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Custom Cold Chain Packaging Solutions

Custom Cold Chain Packaging Solutions
Bill Madl Posted on September 22, 2020 | Updated on July 13, 2023

E-commerce business is growing at a phenomenal pace and all indications are that there is no slowing this "direct to consumer" growth market down, especially with all that is going on today! It is becoming increasingly clear that to be successful in selling your products, you need to be resourceful and provide your customers with a timely, unique, and memorable unboxing experience and allow them a dazzling and dramatic moment of reveal, and all this with a minimal amount of waste to the supply chain!

You may want your products to be unique and not be offered among various other similar product alternatives, such as looking through the Amazon site, would offer. To do so will require attention to detail with innovative and custom-designed retail packaging, and e-commerce custom-designed packaging, as you may only get one chance here. Use our checklist as a guide to ensure you are on track!

Custom Cold Chain Packaging Solutions for Frozen and Refrigerated Food

With Amazon sales growing at a $250 billion + annual rate, and also setting the trend for sustainable and eco-friendly packaging, you will want your products to stand out and reflect your specific custom branding. With grocery ecommerce growing at an 18% rate and ranking as the fastest-growing product online, there is a huge opportunity for cold chain packaging solutions for frozen and refrigerated food products.

Understand that direct-to-consumer, in the frozen and refrigerated food category, is less than 2% of all online shipments, but growing at a 10% annual rate to over a $10 billion industry. Some key questions will need to be answered for this market to succeed, including how long the products need to last in the entire supply chain, what waste factor do they use when comparing to store-bought products, and what portion sizes make sense for ecommerce sales. In addition to these questions, and according to Aldo Galbusera, Marketing Manager for Sealed Air, there are four key challenges food processors must respond to in delivering a food commerce offer:

  1. Consumer experience

  2. Commercial sustainability

  3. Product protection

  4. Logistics and transport

By tackling each of these challenges, Aldo feels that processors can meet retailers' demands and retailers can meet consumer expectations, allowing each party to benefit.

Consumers will expect their frozen and refrigerated food products to be available when they want them and in the portion sizes they demand. They will either have them delivered to their homes or arrange to have them available at a local store, the latter being part of a "click and collect" delivery service that is gaining momentum, especially with the millennials. Still, a recent Nielsen survey indicated 69% of online shoppers prefer groceries delivered to their homes.

With FedEx, UPS, and USPS currently not capable in the cold chain to deliver frozen and refrigerated food products this way, especially meat packaging solutions, the door is wide open to companies specializing in handling and distributing the cold chain of frozen and refrigerated food.  

Partnering with a turnkey order fulfillment company, or a 3PL (3rd party logistics) is the key to this success, and choosing the right partner that meets the expectations of your customers could make the difference in the survival of your business!

Quick shipping, so that the products arrive to the customers as they left the warehouse, is not only important from a customer perspective but necessary to meet this online service. Items packaged with dry ice and insulated packing materials must be considered as part of this equation. The right 3PL company for your frozen and perishable food fulfillment business should be vetted by asking questions such as:

  • How long has this company been providing third-party logistics service in the frozen and refrigerated cold chain food industry?

  • Do they currently work with any other brands vertical to yours?

  • Have they obtained an SQF (safe quality food) certification at all their facilities?

  • What processes do they have in place for food safety management and ways to recall and check?

At the end of the day, sustainability is still key, with brand recognition, as is minimal waste, the key being to deliver cold chain frozen and refrigerated food timely and at a reasonable cost that consumers will expect. Your reputation is on the line too as your customer's friends, family, and possible referrals can be impacted by poor quality and disappointed recipients of your products. Statistics indicate over 50% of buyers online repeat the sale if they have a good experience.


Custom-designed E-commerce packaging, utilizing innovative packaging design, including all inner packaging and anything that is opened, is critical to your success. This packaging must ensure product integrity, safety, quality, freshness, and appearance so, getting it right the first time is critical as it may be your only time, and keep in mind you are competing against more companies than ever before. Get with a reputable packaging partner, perhaps a packaging company with a history of developing unique custom-designed packaging ideas and solutions and has a solid history of helping their customers, especially in the ecommerce markets - visit Ashtonne Packaging or call us at 877-522-6937!

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Better yet, if you are ready to change your course of action and ensure your eCommerce product launch with frozen and refrigerated cold chain food is the best, schedule a brief meeting to speak with one of our owners and learn more!

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