Skip to content


supermarket employees placing product in box

Sending Food in the Mail: An In-Depth Guide on What You Can Send

Sending food through the mail can be a wonderful way to share comfort or spread joy, but making sure it arrives fresh and tasty can be difficult. The trick is picking the right kinds of food to send. In this blog post, we're going to show you the best foods for mailing, how to pack them up, and share some tips to make everything go smoothly. Let's dive right in.


What Kind of Food Can You Mail?



The types of food you can mail generally fall into two categories: perishable and non-perishable food items. Understanding the characteristics of each can help you decide the best foods to send and the best ways to send them.


Non-Perishable Foods


tinned corn opened

Credit: Envato Elements/ AtlasComposer


Non-perishable foods are foods that don't require refrigeration or any special temperature controls. These are the easiest foods to send through the mail since they have a long shelf life and aren't easily damaged. Below is a list of non-perishable foods that are perfect for mailing:


1) Dry Goods: Foods like rice, beans, pasta, oats, and grains are perfect. They're sturdy and have a long shelf life, making them suitable for mailing.

2) Packaged Foods: Canned goods, jarred items, and packaged snacks (like chips, cookies, and granola bars) are also great choices.

3) Baked Goods: Certain baked treats like cookies, biscotti, and certain types of cakes (like fruitcakes or pound cakes) that are less likely to spoil, are safe to mail.

4) Spices and Teas: These make lovely gifts for food lovers and won't spoil during shipping.

5) Dried or Smoked Meat: Beef jerky, smoked salmon, and summer sausages can be sent safely and they don't require refrigeration.


Perishable Foods


vegetables and fruits displayed

Credit: Envato Elements/ AtlasComposer


Perishable foods are a little trickier to send. They require temperature controls to prevent spoilage during transit. Here are some categories of perishable foods you can mail:


1) Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: These can be shipped, but it's essential to choose items that aren't easily damaged, like apples or oranges. Also, make sure they're packed well to avoid bruising.

2) Cheeses: Hard cheeses that do not require refrigeration until opened are safe to mail. Soft cheeses that require refrigeration can also be mailed but need to be packaged with proper insulation and ice packs.

3) Homemade Foods: You can send homemade treats like cookies or brownies if they're not too moist. Just pack them carefully.

4) Chocolates and Confectioneries: These sweet treats can be sent via mail but consider the temperature conditions as they may melt during transit.

5) Frozen or Refrigerated Food: Surprisingly, you can also ship frozen food like frozen steaks, seafood, or pre-made meals in the mail but they require careful packing.


A Step-by-Step Process on How to Ship Food Safely Through the Mail


Sending food in the mail involves more than just putting a label on a box. You need to think about the type of food, insulation, packing materials, and even the weather. Here's a simple guide to ensure your food arrives fresh, undamaged, and ready to eat:


Step 1: Choose the Right Box


woman holding a stack of boxes

Credit: Envato Elements/ myjuly



Your first line of defense against the postal system's rough handling is a sturdy box. Insulated shipping boxes are the top choice for shipping food. They're designed to withstand pressure and keep your food safe from damage.

When picking a box, think about the size and weight of your food. Make sure there's room for both the food and packing materials. Double-check that the box is not too big that there's any movement within.


Step 2: Protect the Food


woman packaging in cling wrap

Credit: Envato Elements/ KaterinaDalemans


Depending on what you're shipping, you might need extra protection. For instance, wrap jarred items in bubble wrap to avoid breakage. Baked goods should be individually wrapped in plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out.

If you're sending several items together, wrap each one separately or use food containers to prevent cross-contamination and damage.


Step 3: Fill the Empty Spaces


packing peanuts in box

Credit: Envato Elements/ AZ-BLT


Once your food items are properly wrapped and placed in the box, you might notice some empty spaces. These gaps can cause your food to shift during shipping, possibly leading to damage. To prevent this, use packing materials such as packing peanuts, bubble wrap, or crumpled newspaper to fill any spaces.


Step 4: Insulate Perishable Foods


Nice Packs dry ice packs


Perishable foods require extra care to maintain the right temperature during transit. Start by packing these items in a leak-proof plastic bag to prevent any spills. Then, place the food along with a cold source, such as frozen gel packs, cold packs, or dry ice packs, inside a styrofoam box. This box should then go into your shipping container or box.

The aim is to keep the food at or below 40°F for food safety. For longer transit times or hotter weather, you may need additional insulation.


Step 5: Double-Pack for Extra Security


woman placing wrapped box into another box

Credit: Envato Elements/ FabrikaPhoto


If you're shipping perishables, or simply want to add an extra layer of security, consider double-boxing. This involves packing your food items in a smaller box, then placing this box inside a larger one. The space between the boxes can provide additional insulation, and it also offers more protection against drops or punctures.


Step 6: Seal the Box Properly


man sealing box

Credit: Envato Elements/ ijeab


Once your food is carefully packed, it's time to seal the box with strong packing tap. Make sure to tape all seams to stop heat or bacteria from getting in. Avoid using scotch or masking tape.


Step 7: Label Your Package


man placing label on box

Credit: Envato Elements/ ijeab


The final step is proper labeling. Clearly write or print the recipient's address on the box. If you're shipping perishable items, mark the box with "Perishable" or "Keep Refrigerated" to alert the postal service to handle the box with care.




How do I know if my food package needs refrigeration during shipping?

Perishable foods such as fresh fruits, cheeses, and homemade treats that can spoil should be shipped with refrigeration. If in doubt, consider the shelf life of the food and its susceptibility to spoilage.


Can I ship food internationally?

Yes, you can ship food internationally, but make sure to research and comply with the customs regulations of the destination country.


How long does it take for food to arrive via mail?

This will vary based on the shipping method, destination, and any delays in transit. Generally, domestic shipping within the same country can take anywhere from 1 to 7 business days, while international shipping can take 7 to 30 business days or more.





By following these steps, your food package will be well-protected from the moment it leaves your hands until it reaches its final destination. It may seem like a lot of work, but the joy of sharing your favorite foods with loved ones is worth the effort.

If you want to make your food shipping experience even more seamless, check out Nice Packs. Our premium dry ice packs and insulated shipping boxes are designed to ensure your package arrives just as fresh and delicious as when you sent it. Shop with us today.

Back to blog