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Warm Weather Shipping (or how to avoid candy soup!)

 

  Please Note: Natural Candy Store is not responsible for melting or other damage caused by heat exposure during shipping.

Protect Your Order from the Heat

If it's hot out and your order contains chocolate, caramels, marshmallows, or gelatin-based gummies, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of receiving candy soup! Please choose one of three options below to improve the chances your order arrives in great shape.

Option I: Safest & easiest option!

Just select Warm Weather 80 or Warm Weather 90 shipping at checkout, and we'll take care of the rest (includes an insulated Cold Shipping Box and Cold Pack):
Warm Weather 80 - For temps 89° or below. Candy spends no more than 2 days in transit.
Warm Weather 90 - Select when destination temp will be 90° or above. Overnight delivery.

Shipping may be delayed to protect your sweets
If necessary, your order will be held in our temperature-controlled warehouse to avoid additional transit time over the weekend. If you need a delivery by a specific date, please add a note at checkout or contact us so we can ensure your order arrives in time.

Be home for delivery!
Choose a delivery address where someone will be available to accept the package so it doesn't sit outside in the heat. Tip: If the box feels warm, open immediately to expose your sweets to cooler indoor air. If chocolate has softened at all, give it a chance to firm up again before handling further.


Option II: DIY - select your own Shipping & Cold Box/Packs

Follow these four steps to protect your candy:

1. Check the weather forecast
Look up the current 10-day forecast for your location and the temperature high at our Natural Candy Store warehouse today/tomorrow (zip code 49684).

If it's hotter than 75 degrees in either location, adding a cold box/cold pack and upgrading the shipping is recommended.

Keep in mind your package may travel through areas much hotter than either location, weather forecasts can change, and delivery trucks may be 10° or more warmer than outside! Also consider the peak temp at your destination - does it last for only a couple hours each day, or is it hot around-the-clock?

2. Determine how far your candy is traveling
What are the days in transit, from our warehouse in Northern Michigan to your location? If your package is going to the Mid-West or Eastern US, you can probably still use Flat Rate Shipping. However, if it's going to the Western US, you'll want to select a faster shipping method to reduce the time in transit.

3. Add Cold Shipping Box or Cold Pack(s) to your order.

4. Choose an appropriate shipping method at checkout. Important: Cold packs lose their cooling power after 24-48 hours, so if it's very hot they won't help much after 1-2 days.

  • At 90 degrees, UPS Next Day Air is recommended.
  • At 80 degrees, UPS 2-Day is recommended.
  • At lower temps or to save money, UPS 3-Day can also be a good option.
  • For smaller orders, USPS Priority Mail can be great since it only takes 2-3 days. (It gets expensive for larger orders.)

Option III: Risk it

How important is it that your candy arrives in perfect condition? Do you need the candy to look pretty for a party or a gift? Or do you figure it's all just going to end up in your stomach anyway, so who cares? We're major worrywarts when it comes to your order because we want your candy to arrive in great condition, so Options I and II above are for the risk-averse. But if you are less concerned about everything being perfect—or if you just want to save some $$ on shipping—you can always risk it!

Every order is different. It's possible your particular order will be just fine with Flat Rate Shipping and one Cold Pack, or it's possible you'll end up with candy soup. It just depends! Because we don't want to force expedited shipping on you if you don't really need or want it, we offer all the regular shipping options to choose from no matter what you ordered. And, at your request, we're always happy to check if there are more affordable options for you that still offer protection from the heat—just ask!


Shipping Advice

To request personalized Warm Weather Shipping advice, please make a note on your order at checkout or contact us with the destination zip code and your list of items and quantities (you might want to copy and paste the shopping cart into an email).

We wish we had a super-computer to automatically figure this out for each order, but for now our human brains will have to do. We take a bunch of factors into consideration to make a recommendation for your particular order.

Other Warm Weather Shipping Variables to Consider

(Or way more than you ever wanted to know about shipping candy!)

If you ask us for help choosing shipping, in addition to the temperatures and days in transit discussed in DIY Option II above, these are the other factors we'll consider:

Cold Shipping Box vs. Cold Pack
A Cold Shipping Box includes both insulation and Cold Packs. A Cold Pack is an individual ice pack. You may be able to get away with just a Cold Pack or two if your package will only be in transit a short time and/or temperatures will be closer to the 75° range when your package arrives. However, Cold Packs are most effective in the first 24-48 hours, and a Cold Shipping Box offers significantly more protection from the heat.

