Food businesses always sound like a great idea until you consider the shipping logistics. And while it’s true that shipping food and keeping it fresh can be a challenge, it’s not impossible. With the right approach and shipping products, you can ship your food in a safe manner to keep it fresh and prevent spoilage. 

3 Different Types of Food

There are three different types of food that need to be shipped differently. Here’s what you need to know about each type: 

1. Non-Perishable Food

Non-perishable food items are the easiest to ship since these items don’t need to be kept at a certain temperature. At the same time, non-perishable food items still need to be shipped carefully to ensure optimum freshness. 

For instance, non-perishable food items shouldn’t be exposed to extreme temperatures during transit. Additionally, non-perishable food items should still be sent with expedited shipping.

2. Refrigerated Food

Refrigerated food items need to be shipped carefully to ensure that they don’t spoil. The best way to keep refrigerated foods cool throughout the journey is to use cold packs and insulated packaging. 

Customers need to be cautious about receiving refrigerated food shipments and check the temperature at arrival. If the temperature is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, they should not consume the foods and inform you of this issue. 

3. Frozen Food

Frozen food items also need to be carefully shipped to prevent spoilage. The best way to keep frozen foods frozen throughout the journey is to use dry ice. 

Additionally, you should use overnight shipping to limit the quantity of dry ice needed and meet carrier regulations related to dangerous goods. 

3 Types of Packaging for Food

The packaging you choose for your food items can go a long way towards ensuring their freshness. Generally speaking, there are three different options to choose from: styrofoam boxes, cardboard boxes, and a combination of the two. 

Here’s what you need to know about each type to choose the best option for your food products: 

1. Styrofoam Boxes

Styrofoam boxes almost look like little coolers that are able to effectively insulate their contents. Styrofoam boxes come in a variety of different thicknesses depending on your shipping needs. 

And while the thickest boxes can keep food items cool for the longest period of time, they also cost the most money. Make sure to test out different sizes and thicknesses with your products before you actually begin shipping them out. 

2. Cardboard Boxes

Cardboard boxes can also be used to ship food items. Similar to styrofoam, boxes also come in different thicknesses known as flutes. The larger the flute size, the more sturdy and insulated the box will be. 

For the best cardboard boxes of all sizes, be sure to check out Box Genie’s offering of customized shipping products. 

3. The Best of Both Worlds: Insulated Food Shippers

Perhaps the best approach to shipping food items involves combining both styrofoam and cardboard into what’s known as an insulated food shipper. The styrofoam component of the package helps insulate the food items and is able to regulate the temperature as a result. The cardboard component, on the other hand, is able to protect the food items throughout shipment. 

This is because styrofoam can be easily punctured or damaged since it’s extremely lightweight. Cardboard is thicker, sturdier, and better able to protect the contents of the container and prevent any packaging compromises along the way. 

Again, there are a variety of different types and sizes of insulated food shippers to choose from. Again, you should ask for product samples from different providers and test out each option. Choose the option that provides the best insulation and protection for your products for the best price. 

4 Important Packaging Extras for Food

When you’re shipping food items, the packaging itself isn’t the only part of the equation. Instead, you also need to incorporate packaging extras to keep food at the right temperature, ensure freshness, and prevent spoilage. 

Specifically, you might want to consider using cold packs, dry ice, insulated liners, or insulated pads when shipping your food items. Here’s what you need to know about each of these different components: 

1. Cold Packs

Cold packs are essentially ice packs that help keep your food items cold during transit. Unsurprisingly, larger cold packs will keep your food items colder for longer periods of time. That being said, there are several different types of cold packs to choose from — and some may be more effective than others.

For instance, there are pliable, gel, foam brick, and solid plastic cold packs to choose from. All of these options are reusable and durable. Pliable and gel cold packs are more flexible and can easily fit around food items to provide maximum cooling. 

2. Dry Ice

Dry ice can also be used to keep your food items cold throughout air transit. Dry ice is ideal for longer journeys or food items that need to be kept at lower temperatures since dry ice is -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit. 

However, dry ice can be expensive depending on how much of it you need. Dealing with it can also be time-consuming as it requires special labeling and handling as a dangerous good. 

3. Insulated Liners and Pads

Insulated liners and pads are two additional packaging extras you should consider to keep your food items fresh. Insulated liners have a bubble wrap texture with insulating properties to keep food cool. 

Insulated pads are a more environmentally-friendly packaging solution for food items since they are made with recycled materials. 

3 Tips to Keep Food Fresh

Now it’s time to put all this information together so that you can keep your food products fresh throughout their shipping journey. Here are three tips to help you make that happen: 

Tip 1: Know Your Products

For starters, you need to know your products. Different products need to be kept at different temperatures, and keeping a product at the wrong temperature can easily lead to spoilage and waste. 

Most perishable food items need to be kept at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Most frozen food items need to be kept at a temperature around 0 degrees Fahrenheit because even though 32 degrees Fahrenheit is technically a “freezing” temperature, food tends to deteriorate faster between 0 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Tip 2: Know the Distance

From there, you need to know the distance of your shipment to ensure that you incorporate enough cooling mechanisms and insulation to keep it fresh throughout its journey. For instance, you should pack a quick overnight shipment differently than you would pack a longer two-day shipment. 

As a food product business, you will need to find a careful balance between fast shipping and affordable shipping. 

Tip 3: Know Your Carrier

Affordable and reliable shipping is largely based on the carrier you use. In addition, you need to take into consideration the carrier’s rules and regulations related to shipping food items. Dry ice, specifically, comes with a lot of regulations. 

For instance, the package must be clearly labeled as “Dry Ice” or “Carbon Dioxide Solid” with “UN1845.” The package also must clearly indicate the weight of the dry ice in kilograms. 

Final Thoughts on Keeping Food Fresh Throughout the Shipping Process

For the best shipping products that will keep your items safe and fresh, check out Box Genie. We offer a wide variety of different products that can be customized to meet your needs and brand aesthetics. 



  1. How to Mail Frozen or Refrigerated Food | USA Today
  2. 7 Advantages of Using Eco-Friendly Packaging | Small Business Bonfire
  3. How to Ship Perishables | FedEx

Trusted by top brands worldwide. Dedicated to smaller businesses like yours.

Over 2,000 brands trust us to help them grow and build successful businesses. Find out how custom packaging can work to help take your brilliant brand to the next level!

  • Black & Decker logo
  • Bose logo
  • Canon logo
  • Ecologic logo
  • Sergeant's logo

“They can’t be beat for price, speed, and quality. We trust them with all our packaging needs!”

Megan D., CEO at SSBD

“They can’t be beat for price, speed, and quality. We trust them with all our packaging needs!”

Megan D., CEO at SSBD

Ready to design your own box?

Start building your custom box now to see a preview of how it will look!