Thursday, August 13, 2015

A tale of two cities: My adventure at the Atlanta & New York food shows

By Elizabeth Schude

I can’t get no satisfaction. Maybe that’s because I turned down a date with Mick Jagger. Okay, it wasn’t a real date, but I had the chance to meet him backstage at a Rolling Stones concert during a recent business trip to Atlanta.

My company, Polar Tech Industries based in Genoa, Illinois, sent me and a co-worker to the International Dairy Deli Bake Association convention in June for the purpose of showcasing our products.  We offer hundreds of temperature safe shipping and transport packaging products – in all shapes and sizes.

Our first day at the convention was chaotic. Our luggage was missing and I quickly lost my cool as the air-conditioning wasn’t working. Drenched in sweat, we scrambled to set up our exhibit from pallets of boxes that arrived suspiciously filthy. For the first two hours, we ripped open our boxes and watched the heat index go from OMG to OMF (Oh My Frizz). I wondered if the hole in the ozone layer just got bombed. Corrugated fibers, foam, labels and pieces of tape were flying through the hot air and some of them ended up tangled in my hair. Needless to say, I desperately needed a cocktail by the end of the day – and that’s how I almost met Mick Jagger.


So I’m standing inside a crowded sports bar watching the Blackhawks game with my co-worker, Sean Joyce, when a stranger offers me a chair next to him. A cocktail or two later, he identifies himself as Mick Jagger’s driver. Initially, I didn’t believe him – until he showed me photos. By the end of the night, he invites us to the concert and offers me a backstage introduction to Mick Jagger. I can’t believe my luck. I almost start jumping for joy before I remember that I’m flying out of Atlanta the next morning. I wistfully inform him that my date with Mr. Mick is a no-go.

The next day, I kicked myself for not exchanging phone numbers with the driver. Our flight was canceled and we stayed another night. I cursed Lady Luck for playing hide-and-seek with me again. Fortunately, she wasn’t missing in action during the entire trip. The trade show was peppered with celebrities from all over the culinary world – and I ended up basking in their starlight.

Martha Stewart autographed her book for me. I watched Chef Aaron Sanchez (famous for appearing on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and “Chopped”) demonstrate how to make chorizo meatballs. Then I hung out at a table with Cake Boss Buddy Volastro - watching his baking demonstrations. I also shook hands with celebrity Chef Antonia Lofaso, who competed on Top Chef. Overall, the Atlanta food show was a star-studded event.

A few weeks later, my adventure continued in New York. We were at the Fancy Food trade show exhibiting our products. Though the trade show had its share of celebrity chefs (including “Chopped” TV show host Ted Allen and chef/judge Alex Guarnaschelli), my most memorable experiences were the wide variety of amazing culinary creations offered by the vendors. Ever hear of camel milk? Yep. I tried it. Produced by Desert Farms in California, it has 50 percent less fat than USDA whole milk and tastes slightly salty - but deliciously smooth and refreshing.

A big fan of summer sausage, I then sampled a few slices from Lone Mountain Wagyu. Made from 100 percent full-blood wagyu beef, it melted in my mouth like butter. Free of fillers and preservatives, its unique flavor comes from a blend of filet mignon, striploin, ribeye, flat iron, brisket and ground beef.

Another amazing culinary creation came from Nella Pasta.  Their roasted beet, goat cheese and tarragon ravioli was deliciously unique. Creamy and earthy, their handcrafted mixture of produce, artisanal cheese and signature wheat blend made for some exceptional ravioli.

With all this amazing food around me, I decided to break up with my diet for a few days. I was pretty sure that those tiny creatures that live in our closets and sew our clothes a little bit tighter each night would be having a field day in my hotel room. But I didn’t care.

I sashayed over to the Big Picture Farm booth. Known for its assortment of goat milk caramels and cheeses, I tried the chai goat milk caramels (Winner of a Good Food Award in 2012). The taste was absolutely irresistible.

I truly enjoyed my culinary adventures in both Atlanta and New York. The conventions lingered with an aroma of delicious treats that begged to be devoured.  A plethora of yummy cheeses, sausages, cakes, cookies and other treats called out my name. Next time, I’m definitely wearing stretch pants.

As for our exhibit, we displayed a wide range of Polar Tech’s containers, leak-proof ice packs, absorbent wadding, Cool Stuff Mailers and many more temperature sensitive products. As visitors passed by, I only had a few seconds to stop them in their tracks and wow them with our products.

They’d often see me stabbing our Ice-Brix cold pack with a pen to demonstrate they are leak-proof. People often inquired about our new Absolute Zero Dry Ice Snow Maker, which produces 17.5 pounds of snow every 2 minutes and allows your product to stay colder much longer in transit. This was the main attraction at our booth.  Check out Polar Tech’s video. I’m happy to report that many representatives from gourmet meat, seafood, dairy, cupcake and chocolatier companies stopped by and showed interest.

In a nutshell, my experience at both trade shows was truly amazing. I had the pleasure of meeting lots of wonderful people, trying great products and I look forward to keeping in touch and forming business partnerships with many of these companies.  

