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

 

  Click here to order a Cold Shipping Box and/or Cold Packs.
Please Note: Natural Candy Store is not responsible for melting or other damage caused by heat exposure during shipping.

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. A Warm Weather Shipping message is posted in red on the product pages of especially heat-sensitive items so you'll know which ones are at higher risk.

We can't guarantee heat-sensitive candies will arrive in perfect shape—we wish we could control the weather!—but there are steps you can take when it's hot to reduce the risk of receiving candy soup!

Protect Your Order from the Heat!


Take these 2 steps to give your candy the best chance of arriving in good shape:
1. Add a Cold Shipping Box or Cold Packs to your cart.*
2. At Checkout, select the shipping method Warm Weather 80 (to ensure your order spends no more than 2 days in transit) or Warm Weather 90 (for use when the destination temperature will be above 90°; this is overnight delivery).

Also: 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.

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

*You will be charged for these if you make a note on your order requesting them (instead of adding them to your cart yourself).

 
Check the 10-Day weather forecast for your location, and see current weather conditions at our warehouse at right. Keep in mind your package may travel through hotter areas, weather forecasts can change, and delivery trucks may be 10° warmer than outside!


"Risking it" is also an option


We're major worrywarts when it comes to your order, because we want your candy to arrive in great condition! The instructions above are for the risk-averse. But if you are less concerned about everything being perfect—or if you just want to save some $$—there are more options.

Every order is different. It's possible your particular order will be just fine with Standard Shipping and one Cold Pack, or it's possible you will 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 as well. At your request, we're always happy to check if there are more affordable options for you that will still offer protection from the heat—just ask!

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

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, these are the main factors we'll consider:

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 going to "end up in the same place anyway"?

How hot is it? Check the current temperature at our Natural Candy Store warehouse (zip code 94520) and the 10-day forecast for your location. Keep in mind your package may travel through areas much hotter than either location, weather forecasts can change, and delivery trucks may be 10° warmer than outside! Consider the peak temp at your destination - does it last for only a couple hours each day, or is it hot around-the-clock?

How far is your candy traveling? Consider the distance, or days in transit, from our warehouse in Northern California to your location. If your package is going to the West Coast, you can probably select Standard Shipping. However, if it's going to the East Coast, you'll want to select a faster shipping method to reduce the time in transit.

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?
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. 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 $5.25 to $15.80, but our online shipping calculator isn't sophisticated enough to know when an order will fit in one. All Priority Mail is best for small to medium-sized orders, and the 2-3 day transit time makes it a great option for East Coast destinations. Cold Shipping Box insulation is available for some Flat Rate Box sizes, but it does reduce available space for candy significantly.

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 East Coast. 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.
UPS 3-Day: 3 days in transit. Nice option for larger orders that take 4-5 days via Standard Shipping.
Standard Shipping: 1-8 days in transit depending on your location (East Coast is typically 7 days; check UPS Time in Transit Map for details). Best for West Coast addresses.

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.

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