It’s a tough assignment, for sure, but for the past few weeks I’ve been ordering more than my share of ice cream bars and frozen pizzas in hopes of getting a first-hand look at one of the latest innovations from Amazon.
Finally it arrived on our doorstep: two sheets wrapped around the Haagen-Dazs and Lemon Cream bars inside the grocery bag in our latest Amazon Fresh delivery.
The company’s new frozen food packaging is made from about a dozen layers of soft recyclable paper, very similar in thickness and consistency to a cheap paper napkin that you might grab in a cafeteria. The layers are lightly tacked together to create a blanket of insulation behind a thicker layer that’s more like the paper used in a grocery bag.
In our delivery, there were two separate sections of the paper, wrapped loosely around the frozen items. The thicker, coated layer was against the ice cream, absorbing and helping to preserve the temperature. This layer of paper was noticeably cold to the touch when we took it out of the bag.
The paper is 12 inches wide and perforated so that it can be easily segmented. Here’s an interesting twist, though: the perforations are at intervals of about 11 inches and 6.5 inches, by my measurements. Presumably the variable intervals provide more options for different lengths, for better efficiency and less waste.
Amazon announced the new packaging in November for Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods grocery deliveries, after extensive testing and experimentation with different approaches. Designed to replace plastic liners and bubble bags, it’s made from recycled paper, and the company says it can be recycled in curbside bins.
The company says the new packaging is now being used with deliveries nationwide.
It’s part of Amazon’s Climate Pledge to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. It’s also part of a larger effort by the company to shift to recyclable packaging.
To answer the most important question: yes, our items were still frozen, even after sitting on our front porch for close to an hour. Of course, this was Seattle, in January. The real test will come in hotter temperatures and warmer climates this summer. But so far, at least, Amazon’s new packaging has passed the test in my experience.
We’ll probably need to keep ordering plenty of ice creams bars, just to be sure.