From accompanying a bunch of long-stemmed roses on Valentine’s Day to becoming the stuff of movie scripts such as Forrest Gump, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate have become a staple of showing loved ones you care.
The variety of neatly packaged caramels, chocolate-covered cherries, nougats, and sea salt almonds sit inside shiny trays, waiting to be sampled and enjoyed by lovers of variety.
However, to ensure these boxes stay perfect looking en route from the candy store and into the hands and tummies of loved ones, one key aspect of the box is somewhat of an MVP in protecting and showcasing the tiny candies inside: the tray.
What Are Heart Trays?
When you receive a box of chocolate, one of the first things you might notice is the velvety exterior, patterned with gold foil or donned in a bow.
As you open the box, the compartments of dark and milk chocolate jump out next—an irregular pattern of squares with sea salt caramel drizzle, clustered pecans, a couple white chocolates, and more.
You might compare the placements of the tiny pieces against a legend on the lid’s back cover—picking around for favorite peanut or malt pieces—or maybe, you won’t look at all: fully embracing the “life is like a box of chocolates” mentality from the famous Tom Hanks film.
But one crucial piece of these boxes makes the experience possible to begin with. Within each one, plastic trays sit neatly on the bottom—flush to the shape of the container and carefully cradling every precious piece.
Aided by the extra cushioning and protection of candy padding and tray guards respectively, heart trays ensure each chocolate is safeguarded and displayed, so the box looks the same in the store as it does when opened at home.
Made from plastic and a variety of materials such as PVC, PETG, and styrene, trays come in all shapes, colors, and sizes—conforming to the box and showcasing its delicious contents.
A Brief History
While it’s hard to imagine Valentine’s Day festivities without chocolate, the association between love and cocoa began centuries ago.
It wasn’t until 1861 when English chocolatier Richard Cadbury—perhaps you know him for his Cadbury Creme Eggs—thought to market heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, clad with cupids and roses for Valentine’s Day.
Needless to say, the idea took off, and the holiday became one of the most lucrative for chocolate sales—ranking third behind Easter and Halloween.
In fact, Americans were projected to spend about $24 billion on Valentine’s Day this year—candy sales comprising a sizable portion (56%), according to the nonprofit National Retail Foundation.
With 36 million boxes—around 58 million pounds—of chocolate sold yearly, these tidy novelties have become an enduring symbol for conveying care and affection to someone.
Considerations for Packaging Selection
When selecting the right heart-shaped packaging for your candies, it’s understandable the most attention might be paid to the exterior packaging: Satin or velvet? Bow or no bow? Classic or unique design?
While these considerations are key to getting your chocolates picked up at the store, the right heart trays ensure they’ll arrive into loved ones’ hands (and eventually bellies) in ideal condition.
When shopping for heart trays, keep in mind a few key considerations:
Selecting trays sourced from high-quality materials ensures your candies are not only safeguarded for the long haul, but beautifully displayed.
Although plastics are often utilized for these products, sustainable distributors offer trendsetting designs and materials while prioritizing environmental stewardship in each project—reducing, reusing, and recycling.
When stocking up on heart trays, it’s best practice to buy in bulk. Each case holds 50 trays, and some distributors enable you to purchase 10, 40, 100, or more at once.
While average prices vary, look for companies providing not only competitive pricing—enabling you to save money by buying larger quantities—but consistent quality, so your money goes a long way.
No, at this point, we’re not thinking about the dreaded toothaches from too many chocolates that lands you in the dentist chair.
Rather, it’s important to consider the amount of allotted cavities in your potential packaging when planning how many candies will be in each box.
While some trays offer six cavities, others hold 55 candies. Some customize trays by the piece, while single-cavity trays accommodate slabs of dense milk chocolate—perfect for etching meaningful phrases on top with fondant.
The options are extensive, but selecting the right trays for your order should be proportional to how ever many specialty truffles, assorted candies, or other novelties you’d like in each box.
Buying Together With Packaging
As heart trays come with a variety of colors and cavity quantities, it can be helpful to shop for trays, candy pads, and tray guards alongside your heart boxes. This ensures your choices not only match in size and intended capacity, but complement each other aesthetically.
Options to Get You Started
As you consider the right heart tray for you, here are a few of our unique options at aspecialtybox.com to get you started:
- Heart Truffle Tray: This gold tray is the perfect option to house 13 truffles within a selection of 1-pound fabric, paper, or foil-stamped heart boxes.
- Brown Heart Tray: From specialty nougats to creamy caramels, this 27-cavity tray is another classic option, sliding seamlessly into the 1-pound heart box of your choice.
- Single-Cavity Heart Tray: Whether packaging chocolate heart slabs or other decadent treats, this 8-ounce, single-cavity tray secures your sweets and makes an impression.
Working With a Seasoned Packaging Partner
With decades of industry experience, our high-quality, unique, and sustainable packaging helps you market meaningfully and make an impactful impression.
aspecialtybox.com is an Oliver Inc. company manufacturing and distributing memorable packaging for the confectionery, gourmet food, and gift industries. To select the right heart tray option for you, contact us today.