Eco-conscious shipper ensures frozen baby food stays that way

By Kate Bertrand Connolly in Shipping Containers on September 21, 2018

Square Baby’s dietician-developed baby foods and meal plans are good for little ones, and the company’s supply-chain packaging is good for the environment. Its cold-chain shippers, designed with compostable insulation instead of difficult-to-recycle expanded polystyrene (EPS), keep Square Baby products frozen from the time of packing until delivery at the consumer’s door.

Vericool Inc. supplies the temperature-controlled packaging, which uses a corrugated box and starch-based insulation. The box features an internal collar that encases the insulation; the corrugated used in the box and collar is made from post-consumer materials. To separate the compostable insulation from the recyclable box and collar, the consumer opens the bottom flaps of the box and pushes down on the collar to release the insulation.


Katie Thomson, co-founder and CEO of Square Baby, and Darrell Jobe, founder and CEO of Vericool, answer a few questions about the packaging.

How long has Square Baby used the Vericool packaging?

Thomson: When we were developing Square Baby, we knew that the package that delivered our meals was a critical piece of the customer experience. When we launched the company this July, 2018, we were thankful to collaborate with Vericool, which helped us ensure parents were receiving their baby’s food in a healthy and environmentally friendly cooler. And it also happens to be beautiful. We love that the packaging is 100% recyclable and compostable.


Is the Vericool insulation home or industrial compostable, or both?

Jobe: The film and the insulation in the Vericooler I and the Vericooler Plus are home and industrial compostable. The insulation in the Vericooler III Plus is home and industrial compostable. [Note: Square Baby uses the Vericooler I model.]


Who has certified the Vericool materials as compostable and recyclable?

Jobe: Vericoolers are all TUV certified, meaning that the insulation is home and industrial compostable. The Vericooler I and the Vericooler III are WMU certified recyclable. This insulation meets U.S. ASTM D6400 and Home Compost standards.


How are you communicating the package’s end-of-life options to consumers?

Jobe: We print step-by-step instructions directly onto our packaging to make it as easy as possible for consumers.


Is the insulation waterproof?

Jobe: We protect our insulation with water-resistant materials. We design each customer’s packing fulfillment to protect the product and keep it cold—and ensure that it arrives at the consumer’s doorstep at the right temperature up to 96 hours after packing.


Could the packaging be used to ship chilled foods?

Jobe: Meal products can be shipped at frozen and at refrigerated temperatures inside Vericoolers.


What temperature range can the packaging accommodate?

Jobe: Meal products are shipped as low as -10 deg C and up to as high as 20 deg C.


Is anything extra required in the shippers to maintain the products’ cold temperature?

Jobe: Dry ice and frozen or refrigerated gel packs are used to maintain the products’ cold temperature.


How have consumers reacted to the Vericool packaging?

Thomson: Feedback has been great! Our meals are delivered just as they should be—frozen and ready to pop in the freezer or refrigerator to defrost right away. Our customers have been blown away by the unboxing experience, and Vericool packaging has been a big part of that positive experience.