OK, I have to be honest. As a frugal vegan, I've never been much for the idea of a food subscription box. My inclination is to live off dirt cheap foods like dried beans and frozen spinach. However, the culinary explorer inside of me decided to give Urthbox a try.
Being already skeptical, I was expecting the whole thing to be kind of boring. However, this was probably one of the most fun reviews I've written to date.
If you don't want to read the entire review, here's the bottom line:
Main Reason Why I Liked It: I loved being able to try the wide variety of snacks that Urthbox provided. Many of the products inside of the box actually inspired me to go out and create similar, cheaper, and healthier versions of the snacks.
Most of the products I had never seen, so the novelty and different flavors were quite exciting. I think it's worth getting a few boxes for some inspiration and to see just how much different vegan stuff is out there. It would also make an excellent gift for someone who loves to graze / snack.
Main Complaints: Well, I don't think there's much to not like per se, but I think the cost could be a little bit less (I didn't use a coupon code though). Additionally, I would have liked to see more healthier snacks in the box.
Some of the snacks were made with clean, healthy ingredients. However, a lot of others seemed to be more like candy or somewhere in the middle between healthy food and junk food. Not to say that these snacks didn't taste good, but I don't like seeing the word healthy thrown around haphazardly.
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Urthbox isn't a completely vegan company, but I was able to choose a vegan box from their selection. Depending on which size you choose, they will send you a selection of up to 30 unique curated snacks and even beverages.
You have a bunch of different options to choose from:
Mini: This box includes 6+ snacks
Small: This box includes 12+ snacks
Medium: This box includes 18+ snacks
Large: This box includes 25+ snacks
From there, you get to choose if you want to do it for one month, three months, or six months. As you might imagine, the longer you sign up for the Urthbox, the more money you save.
From there, you can pick from four options: Classic, Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Diet.
So what did I pick for this review?
Well, since I'm vegan, naturally I decided to go with the vegan subscription box. Because I don't snack that often and was also doing this as a bit of a sample run, I decided to go with the Small box which included 12+ items. As you'll see in the full review, the entire thing came with 13 snacks.
We ordered the Small Vegan Urthbox to test it out which came with 12+ snacks. The picture below is all of the stuff that came inside it, neatly stacked for your viewing pleasure. Obviously, they wouldn't be able to ship it like that!
I have to admit that the unboxing process was pretty cool. I've always scoffed at the idea of unboxing, being that it's such a big trend. But I must confess, I had fun opening the box and sorting through all the products. It was almost like being a kid in a candy store!
On an individual basis, most of the products were pretty cool. Let's take a deeper dive into what they were and how they tasted:
Praises: These lightly roasted fava beans were really tasty and make a great snack. As a huge sushi fan, it's hard to find the wasabi and ginger flavor profile outside of a Japense restaurant. It was nice that Nuttee and Bean Co. decided to put it onto fava beans! The wasabi in these is really powerful and the ginger was a bit more subtle. I was experiencing a bit of a cold and they cleared up my sinuses, which was nice. It was also really cool that the product included a resealable pouch.
Cons: I think that the ginger flavor could have been a bit more prominent. Also, because I try to stay away from oil, especially when snacking, I think they could have gotten away with more of a dry roast or at least cut the oil in half. They aren't overly greasy or oily or anything, but this is just a personal preference.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Praises: I've had peanut butter powder before, and I think it's great! This wasn't much different than other brands I've had in the past, but I suppose that is to be expected. I ended up sprinkling mine on some oatmeal along with some cocoa powder and it was almost like a peanut butter cup!
One of the reasons why I liked getting Urthbox was because it gives you a chance to try stuff like this. Had I not tried peanut butter powder in the past, this would have made me aware that I should go buy some.
Cons: Wish the packaging was a bit bigger. It's quite a small pouch and would like to have seen at least a few more servings.
Overall Rating: 9/10
Praises: This was delicious and is going to quickly make it to our best vegan Nutella alternatives list! The flavor was very nostalgic and brought me back to my Nutella eating days.
Cons: It's a mild criticism, but I thought the flavor was a bit too sweet. The package does say it was 40% less sugar, but when compared to original Nutella, I felt it was a bit less creamy and a bit more sweet.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Praises: OK, I'm not really a huge fan of chewy candy, but these are delicious! They were great because they were not overly sweet and had a spicy little ginger kick at the end. Much like the pickled ginger at Japanese restaurants, it was a big palette cleanser. I wouldn't mind eating these between different courses to help get my mouth ready for new flavors.