Featured product of the month:
Expectations have increased. It doesn’t matter if you use dry ice or not, it’s important to use absorbent packaging material. I recommend “Cellulose Wadding part No. 176.” It’s a lightweight multi-layer absorbent that helps your shipping container products arrive intact and it absorbs condensation such as water and oil. It also adds strength and protection to your package. Packaging should never be taken lightly. For a free sample of our wadding products, please email me at  

Featured Businesses of the month:
Big thanks to the purchasing director at David’s Cookies for taking us on a grand tour of their facility in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, and offering an amazing selection of delicious treats. I also want to recognize Echo Valley Meats, based in Bartonville, Illinois, and thank its owner for taking me on a tour of his facility and treating me to an award-winning brisket. Congratulations on winning Shark Tank, David! Polar Tech values the many partnerships it has formed over the years, like David’s Cookies and Echo Valley Meats, and looks forward to many more new ones in the future.

Liz Schude
Sales Executive
(800) 423-2749 x 123

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Packaging: What is the Point of Labeling?

Packaging: What is the Point of Labeling?

So you have spent months finding the right protective packaging for your product. The custom logo looks great, your primary package holds your dear product ever so tight, and your secondary package beefs up the security of the transit. All is well and you’re ready to ship…..or are you?

Let’s face the facts; unless you are legally regulated to do so, most companies overlook one of the most crucial parts of a package…..LABELING.  When R. Stanton Avery invented the first label back in the early 1930’s he did have a purpose behind it. This purpose is unfortunately overlooked more often than you’d think in the packaging world. So what is the point of labeling your product? It would seem pretty straight forward, but there are many reasons correct labeling will benefit you and your consumers.

Dry Ice LabelFirst and foremost, labeling allows correct identification and protection of your product. This helps the correct management and handling during package transit and arrival.  With the use of correct labeling, the risk of damage decreases, keeping you and your customers happy. After all, you would not want your key lime pie to be tossed around as if it were a case of beef jerky or your clinical trials as if they were a bottle of diet pills. Labeling also protects the handlers and end users of the product. 

Warning, pre-caution, and even instruction labels all go into effect on how to properly handle a package from shipment, to use, and store of a product.

refrigerate upon arrival labelBio-hazardous labelAll dangerous goods are regulated and required to have correct labeling for proper safety and security. Imagine the opposite happening to your package… a completely harmless insulated container being mistaken for something hazardous. This unfortunately was the case with an improperly marked package in Rochester, NY. An employee at the post office handled a “cool, gel-like” package which seemed to be suspicious. This was then followed by an emergency evacuation of the postal office, and more than an hour long investigation by police. The package was finally found to be harmless after the use of an X-ray machine to examine the contents.

awareness labelSimilar situations have occurred in the past, and are bound to happen again without the proper use of labeling. Imagine the time, effort, and embarrassment that could have been saved by a simple label stating that there were refrigerants inside the package? Don’t let your company make the same mistake. Take the little extra time and minimal investment to properly label your package. 

Polar-Tech offers a wide selection of temperature sensitive, instructional, and hazmat labels. Make the call today to assure all of your labeling needs are covered.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

“ONE” Stop for Packaging Protection

Pharmaceutical and scientifically directed companies are fighting an on-going battle regarding cold chain shipments. Many require a format temperature range that must be met to protect the life and quality of the product being shipped. Medicine, organs, bodily tissues, and bodily fluids are all examples of temperature sensitive items; most requiring a 2-8°C temperature.

The management of temperature during shipping pharmaceutical products is undergoing a quiet revolution today. In recent years, the handling of “cold chain” products (those that require refrigeration) has become much more tightly regulated across the entire pharma supply chain.”1  With the combination of this and other tight regulations set for operation, daily tasks for these companies increasingly become more complex. This is where Polar Tech Industries comes in.

Introducing the ONE® Series Prevalidated Kits

Polar Tech strives to make life easier for its customers and that is exactly what our ONE series shipping kits are, pre-validated shippers. Specifically designed for a 2-8°C temperature profile, the ONE series entails a variety of separate size kits for its users to choose from based on their specific needs. All are laboratory tested and certified to meet ISTA requirements. kit comes with everything needed to ensure the safest and most reliable transit; 2 mil. Poly bag, twist tie, payload carton, EPS insulated container, corrugated box, foam refrigerants, and a pack-out instruction sheet. The certified profile is designed for 48 hours and meets summer and winter standards!

In addition to designing and stocking pre-validated shippers; Polar-Tech offers laboratory testing for any temperature profile or specific need. Polar Tech’s testing lab utilizes industry standards such as ISTA and ASTM to service conditions for any company’s particular temperature range.
“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” 2   Switch to the company who makes your business the most efficient and effective. Polar Tech Industries is committed to keeping packaging simple and being your ONE stop for packaging protection.

coldchain one series prevalidated kits


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Organ Procurement Packaging Guidelines

Organ Procurement Packaging“Organ procurement organizations (OPOs) represent a unique component of health care. By federal law, they are the only organizations that can perform the life-saving mission of recovering organs from deceased donors for transplantation” – Association of organ procurement organizations.

