Updated: Mar 9
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Have you ever thought about what goes into packaging chocolate? The process is more complicated than you might think.
Packaging chocolate, whether you are doing it professionally or simply for a gift, requires both technique and certain types of packaging to do it properly. If one of these is left out, it could result in a damaged product.
Below, we'll take a look at all the factors that go into packaging a perfect box of chocolate, from production to shipping.
Preparing All Chocolate Package Components
When packaging chocolate, it's simply not enough to wrap it and put it in a box. The sophisticated design of packaging plays a huge role in a customer's experience; not only does it reinforce brand identity, but it protects the sweets inside the box.
Several parts work together to ensure that your chocolate is packed properly. The main three of these are the chocolate box, plastic tray, and candy pad.
1) Chocolate Box
First, you need to select the box that the chocolate will be packaged in. The chocolate box is most commonly composed of two parts: the lid and the base.
With that being said, the chocolate box is where professionals can showcase their brand or their design flair. For this reason, chocolate boxes can range from simple to extravagant.
The purpose of the design is to entice your customers through artwork, structure, and branding. Think of the box design as building excitement for the chocolates that are inside.
Source: Linnell Esler
When it comes to these designs, the options are truly endless. You can choose to add on some accessories for added interest, like a ribbon or metallic embellishments. Some companies even choose boxes with a window lid so that their chocolates can stand out on their own and create enticement.
Whatever design choice you end up choosing, the chocolate box needs to be sturdy and well constructed. The last thing you want is for the box to look fantastic but break apart if it's not handled carefully.
2) Plastic Tray
Next, you will need to use a plastic tray to place inside the box. This tray, made from food-safe plastic, is designed to hold the candy in place to keep it from damage and to provide an aesthetically pleasing layout once the box is opened.
Source: Avoncourt Packaging
These trays are available in an assortment of colors, arrangements, and sizes. They are made of a specific number of small compartments, each designed to hold one piece of chocolate. Each compartment corresponds with the shape of each piece of chocolate as well.
These plastic trays are used for several purposes, including both shipping chocolate and display.
3) Candy Pads
Last but not least, candy pads are placed on top of the plastic tray and used as protection for the candy inside. They give a cushion to the contents of the package, allowing it to spring the candy against the lid during moving or shipping. This is accomplished by multi-layered paper, the inside structure serving as a cushion through paper “springs.”
Source: Michael Package
The thickness of these pads also varies, depending on your chocolate packaging needs. The thickness is measured by plies, with the higher number reflecting a thicker pad. For example, 3ply candy pads provide a slim amount of cushion, while 7ply candy pads are quite thick.
In terms of specific material, glassine paper is very popular among candy pad manufacturers. This is because glassine paper is resistant to grease, doesn't absorb water, and is highly resistant to the passage of air. Of course, glassine paper also comes in a food-grade variety to be used when in contact with the chocolate.
Much like with chocolate boxes, candy pads are extremely customizable. They can be cut into any shape to fit snuggly inside of the box. They can also be printed with different colors, patterns, and company logos to add another touch of sophistication to the packaging.
Once you package your chocolate carefully using the three main packaging components mentioned above, you may also need to consider how to ship it.
While everything from the chocolate box to the candy pad is designed to keep the contents safe, it's not a good idea to simply mail your box on its own and hope for the best.
Below, we'll explore how to package your chocolate for shipping properly.
Selecting the Right Box
Selecting the proper sized box for your chocolates is more important than you would think. Of course, you need to leave room for some protective packaging like bubble wrap, but creating space between the contents of the package and the outside is also important.
This space allows for both crunch room from possible rough shipping, and it's a way to keep outside heat further away from the chocolates inside. A great rule of thumb is to select a box about 2 to 3 times the size of whatever you are shipping.
Add Extra Protection
When it comes to shipping candy, bubble wrap is essential. Mylar coated bubble wrap is especially useful since this coating works as both insulation and a heat deflector, keeping the contents of the package free from both outside elements and shipping dangers.
Keep it Cool
Of course, chocolate melts when the temperature rises. If shipping candy long distances, you need to keep in mind not only the temperature at your location but what the weather is like where you are shipping your product.
The amount and size of the cooling packs you use will depend on where your package is going and how long it will take to get there, as well as the amount of candy that is being shipped.
Remember, the goal isn't to still have the ice packs frozen when your package arrives at its destination. You don't want to freeze your chocolate, just protect it. Instead, the package should reach its destination once the ice pack is no longer cold.
In addition to adding these cold packs, it's helpful to either wrap them in some newspaper or place them in a plastic bag. By doing this, you avoid the risk of the cold packs sweating and damaging the package with moisture.
Because of the delicate nature of shipping chocolate, most experienced vendors recommend using USPS priority shipping to UPS 3-day shipping to ensure that your chocolate gets to its destination safely.
Hopefully, this guide shared everything you need to know about how professional companies package chocolate. This in-depth process and shipping precautions ensure all the delicate materials remain in perfect condition when a customer unwraps their box and takes a bite.