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How to Ship Chocolate without Melting

how to ship chocolate without melting

Wondering how to ship chocolate without melting? Food scientist Elily Temam explains how to properly prepare and package your hand-crafted chocolate to send in the mail, and essential steps to prevent it from melting on the way.

Chocolates are undeniably the best treat; they have versatile functions and complex flavors. They are also prone to melt with the increase in temperature, this property of chocolates makes them harder to mail and share it with our loved ones. Worry not, with this article, you will get a step-by-step guide on: how you can mail chocolate without it melting, what packaging material you should use as well as the shipping method for the chocolate’s safe arrival.

There are several factors that contribute to the safe arrival of the chocolate at its intended destination: the major ones are; proper packing and shipping. These two factors are what keep our chocolate from breaking, melting and any other damage that might take place. Let’s explore further.

Challenges when Deciding How to Ship Chocolate without Melting

For chocolates, the main challenges that cause its demise are: time, temperature and also chocolate type can be a factor. The longer the food is stored the worse it gets, there are some exceptions to this statement, chocolate is one of them. Chocolate is one of the most shelf stable foods there is, its stability is one of the reasons it was given to American soldiers during the second world war. But when it comes to it being shipped, that characteristic of the chocolate is put at risk, which is why we need to be careful and attentive when we mail it.


Time never stands still, and shipping chocolate is harder because of it. Despite its long shelf life, chocolate only lasts around three days in shipment. So, the sooner they get there the better.

And choosing the right day can help with the fast arrival of the chocolate, weekends and holidays should be avoided if your goal is to get the chocolate intact. Remember, shipping chocolate can be very time intensive and you only get a short time window.


Chocolates most endearing quality, meaning its ability to melt in our mouth is also what makes it hard to mail. It is best if it’s stored at room temperature, but when we ship chocolates it’s not always going to be in an environment that is well suited to fulfill its need. Chocolates start to soften at a temperature of 85oF (29oC) and it melts at 93oF (34oC) which is why it starts to melts when placed on one’s hand. This also means it is extra difficult to mail chocolate when its summer time or to other countries where it is hot all year round. But this doesn’t mean you have to wait for winter to mail your chocolate, you just need to follow the right procedure before shipping it.

Chocolate Variety

Chocolate has different types because of the ingredients that are added to it to attain different flavors, these ingredients can cause a change in the physical property of the chocolate; mainly its melting point, for e.g., milk and white chocolate have a lower melting point compared to that of dark chocolate; this is because of the presence of milk in the white and milk chocolate. 

Steps for How to Ship Chocolate without Melting

Preparation for Mailing Chocolate

Before you get ready to pack your chocolates and ship them, the chocolate needs to be kept in a cool dry place, like a wine fridge if you have it; wine fridge is preferred since its temperature doesn’t cause sugar bloom on the chocolate, which is the last thing you want before shipping. The other option if you don’t have a wine fridge is to put it in the regular refrigerator and keep a watchful eye on your chocolates.  Once you are ready to put your chocolate in its shipping box make sure your hands are cold and dry to prevent it from melting due to your hand’s temperature.

How to Package the Chocolate for Shipping

When we move on to the shipping materials that you need to mail chocolate, it isn’t as many as you think.

  1. The first thing you need is a cardboard box that is thrice the size of your chocolate, the extra space will be used for ice packs.
  2. The second and most important item needed is a silver bubble wrap* that will be used as an insulator for the box, to provide a controlled temperature in the box.
  3. The third thing is the ice packs, which help the boxes temperature to stay cool for up to 48 hours.

Some additional things you might need are bubble wraps to protect the chocolate from breaking during bumpy roads and lastly an adhesive to seal the box once you are done packing.

Here are the easy steps that you can follow to pack and ship your chocolates

  • Step 1: prepare your box
  • Step 2: line all the inner surface of the box with silver bubble wrap*
  • Step 3: wrap your chocolate with bubble wrap before placing them in the box, then place the chocolate in the well-lined box. The bubble wrap’s main purpose in this case is to shield the chocolate from the ice pack and prevent it from freezing or forming bloom.
  • Step 4: place the ice packs in the box to maintain a cool temperature inside the box
  • Step 5: the final step is to seal up the box and get ready to ship it.

*Editor’s Note: While silver bubble wrap should be quite easy to source online, you can also buy special silver-lined thermal air-cell from the hardware store, which is designed specifically for lining house walls and floors as insulation. While very effective for its thermal properties, it is only available in large rolls.

Know that you know about the packaging procedure, lets move onto the shipping methods you can use to get the best service.

Shipping and Mail Services to Send Chocolate (USA)

There are different shipping services available, each of those carriers have a different working policy, prices, and arrival time. Chocolate is a sensitive commodity that must be handled with care and with the right carrier service your chocolates can get to their new home without melting on the way. 

Some of the different carrier services you can find in the United States are USPS, FedEx and UPS. Out of the three services the one that is best suited to ship chocolates throughout the country is USPS (U.S. Postal System); in terms of pricing and delivery time.

The days considered best for shipping chocolates are from Monday through Wednesday, Fridays are to be avoided at all costs, it goes without saying that shipping on the holidays is a challenge for regular packages let alone chocolates, so sending your valentine a chocolate before February 14 is highly advised, even though it might ruin the surprise.

Can you Mail Chocolate in the Summer?

At this point you might be thinking if you can ship chocolates during summer or to places where it is warm all year round, the answer is YES, you can. Shipping chocolates to warmer regions can be challenging but it is still doable, even though chocolates and heat are not the best combination unless of course you are doing it intentionally. All you can do when shipping to warmer areas is to make sure the box is well insulated and that there are enough Ice packs to keep it cool during its trip.  

Final Thoughts on How to Ship Chocolate Without Melting

Although shipping chocolates is a challenging task, seeing a loved one receive a box full of joy makes it all worth the trouble. To ensure your hand-crafted creations make it there without becoming a puddle of goo, here is a quick recap.

How to send chocolate in the mail recap:

  • Avoid shipping chocolate over the weekend or busy holidays (Mon-Wed are best)
  • Pack the chocolate with bubble wrap and ice packs to form a thermal barrier. You can get cheap ice packs from the grocery store, and you can buy disposable ones online.
  • Think about sending dark chocolate instead of white or milk, which will have greater tendency to melt due to the lower melting point.
  • Chill the chocolate before packaging it.

Good luck and happy chocolatiering!

References and further reading

Article Author

  • Elily Temam

    Elily Temam is a food scientist based in Ethiopia, with a lifelong love for chocolate. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology from Arsi University, and is completing her Master’s in Food Science and Nutrition at Addis Ababa University. Elily has professional experience in the dairy industry, runs the Telegram food channel EASY RECIPE, and aspires to become a Chocolatier. She hopes to focus her future research onto global issues including food security, sustainable farming and post-harvest loss reduction. As well as chocolate, cooking and nutrition, Elily enjoys writing, dancing and learning new languages.

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