There are 58 organ procurement organizations throughout the United States. They are all overseen by multiple government agencies and must obey the highest medical and ethical standards. OPO’s help give a gift more precious than anything: life to a person in need. With this being said, packaging for these organizations must be taken very seriously in order to properly deliver donated organs and tissues. The following are guidelines to adhere to while shipping commercially.

  • When shipping commercially, a disposable shipping box must be used.
  • The disposable shipping box must be labeled with the standardized label distributed by the OPTN contractor.

  • Disposable boxes are not allowed to be re-used.

  • The outer box must be a corrugated plastic or corrugated cardboard that is coated with a water resistant substance with at least 200 pound burst strength.
  • The inner container must be 1.5 inches thick, insulated container OR have an equivalent “R” value.
  •   A closed colored opaque plastic bag must be placed between the outer container and the insulated container. Closed is defined as being secured in a manner to prevent leakage (i.e. watertight).
  •   A second closed plastic liner must also be placed inside the insulated container to encase the ice. Closed is defined as being secured in a manner to prevent leakage (i.e. water tight). [1] 

Polar Tech would like to recognize these outstanding organizations, not only for the lives that they change; but also for their great cooperation with healthcare organizations and federal agencies.

It is an honor to work with such organizations and we are proud to be able to offer packaging solutions for them. We will continue to innovate and improve our line of products, so that we may always meet such guidelines for our current and future customers.

“The heart and soul of the company is creativity and innovation” – Robert Iger

For more information on Organ Procurement policies, including packaging specifications click here: 

[1] Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, (OPTN). Policy Management: Standardized Packaging, Labeling and Transporting of Organs, Vessels, and Tissue Typing Materials. 2/1/2013.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tis the Season to Make Dry Ice Snow

Tis the Season to Make Dry Ice Snow

With temperatures already increasing and summer waiting just around the corner, Polar Tech Industries wants to remind everyone about the importance of keeping their temperature sensitive products safe. Wanting to provide the best options and solutions for customers, Polar Tech is proud to introduce the new Absolute Zero dry ice snow maker. The AZ4 HIGH YIELD Dry Ice Snow Maker is ideal for small to high production as it produces 17 lbs. per 2 minutes, providing up to 47% yield.  Just another easier way for companies to keep their products as cold as ice during these hot summer months!

Some reminders why you might want to use dry ice snow during the upcoming summer and throughout the year:
  • Dry ice temperature is -109⁰F/79⁰C.
  • Dry ice will sublimate. Sublimate is the properties of going from a solid to a gas without becoming a liquid. 
  • Unlike water ice which causes an inconvenient wet mess, dry ice does not melt.
  • Dry ice is simple to use and easy to handle; the Absolute Zero dry ice snow maker is convenient for all users.
  • Dry ice gives more than twice the cooling energy per pound of weight and three times the cooling energy per volume than regular water ice.
  • Dry ice can be used in conjunction with cold packs or mixed with regular ice to save on shipping weight and extend the cooling energy of the refrigerant.
  • Dry ice can readily be packed and molded to fit easily around your product. Make sure to use insulated gloves!
  • Contrary to what is believed, dry ice snow making is now affordable and saves money in the long haul.

This summer season, don’t be intimidated by the heat. Remember to incorporate dry ice snow into your packaging and shipping. Keep things simple to make protecting your valuable product easy and fun! TIS THE SEASON TO MAKE DRY ICE. Stay Cool!

Watch the Absolute Zero Dry Ice Snow Maker in action:

* All models of dry ice snow makers require liquid CO2, bottom siphon tube, either low or high pressure supply tank. 

* For dry ice warnings from Polar Tech, please click here

For more information on dry ice visit our dry ice info section here or visit our website at

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recent Events

Recently reported in the news, there was a recall of the Expandable Insulated Lunch Box with Freezer Gel Pack imported by California Innovations Inc. In this report it states, "Gel that contains diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol can leak out of damaged freezer gel packs, posing a poisoning hazard if ingested by children or adults"(Associated Press, 2012).

Polar Tech Industries stands by the fact that all of our ice packs are food safe, leak proof and biodegradable. It is important to us that our customers feel safe when using our products and we wanted to post this information in order to settle any uncertainties that may have occurred as a result of this recent news. Please feel free to contact Polar Tech if you have any questions. 

Associated Press. (2012, January 24). Insulated lunch box. Retrieved from

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


In today's world, expectations and job duties have increased, while the time allotted to complete those tasks has declined. The visible print "Handle with Care" or "Fragile" stickers are sometimes not enough to assure your products arrive intact. This is why we strongly urge our customers to use insulated packaging, not only for insulation purposes, but also for protection. When you use EPS foam containers, you are adding to the strength of your package and using a product that has been tested for these types of situations.

The videos recently posted on CNN show carriers mishandling customer shipments, but it alludes to a bigger question. Can your packaging withstand this type of care?

Click here to see the video posted on CNN.