- E-commerce is heating up for the food and beverage industry, but for chocolatiers shipping online orders, so is the weather. Manufacturers are struggling with how to keep chocolate from melting without incurring high costs from protective packaging.
- While companies can use refrigerated trucks to ship to grocery stores, individual online orders require different packaging, such as a foam cooler and liquid ice packs. Such bulky packaging can be difficult and costly to ship.
- With faster shipping times plus additional packaging an order for a bag of $4 candy can total up to $20 before taxes. Through services like Amazon Prime and other online retailers, consumers have become used to free shipping on smaller orders.
Chocolate is among a host of food and beverage products that need to be kept cool during shipping to maintain quality.
Critical to becoming a larger player in the growing e-commerce channel is identifying effective packaging and lowering the cost of shipping. With chocolate sales projected to reach around $25 billion in three years, the pressure for a solution is building.
One way being explored is to crowdsource ideas, as Hershey announced it was doing earlier this year to solve its problem of keeping chocolate from melting during summer shipments. The company accepted its final contest entries last month, but has not yet released the results.