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Shipping Chocolate & Confections:


hillvalley
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I would like to send a gift of caramels to a friend but am not sure it is feasible.

I am planning on freezing them and then shipping the caramels overnight.

Fed Ex won't do it so I guess I am stuck with UPS.

I can't be the first person to do this, can I?

Is this absurd? Can I do it? How? Help!

Edited by hillvalley (log)

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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Fed Ex won't do it so I guess I am stuck with UPS.

What the heck is wrong with FedEx? They won't ship food? I like "Brown" anyway. Love those

delivery guys in their polyester brown shorts.......mmmm mmm!

ANYWAY......

I don't see a problem with shipping your caramels....especially if they are individually wrapped. I don't even think you would need to freeze them either. Are they super soft? Do you live in a hot part of the country? Are they traveling through or going to a hot part of the country? Styrofoam packing peanuts, although not environmentally friendly, do provide some pretty good insulation.

I really don't think you should have much of a problem.

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I'm in DC and they are traveling to the middle of the country.

I am buying them (would set the apartment on fire if I tried it on my own :smile:) so I don't know how they are wrapped but I could always wrap them myself.

I don't know anything about caramels, other than I love them, so I was afraid they might melt.

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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remember that they'll undoubtedly sit in the ups truck at least one night. ship them early in the week, so they don't have to sit through the weekend.

i would NOT freeze them. as they thaw, all that condensation has to go somewhere. where it will go is all over your caramels, possibly making them a gummy mess. just pack them in a well-insulated container and wrap it in newsprint. if you're doing overnight, sling in a couple of ice packs.

if possible wait to make sure the temp in their destination isn't above 70. melting isn't the problem. sometimes heat and fluctuation will make the sugar in caramels crystallize, causing them to become gritty.

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who are you buying caramels from? They will probably have good suggestions on packing and shipping them - they may even ship for you.

On the Fedex comment - I do not see why Fedex would not ship caramels - why would they even need to know what was in the box? I Fedex chocolates and all sorts of things.

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I am going to ship them overnight. They are too good to let sit in some truck some where.

I am sure that Fed Ex would ship them but when I went to them for help the guy pretty much said go somewhere else.

The creator of the caramels recommended that I freeze them before shipment, so I am going to follow her suggestions.

Now I just have to figure out where I can buy freezer packs and an insulated envelope.

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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I know which caramels youre talking about. Ive considered shipping them myself, but it wont work, especially in september. Last Christmas MS. A gave me a box of forty of so and I headed home(see handle). I froze them for two days and started westward, they didnt even make the plane ride home, which was about 4 hours. By the time mom opened them, she had one big caramel. Im exaggerating, but really they got pretty sloppy by the time she got them. I couldnt even imagine what they would be like through ups or Fedex.

Justin Ulysses Guthrie

Bar Manager @ Central Michel Richard, Washington D.C.

My posts/statements do not reflect the opinion of my employers Michel Richard & Brian Zipin.

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Sigh

I am not going to be able to ship the caramels so I can stop being so secretive.

The caramels are from a bakery here in DC caller Ammernicks. It is connected with Palena which is a favorite over on the DC board.

The caramels are, well, sublime. Pure heaven.

Snowangel has heard about these caramels for about 4 or 5 months now. On a semi regular basis she gets emails where all I do salivate over them.

So in honor of her blog I wanted to send her a box. It seemed like the perfect surprise.

I got as far as buying a pound. I have 27 perfect caramels in my fridge and freezer. (I had to have one to make sure that they were not posionous :wink: )

But shipping them overnight to Minnesota is more than my wallet can handle :sad: (it's more than the price of the caramels) so there goes my surprise.

Thank you for your help and suggestions.

Someday I'll deliver them in person.

In the mean time I will think of snowangel with every bite :wink:

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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Not absurd at all. I always send caramels and also receive caramels from friends and relatives. Just try to make sure that you pack it well like in a tupper ware or something just in case it does melt.

^ :) that's the sweetest part. As my friends and I say, everything tastes better when shared.

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The "UPS store" used to be called something that I can't remember right now. Anyways they are packing experts and I am sure would have some suggestions. Our chocolate from Albert Uster is packed with ice packs overnight in the summer so maybe with a barrier it would work. Line box in lg plastic bag, put ice packs on bottom and sides, another plastic bag, packing peanuts then caramels, and top with more icepacks.

Debra Diller

"Sweet dreams are made of this" - Eurithmics

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  • 1 year later...
Hi,

I was wondering what kind of things can be done for shipping chocolate in hot weather? any ideas?

I looked into this last year, did extensive experiments in my very hot garage. I looked at thick styrofoam boxes with ice packs, as well as some silver bubble wrap packages. I found the best I could hope for was about 48 hours before things got warm using the thickest box and the best of the ice packs. I was however putting them at about 80 degrees for those 48 hours.

I think that I might try with dry ice next time. A couple of pounds of dry ice has a lot more cooling power than the same weight of ice pack.

For info about the insulated liners look at www.darydynamics.com, insulated boxes at www.cedarlane.ca (both are Canadian companies). Dry ice is available from air companies like Praxair.

Of course the shipping costs go way up from winter, between the cost of the packaging and the bigger size and weight of the package.

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During the hot months you really don't have much choice but to ship overnight. Which makes shipping as expensive (or more than the chocolates).

The same kind of packaging materials can be found at Uline. They have commericial ice packs and boxes with liners

Mark

www.roseconfections.com

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I use Cold Ice in the East Bay. They have styro boxes in many sizes and great little ice packs. I only ship 2 days or fewer and never after Wednesday, just in case. One must remember that although it may only be 78 outside, it may become 95 in a transport truck and your product may then be left on a doorstep until the customer arrives home from work. Without the proper packaging, pricey as it is, your chocolates may become hot fudge sauce.