There was also a ton of them in the package! I'll be snacking on these for a while.
Cons: Not many negative things to say. It's not exactly a "healthy" snack, but that's not what the product is intended to be.
Overall Rating: 10/10
Praises: These chips or fries (not sure what to call them) were DELICIOUS with a capital D. The vinegar flavor was yummy and tangy. Not too overpowering, but just enough to really bring out the flavor in the potato. The idea for a fry and chip hybrid is genius! It's a texture that's new and exciting. As someone who has potato chips as a guilty pleasure, these get my highest level of praise.
Cons: Not the healthiest snack, but again, I can't fault the product for that. They made something truly delicious.
Overall Rating: 10/10
Praises: The flavor of these was good, but in a weird way. I wasn't sure if it was trying to be sweet or salty. Matcha is a really difficult flavor to describe, and I think you have to try it to know if you love it or hate it. Overall I did like the flavor of these chips, though.
Cons: I would have liked to try another one of Vegan Rob's products after having a look at their website. Their asparagus chips seem to be more whole-foods based and I thought would have been a healthier option for the Urthbox.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Praises: This did not taste how I expected. After having opened the package I thought it was going to be a juice, but it was actually something between a liquid and a fruit snack. You open up the package and suck the little straw at the top. Rather than being a juice, it was actually very thick, kind of like jello. Let's just say it was interesting, but it wasn't something that I completely jived with.
Cons: The texture was too strong and the texture wasn't something that I liked. This was probably just my personal preference, but I'd rather something just be a juice or a fruit snack. I don't think I'd want something in the middle.
Some people might love this snack, but it just wasn't really for me. I also think that it would have been better if it was served cold, perhaps in a single serve cup rather in this container.
Overall Rating: 5/10
Praises: As a pretty basic fruit strip, I liked it. It tasted good, the texture was nice and sticky and I wouldn't mind eating one again. There isn't too much to say about it.
Cons: Nothing too exciting. It was just a bit simple and basic. Wouldn't have minded a more interesting flavor.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Pros: These tasted REALLY good. I quite enjoyed them with a cup of tea. It reminded me of being in Europe where they give you a biscuit whenever you order coffee or tea at a cafe. Such practices aren't typical in America and so I found enjoying these biscuits to be quite a nostalgic and enjoyable experience.
The biscuits themselves actually looked really cool too, check them out:
Cons: Not really anything close to a healthy snack. Not sure why it was in the Urthbox. But again, it was REALLY good.
Overall Rating: 9/10
Praises: To be honest, I was expecting this to taste a bit weird. I also am not really a fan of these types of energy bars. However, I was actually pleasantly surprised! The flavors were a combination of fruity and oat-y and the texture was rather pleasant. It also had a bit of a "homemade" vibe which I quite enjoyed.
Beets are all of the rage because of their potential performance enhancing capabilities. Studies have shown that they can help you get greater performance with less oxygen. I didn't do any athletic activities after consuming the bar, but I can vouch for beet juice itself! Perhaps next time I'll try this bar before a work out.
Cons: Nothing bad to say about this one.
Overall Rating: 9/10
Praises: This bar was OK. I liked the different textures of the nuts, seeds, and barley flakes. The flavor was Chai Spice which was kind of unique, but not unique enough to really make my taste buds go "wow!".
Cons: To me, this tasted like a bunch of other bars that I have tried in the past. I'm not sure which ones, but I swear I've had a bunch of them that taste just like this. Again, it was OK, but not something that I'm going to write home about.
Overall Rating: 6/10
Praises: Wow, finally a vegan protein powder that isn't completely chalky. Although the package showed the final smoothie as green, I just made it with some soy milk and some ice cubes and it came out more white. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing though. The flavor was mild with just enough vanilla. It was cool and refreshing and didn't taste like you were drinking a bunch of greens or a kale shake. I'm probably going to end up buying a tub of this stuff!
Cons: Nothing bad to say, this protein powder was awesome.
Praises: This was definitely my favorite product in the entire Urthbox! It was super healthy and tasted even better than an instant ramen, in my opinion! It was basically a noodle cup that I poured water into and stuck into the microwave. After a few minutes of eating and letting it sit, it was a flavorful quinoa bowl that was ready to eat. It had whole veggies that hydrated in the cooking process.
