If you've recently made the decision to move your fledgling baking business from your kitchen to a storefront, you may be excited at the expanded opportunities that await you with the ability to bake and market a greater quantity of goods than ever before. For those who offer shipping or home delivery of certain baked goods, having packaging options that can help keep your creations fresh for days is crucial to your business's success. However, many packaging options can be heavy on plastic and wasteful, ruining the brand you may be trying to cultivate by using naturally-sourced ingredients. Are there any bakery shipping materials that can fit in with your philosophy while still keeping your baked goods fresh? Read on to learn more about the best eco-friendly and airtight packaging options for all your bakery's products.
Biodegradable plastic wraps
Ultra-thin plastic wrap is one of the best ways to protect your baked products from crumbling or drying out during transit. However, most food-grade plastic wraps aren't able to be recycled, and individually wrapping each cookie or brownie in a shipment can create a significant amount of plastic waste that is likely to be a turnoff to your customers.
However, scientists have recently developed a biodegradable plastic wrap derived from soy oil rather than crude oil. Unlike regular plastic wrap, this soy-based wrap can quickly break down in a landfill or even a compost pile, and won't give off harmful particulates if burned. Wrapping your baked goods individually or using this soy-based wrap as a finishing touch can keep your baked goods sufficiently moist to accommodate standard ground shipping times or even delays.
Recycled wax paper
If you'd like certain baked goods (like biscotti) to be able to breathe a bit and avoid becoming overly moist, you may want to forgo the biodegradable plastic wrap in favor of recycled wax paper. This paper can often be recycled once your customers are finished with their shipment, and because of its eco-friendly origins, you may be able to procure it at an even lower cost than non-recycled wax paper.
Certain creations and mixes may be best transported in glass mason jars. These jars are sturdy, particularly when filled, and can keep your ingredients fresh for months or even years after shipping. Although glass jars can be more expensive than other shipping options, they can provide your product with a personalized and high-quality touch -- and your customer will have the option to reuse or recycle these shipping containers rather than disposing of them in the trash.
If you're shipping multiple items in glass jars, you'll want to cushion the shipping container with crumpled recycled paper or soy-based packing peanuts. Both these options are eco-friendly and biodegradable, and -- most important to your customers -- will help keep your glass jars safe from damage if they're dropped during transit.
Recycled cardboard boxes
Regardless of whether you ship your items in soy-based plastic, wax paper, or glass, you'll need some sort of sturdy outer shipping container. In most cases, your least expensive and most eco-friendly option will be recycled corrugated cardboard. Made from recycled boxes, paper, and other wood products, these boxes are available in a variety of colors and sizes and should be able to accommodate just about any shipment you'll have. These boxes are especially handy for cakes and other items that are relatively fragile, as they'll be sturdy enough to resist being dented from boxes stacked on top.
Choosing any of these shipping options can let your customers know of your commitment to preserving natural resources while maintaining a fresh-baked taste and texture for all your products. While you may not be able to use the standard mailing containers you're used to, there are ways to get your baked goods where they're going, and safely.