How heat sensitive are your items?
While exposure to high temperatures affects all food products to some degree, most candy is relatively stable. After all, sugar has been used since ancient times to naturally preserve foods! Still, some types of candy can melt, including chocolate, caramels, marshmallows, and gelatin-based gummies. The product page of each heat-sensitive item includes a Warm Weather Shipping notice so you'll know which ones are at higher risk of melting.
Chocolate is the most heat sensitive. Cold Packs should be used starting at 75°, with a Cold Shipping Box added at 80° or above. Foil-wrapped chocolates and candy-coated chocolates are more sturdy and hold their shape better than other chocolate types. However, candy-coated items may crack and become a little greasy after exposure to heat. Other chocolates may get soft and lose their shape even if they don't completely liquify. Note: Temperature fluctuations naturally cause chocolate to "bloom", where the cocoa butter separates resulting in changes in color and texture. Bloomed chocolate is still edible but may be less attractive. It often looks like it has a white coating, which is just the cocoa butter (and not mold!).
Gummies made with gelatin will completely liquify in extreme heat (above 90°), re-solidifying when cool into a single bag-shaped gummy! Note: We currently carry only 3 items that contain gelatin: Surf Sweets Natural Gummy Bears, Gummy Worms and Gummy Spiders. (Gummy-type candy made with pectin is not heat sensitive. It's easy to tell the difference, because the pectin candies we carry are sugar-coated, while the gelatin-based gummies have a smooth surface.)
Marshmallows can melt together at very high temperatures. If you're using them for rice crispy treats, this may not be an issue! Note: Currently we only carry vegan marshmallows made without gelatin. Marshmallows made with gelatin are more temperature sensitive.
Caramels may get a little greasy or sticky after exposure to heat. At high temperatures they may even leak out of their wrappers a bit and change shape, but they will harden up again when cool and their flavor should still be good. We usually don't worry too much about caramels, but for best quality Warm Weather Shipping is recommended.
EcoEggs - These biodegradable plastic Easter Eggs can be affected by heat and humidity. They may warp under warm, high humidity conditions.
Other types of candy - Hard candy and other sugar-based candy is generally fine to ship in hot weather without Warm Weather Shipping measures. However, all candies will eventually become sticky if exposed to enough heat and humidity, so reducing time spent in transit is always recommended.

How much of the order is heat-sensitive?
Is it all chocolate, or is it mostly hard candy with only 1 small heat-sensitive item?

Order Size
For example, a very small order may be more susceptible to the heat with its small mass, but it might not be worth it to take all the Warm Weather Shipping precautions. On the other hand, with a much bigger order you probably don't want to risk melting a large quantity of chocolate.

Does the order fit in a USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Box?
There are several USPS Flat Rate Boxes available ranging in price from $6.25 to $16.55, but the shipping calculator on the website isn't sophisticated enough to know when an order will fit in one. Cold Shipping Box insulation is available for some Flat Rate Box sizes, but it does reduce available space for candy significantly. All Priority Mail is best for small to medium-sized orders, and the 2-3 day transit time makes it a great option for Western US destinations.

Shipping methods
Warm Weather 80: For destinations 89° and below. 2 days in transit. Ships out Mon through Wed only.
Warm Weather 90: For destinations 90° and up. 1 day in transit. Ships out Mon through Thurs only.
USPS Priority Mail: 2-3 days in transit, but not guaranteed delivery time. Great option for smaller orders, especially to the Western US. Some orders may fit in a Flat Rate Box for less—please contact us to see if this is an option for your particular order. THIS CAN BE A GREAT OPTION FOR WARM WEATHER SHIPPING.
UPS 3-Day: 3 days in transit. Nice option for larger orders that take 4-5 days via Standard Shipping.
UPS Ground: 1-6 days in transit depending on your location (Western US is typically 4-5 days; check Transit Time in UPS Ground Map on our website for details). Best for Western US addresses.
Flat Rate Shipping ($6.99 or Free on orders $75+) 1-7 days, depending on location and shipping method we choose. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR WARM WEATHER SHIPPING.

Remember, feel free to contact us if you'd like help with any of this! We're always happy to look at your order and make shipping recommendations.

Order Your Cold Shipping Box & Cold Packs:

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Absolutely NO artificial colors or dyes, NO artificial flavors, NO artificial sweeteners, NO preservatives, NO hydrogenated oils!
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