Cons: No Cons, LOVED this product.
Overall Rating: 10/10
Out of curiosity, I did an internet search to find out what all of the products would cost if I bought them individually. Because many of them are sold in bigger bulk, it was difficult to get a picture that was 100% accurate. To make up for the difference, I would take the bulk price and divide by amount of units. Also keep in mind that prices vary all the time, so this may not be 100% accurate at the time of reading:
Keen One Quinoa Cup: $4.30
Ground-Based Superfood Protein: $2.42
Pink Lady Apple Barley Plus: $1.16
Beet It Sports Bar: $1.99
Piroucrisp Tea Biscuits: $2.00*
SunRype Fruit to Go: $0.80
Fuigees Orange Carrot Fruit Snack: $1.89
Spinach and Matcha Kettle Chips: $2.99
Whole Cuts Sea Salt and Vinegar: $2.15
Price of Peace Ginger Chews: $2.76
Nutiva Organic Hazlenut Spread: $1.30
100% Peanut Powder by Sure PB Packet: $1.24
Wasabi and Ginger Fava Beans: $1.50
Total Cost: $26.50*
What I Paid for the Urthbox: $29.99* (I didn't use a coupon code)
*Keep in mind that these numbers don't include shipping and all of the prices were gathered from online retailers. If you consider that Urthbox gives them to you individually rather than buying in bulk (without paying extra shipping), it definitely comes out to be a better deal than buying them separately.
Additionally, you can save $10 by using our promotional link so you'd definitely be getting a good deal on your first box.
Finally, if you love Urthbox and use their points system, you can start making it even more cost-effective.
Urthbox is marketed as a "healthy" snack box and we found that some of the snacks weren't exactly healthy. Things like the ginger chews, the tea biscuits and some of the bars had a lot of added sugar and just aren't what I would consider to be a healthy snack. As you can see by our feedback, most of them were good taste-wise, though.
That's not to say that all of the snacks were this way. The things like the Keen One Cup and Superfood Protein Blend was more of what I expected when trying out a healthy snack box.
It's also not to say that the other snacks were on the same level as a candy bar. It just wasn't the level of healthfulness that I might have expected.
Overall, everything in the box was a nice snack, but I'd like to see more of of the really health conscious snacks in future boxes that don't have much added sugar or refined oils.
This would be our #1 con of the box.
As with any subscription box service, you need to understand their terms carefully and be mindful of the fact that you've joined something that has recurring charges. Many people (including myself) accidentally let their subscription run longer than they want and then got another box that they weren't expecting. This can be really frustrating, but comes with the territory of any subscription service.
The best thing to is to mark it on your calendar, or even better, set a reminder on your phone before when the next charge is going to be. That way you remember to cancel it before paying for something you don't want.
Anyway, my interaction with the customer service team was brief and uneventful. When I signed up for the first box I had contacted them because I was unsure if it was going to be recurring. The representative explained to me when I would be billed again. It was all pretty standard and brief.
If you're mindful of the fact that you're signing up for a recurring service and cancel it when you no longer want it, then there shouldn't be any issues.
Many people online had complaints about their customer service, likely because they forgot to cancel once they stopped wanting it, but our experience was just fine.
Here's the conversations I had with them:
Since we are a subscription company, all of our orders will auto-renew. Any time a new order is placed in one month, it ships out for the first time mid month the following month. Since you ordered in August your first box will ship out mid September therefore your renewal date isn't until October 1st and will have time to receive your first box and try out our products before deciding if you would like to renew or cancel.
You are on a monthly subscription so you're set to renew for a month on October 1st! You can cancel this auto-renewal at any time before your renewal date with customer service at [email protected] or 888-959-8277. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.
As I mentioned, I forgot to cancel it and let it run for a month longer than I wanted. I e-mailed their customer service team and they were quick to respond and get it taken care of.
Overall, I think Urthbox is great for the person who likes to snack. This is especially true for new vegans who aren't fully aware of all of the neat stuff there is out there to try.
Even though I was skeptical of subscription boxes at first, I have to say that the experience of un-boxing, unwrapping, and trying everything was really fun! I'm definitely going to be trying another subscription box real soon and may even get another Urthbox down the line.
Hey! I’m Michelle and I write product reviews for ThriveCuisine.com. I’m always preparing healthy / plant based foods and I’ve developed a knack for helping people get the best bang for their buck.