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How to choose packaging for food & drink delivery

Food. It’s probably been one of our nation’s favourite pastimes in the last year. When stuck at home, opting for a takeaway or meal kit has given us all something to look forward to.

The hospitality industry has been particularly hard hit by lockdown. This means businesses have had to diversify, resulting in an increasing number of companies starting delivery services and online shops.

If you’re in the market of food delivery, you’ll know it’s important to choose the right packaging. After all, packaging ensures your goods arrive with customers in optimal condition. So, when it comes to choosing your what should you consider? Initially, your choice in transit packaging will depend on the food and drink products you’re shipping. Plus you’ll need to factor in the the length of the journey your products will be taking…

Options for perishable or temperature sensitive products

For short journeys and takeaway food, you can use bags or boxes to get products safely to your customers’ doors. As this kind of culinary delight is usually hand delivered you’re unlikely to need any extra protection. To keep food piping hot, you could make use of reusable insulated bags for deliveries.

Where you’re shipping your goods through the postal network and they’re temperature sensitive or perishable (e.g. chilled meats, dairy or meals), you’ll need to make sure they’re protected.  Opting for temperature controlled packaging will help maintain the environment in your packaging.

In most cases, a temperature controlled pack will involve a corrugated box lined with insulating material like paper or foil lined bubble.  You’ll also need to use a coolant and void fill to maintain the required temperature:

  • Ambient – between 8°C to 15°C
  • Chilled – at 8°C or lower
  • Frozen – below 0°C

Coolants range from ice sheets and gel packs through to dry ice or dry ice alternatives like Hydro-Freeze and SorbaFreeze.

Storing your packaged products in a chilled environment before dispatch can help maintain the desired in pack temperature for longer too. Plus, if you opt for cold chain transportation you can ensure preservation of pack temperature during delivery.

Protection for non-perishable products

If you’re selling products that are non-perishable or have a longer shelf life (like alcohol, preserves or confectionery), the main priority of your packaging will be to provide protection in transit.

For fragile items packed in glass, packaging like Airsac® or Flexi-Hex® are great for preventing damages of individual items or in multi-pick parcels. Alternatively, in box cushioning like paper pads or air pillows will prevent products from moving around and stop damage.

Letterboxable packaging is ideal for smaller items and you could also consider using padded envelopes (like our Enviroflute recyclable padded mailers) for more flexible products, like pouches of sweets or coffee.

Help choosing your packaging

Whatever you’re packing, we can help you choose packaging that’s right for your product and your business.  Our group even has a specialist Temperature Controlled Packaging team, so we can provide expert advice. Email for a consultation.