NatureBox

Hi friends –

First, let’s all send a smile to @CherryCobbler, the winner of my China Study Cookbook Giveaway. I’d also like to give a big THANKS to BenBella Books and to all of you that entered.

China Study Cookbook: Review & Giveaway

Next, In my quest to try as many Food Subscription boxes as I can, I’ve got another review for you!  

This time, I’m reviewing Nature Box.  I’m always on the look-out for healthy snacks to pack for work or to carry along with me when I’m out and about, so their focus on nutritionist-approved snacks had me intrigued enough to try out this service on my own dime. 

Nature Box Mission (source: naturebox.com)

I signed up for their Deluxe Package of 5 full-sized snacks for $19.95.  The contents were a surprise until the box-of-the-month arrived at my door.

My First Box

My first box was their “Spice of Life” box which contained Lemon Meringue Waffles, Whole Wheat Raspberry Figgy Bars, Banana Bread Granola, Italian Bistro Pretzels, and their Taj Mahal Snack Mix.

Mike was in heaven.  From the garlic & parmesan spiked pretzels to the light-as-a-cloud lemon meringue waffle cookies, he told me this was his favorite of all the snack services I’d tried so far.

I agreed that the snacks were delicious but I also gave myself a little slap on the wrist for not researching further before placing my order.  While I’m not a strict vegan, I had just assumed that most, if not all, items in the pack would be vegan… since most trail-mixes, dried fruits and nuts are vegan, right?  Wrong. 

Even my beloved Taj Mahal Snack Mix (omg… this stuff is FANTASTIC – with sweet golden raisins and plenty of curry powder) had hidden Eggs and Milk in it.  For my almost-vegan conscience, this was a truly guilty pleasure.

In fact, only one of the five products in my first box was Vegan.  Surprisingly, the lone Vegan item was the one that I would have least expected to be vegan – the Whole Wheat Raspberry Figgy Bars!  These were pretty good, though I wished they were a little less sweet and a little more tart.  I especially loved how portable they were.

I decided to drop Nature Box a note to inquire about Vegan options and learned that 100% Vegan Boxes ARE available… if only I had asked! Customer Service just had to set me up to Self-Select my Treats.  

I was bummed to have the Surprise-Factor taken out, but I figured that for a proper review, I ought to give this option a try.

My Second Box

I was pretty impressed with the self-selection features on their website.  I was able to pull up full nutrition and ingredient profiles for all of the snacks in their large catalog – many of which had very few ingredients.  Vegan products were also clearly labeled in their search screen.  The only bummer?  A couple of the snacks I was most eager to try were sold-out, but there were plenty of vegan, minimally-processed items to choose from.

Although the surprise-factor was gone, I was still really excited when my second box arrived.  I couldn’t wait to taste-test the new-to-me snacks that I had ordered.

My favorite items of my new package were the Orange Crush Granola and the Bombay Curried Cashews.

I also ordered the crunchy Barbacoa Peas, Southern BBQ Sunflower Seeds, and the Cranberry Almond Bites of puffed rice, fruit & nuts.

Mike didn’t love my hand-picked selections as much as the first batch (he says I always choose super-healthy over extra-tasty), but that just meant there was more for me!

I started off making individually packed baggies to bring to work, but eventually wound up just bringing the full size packages to work and keeping them in my desk drawer.  They really did make for the perfect healthy work-day snacks, and I loved the portable, resealable packaging.

My Third Box (?!?!)

A few weeks later, I was surprised to have a package waiting for me at home from Nature Box.  I knew it was a monthly subscription program but I had assumed (wrongly) that I would have received an email reminder to select my order before the next one would ship.  Imagine my frustration when I opened my box only to find an exact duplicate of my prior month’s order.  

They did toss in a Bonus Snack (Honey Mesquite Almonds), which would have really put a smile on my face if I had actually wanted repeats of the other 5 items in my box.

I called Customer Service and explained that I had never received a reminder email.  The representative was very friendly, but an apology was all I got since the self-selection feature is a new aspect that they are currently testing out.

Good thing healthy snacks never go to waste in my house!

Overall

Overall, I have mixed feelings about Nature Box.  

I love their selection of healthy, high-quality snacks and the portions & packaging really fit my on-the-go (and constantly snacking) lifestyle.  

On the down side, I do think that they have a few kinks in their process to work out.  First, I was not aware of the self-selection feature, or even able to access it, without a call to Customer Service.   Second, on the self-selection feature, I think reminder emails are critical since I imagine most customers want to use this service to try NEW snacks, not repeats!  And of course, I’d also love to see a Vegan Surprise-Box option at some point in the future.

My verdict: As is, I think the service would be great for anyone without dietary restrictions.  As a striving vegan,  I would absolutely consider using the service in the future, but only after giving them some more time to work out the kinks in the process.

Save 50% on your first Nature Box:

If you’re thinking of giving Nature Box a try, you can get 50% off your first order using this referral link and the code SHARE10 (note: I’ll also earn an account credit, which I’d love to use to test out their service again in the future).

 

I’d love to hear from you!

What Food Subscription Services have you tried?

If you’ve tried Nature Box, please let me know what your experience was like! 

Subscription Service Summary:

As I continue to try out various subscription services, I’ll keep adding to the chart below so that you can compare & contrast and see which service is right for you!

 

Service / Review Links

Price per Month 

(Including US Shipping)

Dietary Pref Countries Notes
Vegan Cuts $19.95 

 100% Vegan 

 Mostly GF

Canada +$8
Worldwide +$15
>7-10 Products
>Includes occasional non-food products (i.e. vegan lipgloss)
Love With Food  $12  n/a US Only  >8+ products
>A meal donated for every box
>Fun Monthly Themes
>Points/Referral program to earn products
Bestowed  $19  n/a  US Only

>All products are selected by nutritionist Heather Bauer
>A Sheet of Tips & Ideas for using the products is included

Nature Box $19.95 n/a for Surprise OR can Self-Select  US Only

>Surprise boxes of 5 large-sized, nutritionist approved snacks
>Call Customer Service to gain access to self-select your snacks

Graze Box $6.49 Vegan & GF Options US Only

>4 individually portioned snacks
>Snacks are customized to your personal preferences
>Referral program to earn products OR donate to charity
>Promo: Get your First Box Free

What should I review next? Suggestions welcome!!!