Chocolate covered strawberries are a delectable treat due to their sweet and sour taste. They are commonly given as gifts, although transporting the highly perishable and temperature-sensitive treats can be a complicated procedure. You’ll need to prepare the strawberries for shipping by protecting the fruit and insulating them to prevent the chocolate from melting and the fruit from spoiling while they’re being shipped. You will also need to look into the fruit-shipping instructions for the company that you plan to ship with, as strawberries may not be shipped internationally and, in some cases, only to the continental United States.
Part One of Three:
Preparing Strawberries for ShippingEdit
1Chill the strawberries. To keep chocolate from melting when it’s shipped, you will need to refrigerate the strawberries immediately after you prepare or purchase them. Chill them for two hours or until they are cold, and then ship them immediately. If you refrigerate the strawberries for more than a day, they will not be fresh by the time they arrive at their destination.
- Before you proceed with preparing to ship the strawberries, check that the chocolate strawberries are in good shape and that they’re fully hardened. If any seem to be already spoiling, throw them away and start over with less-ripe berries.
2Wrap strawberries individually. To preserve the strawberries, you should place each one in its own protective wrapping. To do this, you should use cellophane wrap, as it will mold to the shape of each strawberry. Take a strawberry and then wrap a piece of cellophane around it.
- If you want the strawberries to look more decorated, consider tying each with a bow or piece of ribbon.
3Put the strawberries in a sturdy container. You’ll need a container with a lid that will close completely, to prevent the strawberries from spilling out. The container will also need to be firm and sturdy enough to withstand being jostled while it’s shipped. Plan to use either a plastic Tupperware container or a small cardboard box.
- Look for plastic Tupperware at your local grocery store. If you’d rather ship the strawberries in a small cardboard box, these may be available at a grocery store as well.
- Avoid shipping the chocolate-covered strawberries in glass, which could shatter while being moved.
4Arrange the strawberries. The strawberries need to be placed with at least an inch of space between each of the berries inside the container, since you don’t want the individual fruits to butt into each other and smear the chocolate. Divide them in rows in the container.
- In order to prevent the strawberries from touching, you may also want to individually wrap the strawberries. A cooking-supply store may sell small paper cups; barring this, you could put each strawberry in a separate paper muffin cup.
5Seal the strawberries. This should happen before you place the strawberries into a larger shipping box. Close the container completely, since you do not want any air to leak into it. If you are packing many strawberries, then you should purchase and fill several containers.
- Do not try to cram lots of strawberries into a single container, as they can become deformed and the chocolate will smear.
Part Two of Three:
Packing the StrawberriesEdit
1Pack the boxes of strawberries in a larger insulated box. This will keep the strawberries chilled for as long as possible by preventing warmth outside the box from getting in. Insulated boxes may be available for purchase at a grocery store or camping-supply store. You can also mail the strawberries in a small, hard-bodied cooler. Look for a cooler made of Styrofoam, as this will weigh less and therefore cost less to ship.
2Add gel packs to insulate a non-insulated box. If you cannot find an insulated box available for purchase, you could line a regular cardboard box with frozen gel ice packs in order to insulate the strawberries. These will keep the chocolate from melting. You can purchase gel ice packs at your local supermarket or kitchen-supply store. Freeze them for at least 8 hours before packing, and surround the box containing the chocolate-covered strawberries with frozen gel ice packs (around 6-8).
3Prepare and fill the box. Put packing peanuts or bubble wrap in the bottom of the box. Make sure that this packaging completely surrounds the bases of the strawberry containers. This will keep the containers from hitting each other. You want to make sure that there is not empty space in the box.
- Once you’ve made sure the strawberry boxes are firmly packed, layer more packing peanuts over the top, then close the box with packing tape.
Part Three of Three:
Choosing Shipping OptionsEdit
1Ship the strawberries quickly. You’ll want to send them with the fastest type of delivery possible, so that the strawberries don’t spoil and the chocolate doesn’t melt. Make sure that you pick overnight, express, or one-day delivery.
- The longer it takes for the strawberries to be shipped, then the greater the chance will be that they will melt before they get to their destination.
2Ship the frozen strawberries via USPS. The U.S. Postal Service prohibits shipping fruit internationally, so you’ll need to ship the fruits within the United States only. Choose the fastest possible shipping option, and be aware that you’re shipping at your own risk—the USPS will not insure perishable items.
- As with any shipping method, send the package earlier in the week. Even with overnight shipping, it’s best to ship early in the week to ensure that your package doesn’t get stuck somewhere over the weekend.
3Ship the strawberries via UPS. Opt for their fastest shipping option: Next Day Air or UPS Ground shipping. If you live within 450 miles of the intended destination, UPS Ground shipping may be a more economical option, as it guarantees next-day delivery within a 450-mile radius.
- UPS will allow you to mail perishable items—including food—internationally, although the chocolate-covered strawberries may have melted by the time they arrive.
- Do not ship the chocolate-covered strawberries shortly before a holiday, as this could result in the package being left in a shipping vehicle for an extra day.
4Ship the strawberries with FedEx. Choose their fastest overnight shipping option, likely FedEx First Overnight, or FedEx Priority Overnight. FedEx will allow you to mail perishable and home-made items internationally, but you’ll need to mark the items as such on the invoice that you fill out.
- Make sure that you alert the recipient in advance of when they can expect to receive the package, so that it’s not left outside for any length of time. When mailing the strawberries, you should have received a tracking number: communicate this to the gift’s recipient, so they can track the package’s progress as well.