ll keep them below the softening point.
- Don’t ship your orders over the weekends
Most shipments that lead to weekends are kept in a hot warehouse over the weekend. So, to avoid such instances, make your shipments from Monday and inform the customer why you won’t ship on the weekend. Better still, email them once their order is in transit to boost their confidence and trust in your business.
- Opt to delay shipment orders
This is the best option you can make, especially if the temperature spikes up. It’s better to deliver products in their good state rather than ruining them because of early shipment if the conditions are unfavorable. As long as you maintain communications with your customers, both parties will have no inconveniences.
- Provide an arrival alert
Now that you’ve ensured the chocolates don’t melt during shipping, you cannot risk them melting at the recipient’s locality. Keep your customer updated so that they can pick once the package arrives.
How to pack your chocolate for shipping
Here is an ultimate guide on how to keep your chocolates safe.
- Use cold hands to handle. We’ve seen that chocolate has a low melting point. Ideally, it has a lower softening point than human body temperatures. So, before packaging your chocolate, run your hands in cold water.
- Keep your chocolates as cold as possible. Careful temperature planning is vital before shipping chocolate. Why keep your chocolate cold before shipping? Warmth melts the chocolate, and cold induces sugar bloom. These are some of the significant reasons chocolatiers store chocolates in wine refrigerators. Though wine refrigerators are not cold like regular refrigerators, they won’t cause sugar bloom.
- If your products are well refrigerated before packaging, cold temperature retention will be during transit. However, some chocolate products should be maintained under or slightly under room temperature. So, effective passive insulation can also help in maintaining the existing temperature.
- Use an insulated shipping box. This should be your ideal shipping box and has to be twice or thrice times the size of the chocolate container. The additional space will protect your chocolate against direct heat and protect the truffles from being smashed if the box dents in transit.
Related: How to ship ice cream
Then, use a metalized bubble to line the bottom of the insulated shipping box. A metalized packing bubble not only insulates your chocolates but it provides cushioning and deflects heat. Also, depending on the season, you can choose to use cold packs to prevent melting. If you’re using cold packs, wrap them in a resealable plastic food bag. This will prevent condensation from affecting the chocolates.
After, insert your chocolate box into your shipping container and surround it with cold packs if necessary. The remaining gaps can be filled with packing materials. On top of the package, add a metalized insulation sheet to cover the entire top. Then tape all seams to minimize warm air penetration. Then you can add all the shipping labels needed on the cover of your package.
Packaging supply checklist
1. Chocolate box
3. Cold packs
4. Chocolate shipping boxes
5. Metalized bubble wrap
6. Mailing and shipping labels
7. Shipping paper
4 Tips to deliver chocolate without melting
1. Check on melting temperature
Chocolate has an average melting point between 86-90 F but varies depending on the ingredients in the chocolate. Chocolates are categorized under perishable goods because of their sensitivity to temperature change. Always analyze the weather condition of your locality for the estimated shipping week to ease your process of selecting the approximate shipping day. However, if you have flexible timelines, this may not be necessary. For instance, don’t ship your chocolate when the weather is seemingly hot.
Let’s look further at the melting point of chocolate
These are the melting points of various chocolate types. “The darker the chocolate, the higher the melting point.” We’ll look at the melting point of each variety; milk, white, dark, ganache, and ruby chocolate.
· Ruby chocolate: Ruby is a new chocolate variety from ruby cocoa beans. It melts at 86 degrees Fahrenheit
· Dark chocolate: they are very high in cocoa solids and melts at 90-96 degrees Fahrenheit
· White and milk chocolate: White chocolate has no cocoa solids, but most milk chocolate has a few cocoa solids. Their melting temperature range is 86-90 degrees Fahrenheit.
· Ganache chocolate: Ganache chocolate is a mixture of chocolate, boiled heavy cream, and flavorings. It melts at mid 70s degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Refrigerate your chocolate before packing
As we mentioned earlier, it’s advisable to refrigerate your chocolate before shipping to help maintain its integrity. However, some chocolate categories should be preserved at room temperature to maintain their flavor.
Always keep your chocolates away from direct heat or light sources. If your delivery has a long route ahead, it’s advisable to place frozen gel packs inside to keep it fresh. Remember, the ice packs should be inside a plastic bag to avoid the effects of condensation on the wrappers.
3. Prepare for delivery
You must have gone through the entire checklist listed above for packing your chocolate. This is essential before scheduling for the shipping. Most chocolate companies do not ship on holidays and weekends due to high volume packages and heavy traffic. The best deal is to inform the customer about the adjustments and update their shipment. Also, ensure they know about shipping costs to avoid slow processing.
Besides, you can contact the courier and inform them about the delivery at the pickup station. Also, ensure the chocolate box is properly sealed and all the needed documents prepared.
4. Use fast delivery
Because chocolate has a low melting point, the delivery process should be fast. Though many couriers suggest shipping chocolate overnight or the second day, it’s best to opt for same-day delivery. This will reduce the chances of chocolate melting during transit.
Shipping chocolate in the summer
Many chocolatiers are afraid of shipping chocolate during summer. Though there are possibilities of going at a loss, sending chocolate in the mail during summer won’t be challenging with proper packaging tips. Another thing, chocolate shipping during the summer season is slightly expensive depending on the size of the package and customers’ locality.
So, should you ship chocolate in the summer?
To answer that question, you must have answers to the following questions. Where are you shipping chocolate to? Is it cost-effective? And how big is the operation?
If you are not comfortable shipping chocolate during summers, you can opt for other foods. Check out how to ship ice cream and ship frozen food for better tips.
As a chocolatier, nothing can be more satisfying than knowing customers were satisfied with your product because the chocolate arrived in good condition. For your chocolate business to be successful, identify all the factors that affect chocolate deliveries. This will help you prevent losses regarding how to ship chocolate via mail.
Click the links below to read on how to ship other items: