packaging solutions (FREE CHOCOLATE)

Chocolates are a great thing to sell if you’re an out-of-control OCD freak.

They really lend themselves to that sensibility, what with their myriad needs: meltiness, fragility, perishability, tininess.

However, they are not such a great thing to sell if you are a hardcore environmental activist who worries endlessly about the huge amount of packaging materials needed to solve the above problems filling up landfills until the end of time.

I happen to be a combination of both, which means that I worry about packaging pretty much non-stop.

Here are some random thoughts on the Lagusta’s Luscious packaging world. If you slog your way through this, there is a free gift for you at the end!

OK, you have to do more than read, you have to take photos of your orders and send them to me, but…just keep reading. FREE CHOCOLATE!

So here’s the deal.

The bonbons are packaged in GLORIOUS custom boxes that, I think, fit them pretty snugly. We measured everything like a zillion times to make sure they would pack nice and tight. The boxes are also insanely eco-friendly—they’re biodegradable, because they are printed with soy inks and recycled paper. I put one in my compost last fall and it had disappeared in two months. They’re tied with vegetable-cellulose ribbon that’s also compostable. Super rad.

(Oh, and the gift wrap [seen in the photo at the top] is also made of recycled paper and tied with a vegetable cellulose black grosgrain ribbon!)

The truffles, most Chocolates of the Month, and the anatomical hearts (as of yet not online, but—secret trick!—if you want to order a box, just order a box of truffles, {they’re the same price} and in the “instructions to sender” box write that you want the hearts instead!) are packed in bleached white boxes. Sigh. They are recyclable, but that’s about it. My goal is to get custom boxes printed up for them, but these days all my extra business income is being funneled into a GIANT HUGE PROJECT I might be able to announce next week or so (!!!!!!), and this means that we’ll have to live with the regular white boxes for, realistically, probably a year or so, considering how long it takes to get custom boxes designed, printed and…um…saved-up for.

Perhaps needless to say, a printed-out sticker for those heart boxes is coming soon, because MY HANDS CAN'T TAKE IT ANY MORE.

I think the white boxes take pretty good care of their contents, however. We pack them with a lot of these little cushiony quilted paper pads (OK, they are called “candy pads.” Go ahead and laugh, it’s OK). They mean that we don’t have to do what every other chocolate company I’ve ever seen does and put one of those plastic divider trays into the box. (It also means we can fit more chocos in a smaller box!). The candy pads work pretty well, but if any of you geniuses out there have other ideas on how to pack eco-friendly, food-safe, shipping-safe boxes, I’d love to hear them.

The Big Assortment boxes are packed in larger white boxes, and these are somewhat of a fiasco. Because they are assortments and thus contain chocolates of different heights, they are hard to pack. I think I’ve come up with a good solution, but it involves three big giant candy pads, which adds up to a lot of bleached white padding stuff.

Still, it’s much, much less waste than if we used plastic trays.

Now, one solution to this would be to make chocolates that are not so fragile.

Most other dark chocolate peanut butter cups I’ve ever seen have super thick shells that mean you can basically toss them against a wall and they won’t break (they might break your teeth if they are cold, however. Also, it’s not very sanitary to be eating chocolate you’ve thrown against a wall.). (Or the chocolate shells are “chocolate” made with so many preservatives that they have no snap to them at all, and contain precious little actual chocolate.) Ours have (or, at least, strive to have) gossamer thin shells that instantly yield to your warm mouth. I prefer this gustatory experience—impossibly thin shells are the ne plus ultra of a bonbon to me, and I won’t settle for anything less.

That’s fine, but it means we’re stuck wrapping them like glass.

The other solution we use, in addition to candy pads, is to use a lot of padding in the outer box. Sometimes people complain about it, even though it’s all either reused (upcycled, if you prefer) or completely eco-friendly (seriously, you can eat those cornstarch packing peanuts. I ate one last week. [it was a dare, OK?]).

In my mind, everyone can always use packaging materials (hey and if you live locally, you’re more than welcome to bring them back to me. Then again, if you live locally, why are we shipping your chocolates?), but no one wants to pay for broken and smashed and smooshed chocolates. Whenever I decide we’re overpacking and decide to take a chance with shipping in smaller boxes with less packaging materials, like this smallish box:

this happens:

The physical pain this photo causes me is intense and awful, and truly, I would do almost anything to not have this pain ever again.

(Here is what they are supposed to look like.)

The Post Office is a mean mistress, chocolate lovers! She often does not listen to fragile stickers! (Or….sometimes we forget to put them on because we’re rushing like maniacs because it’s 4:50 and the PO closes in 10 minutes and it’s a 3 minute drive away and WHY WON’T THE PRINTER PRINT THE LABELS? COME ON, PRINTER!)

So until you can all move to New Paltz and buy chocolates from us directly, we’re going to be trying to find a balance between eco-friendliness and chocolate intact-ness. In the next few weeks we’re going to be tinkering around with our packaging solutions, and you, being the one receiving the packaging, can help us tremendously in this.

Here’s the deal (it involves FREE CHOCOLATE):

If you take nice good photos of your chocolate order, then send them to me at chef@lagustasluscious.com, I’ll make a note to either (your choice):

  • Slip two chocolate bars into a padded envelope to send to you ASAP as a thank-you

OR

  • Send you a free box ($12 or $15 box of your choice) with your next chocolate order, as long as you order within six months or so, because otherwise the paperwork to remember the freebies would get annoying.

Sound like a plan? Crowd-sourcing, here we go! And needless to say, if your chocolates arrive looking like those above, we’ll definitely make it right.

Thank you!!!

xoxo

Lagusta

4 thoughts on “packaging solutions (FREE CHOCOLATE)

  1. Pingback: packaging solutions (FREE CHOCOLATE) (via Lagusta’s Luscious!) « OntheWilderSide

  2. My taste buds, heart and soul are dancing together in pure bliss!
    Rosemary Sea Salt Caramels! I was intrigued and attracted just from the sound of their name. Now that they have passed my lips, I daresay a love affair has begun!
    And here I thought I was receiving 2 boxes of dear Rosemary, but to my oh so pleasant surprise, another temptress appeared, the Vandana Shivas. Whoa Nellie, are they ever sultry!
    Lucky me, I got to fall in love twice today!
    Your flavors and presentation are divine m’dear. Best of luck in sourcing even friendlier shipping/ packaging materials.

  3. Pingback: packaging, part two « Lagusta's Luscious!

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