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do you have a phone number or website for them?

I use Cold Ice in the East Bay.  They have styro boxes in many sizes and great little ice packs.  I only ship 2 days or fewer and never after Wednesday, just in case.  One must remember that although it may only be 78 outside, it may become 95 in a transport truck and your product may then be left on a doorstep until the customer arrives home from work.  Without the proper packaging, pricey as it is, your chocolates may become hot fudge sauce.

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  • 1 month later...

My neighbor and I have started a little chocolate business. That's her background and marketing is mine. Our product line is basic supplies (melting chocolate, consumer grade molds, lollipop sticks, etc.), all-in-one kits targeted towards busy working women who need to entertain kids, and some finished products. Our main finished product is chocolate covered pretzels with indulgent toppings.

Summer is here and we're going over and over ways to reliably ship product without it going into puddles.

What is the most efficient way you've found of doing that? We see gel packs and insulated packaging out there - that's pretty expensive for a product that basically retails for 7-9 bucks a pound.

Would a 2-3 day shipper with a gel pack be sufficient? My partner is worried about moisture getting into the chocolate, but other companies are doing this so it must work somehow.

All comments welcome on this or the chocolate business in general. I'll take any advice I can get. :biggrin: Our web site is listed in my sig but it's a mess right now. I'm converting over to an Ebay store in the coming week or two and it's going the way of the dodo.

Thanks in advance.

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based on other chocolate companies...most of them send things overnight during the summer months. this increases the price considerably, but ensures arrival of unmelted product.

if you're using gel pacs and that sort of thing, wrap them in packing paper and then a bag. keep it separate from the actual chocolates and you won't have to worry about condensaiton.

i received a package from "american chocolate designs" a transfer sheet, custom chocolate company and this is how they packaged it...from the outside in:

large cardboard box

foam peanuts

inner cardboard box

gel ice pack wrapped in paper

bubble wrapped product in its own cardboard box

i think insulation is key.

if your products don't cost very much to begin with, you're right to be concerned about shipping prices. you should make it clear that the price goes up significantly during the summer months and see what happens with traffic. when you say "melting chocolate", what exactly does that mean? if you're shipping bulk amounts of "candy melts" type of chocolate, does it matter as much? that stuff doesn't need to be tempered, so if it melts in transit, it won't affect its final utility, will it? therefore, two day shipping might be fine. maybe just overnight on the finished products that you're selling and two day on the "kits".

Edited by alanamoana (log)
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Yes , last time I order chocolate the shipping price went from regular 18.00 to 30.00, this company dont use fancy packaging just shredded paper all around the chocolate boxes in a normal cooler weather, and last time the shipped in a regular carbord box and a bounch on gel packs inside a black plastic bag so the gel packs wont touch the chocolate box.It took 5 days for the chocolate to arrive ( i did the economic one ) and the chocolate was in perfect conditions but the gel packs were already melted (if you can say that ) and warm.Like Alana said most company will only ship overnight and it is quite expensive ,I got to rember this next year and stock up in chocolate before it gets too hot , but here this year in May was already summer hot!

Oh and congratulation on your new business :biggrin:

Vanessa

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Some chocolatiers have shipping prices that vary according to both the season and the region. For instance, Priority Mail is very inexpensive and will arrive at many locations in 1 day. However, Alana is right, if we're talking about "Summer" coating, the temperature is not really a big deal. I start using styrofoam packaging as soon as the outside temperature is in the 70's because it becomes very warm in trucks at that temperature. I use gel packs wrapped in papertowel and in a zip bag. I also put a bit of packing paper between the pack and the chocolates, just in case.

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When I had my bakery we offered customers the option to ship chocolate dipped items in a styrofoam shipper pack, with freezer packs inside, by second-day air. It was costly and we charged them what it cost us for the materials. Most people chose to wait until late September when things started cooling down. But I always found that mail order sales decreased, even on non-dipped items, during the summer months. I sold 35% of our mail order product between Thanksgiving and January 6th, and really enjoyed the break in the summer.

Some things just aren't meant for the summer.

Eileen

Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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If you decide that you want to be able to ship during the hotter months, check out Polar Tech. They have some really nice packaging units that are just deep enough for a box of chocolates & some cold packs. These shippers in small quantities are about $3 and their cold packs are the cheapest priced I have found. But after spending a lot of time talking with a Pak Mail, shipping is outrageous. Shipping a 3# package from Michigan to LA overnight is $50, while 2nd day is $35. The larger volume people will be able get better prices. Also they can afford to not to make much or any money on products shipped in the summer just to keep customers.

I looked at Norman Love's site & he only charges about $30 for overnight shipping. He either is getting a really good price or is loosing money on chocolates shipped in summer.

Mark

www.roseconfections.com

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You guys are the greatest. Thanks so much for all your thoughtful responses and experience. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

First, this stuff is the candy buds or melts. I've seen it start to melt in the sun on a day that was 60 degrees - that's crazy. It means we'll have problems selling outside in a Farmer's Market even in the spring (Easter) and fall (Halloween).

I am going to try a test where I send a dozen in a US Mail Priority shipper with gel pack to a few friends across the country. We'll see what happens. I'm happy to send larger orders in the big shipper, but that seems like overkill for a small order.

Thanks for the leads on vendors too.

I agree that summer and chocolate don't really mix, but a business that can only run from Sept to April ain't a real viable business.

I'll let you guys know how the experiment works out.

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