naturebox opened up

Have you been looking for healthy snacks but always come up empty-handed? Same here – they’re extremely hard to find! I have reviewed some here before, but finding a snack that tastes good, is actually healthy, and doesn’t cost $5 per serving is next to impossible.

That’s why I was initially skeptical of NatureBox, a service which delivers healthy snacks to your door each month for just $19.95.

And that’s $19.95 total for a box of snacks shipped to your door. That sure beats driving to Wal-Mart or Target for similar stuff that costs the same (or more) and is probably less satisfying.

Being based in San Francisco, NatureBox recently ran a promotion where you could get a Super Bowl party style snack assortment to eat while you cheer on the 49ers. I couldn’t resist! My box arrived on January 25th, over a week in advance of the Super Bowl… so I had to ask myself, “how can I not eat it all beforehand?!”

The box itself is good quality cardboard with an easy-open flap (the kind where you can open and close it repeatedly.) Along with the logo, the sides of the box are green so it’s obvious it’s a NatureBox. The color makes it much more exciting, too! If I got the same stuff from Amazon.com in a plain brown box, I wouldn’t be nearly as excited.

individual naturebox bags

Inside I found eight little bags of food. The bags themselves were very thin and light, so I’m assuming it’s some sort of environmentally-friendly packaging. You had to tear off the top of each bag, which was extremely easy, unlike some plastic or foil wrappers. Each was resealable as well.

There was a cardboard card inside highlighting what was included, and each bag had a label with a description, nutrition facts, and ingredients list. It had everything I needed and nothing I didn’t, more good news for the environment.

You’ll see in the pictures I put a serving of each snack out on some trays. What you won’t see is the pizza, nachos, and beer stockpiled over in the kitchen. 😉

In the end, the 49ers lost, but the snacks did not disappoint!

The Food Selection

Here’s a list of the snacks I’ve tried…

sunny trails snack mix

Sunny Trails
This one is a bunch of dried fruit (raisins, dates, papaya, apples, apricots, pineapple, etc.) and some almonds. Each piece is no bigger than a raisin. It’s pretty good eaten by the handful, which is really how you have to eat it. I prefer huge chunks of dried fruit that I can munch on, but if you like little pieces, this will work for you. It’s a good balance of super sweet fruits and more mild ones, plus the almonds to mix it up.

toasted sesame sticks

Toasted Sesame Stix
Strong sesame flavor hits your taste buds on the first bite! These have a good flavor and serious crunch. They’re not oily or greasy. This is a type of snack I always enjoyed, but never loved, so I can’t go into much detail here. However, I’d be willing to bet that if you enjoy sesame sticks, you’ll enjoy these ones!

 

maui onion crunch

Maui Onion Crunch
This was the overwhelming party favorite. Take crunchy almonds and cover them in an onion/garlic sauce – you can’t go wrong. You’ll taste both the sweet onion and tangy garlic. No need to go into further detail! Get this unless you’re weird and dislike onion or garlic!

 

zesta fiesta mix

Zesta Fiesta Mix
This mix contains corn sticks, flavored peanuts, almonds, and spicy pumpkin seeds. It’s definitely spicy, which I like. The peanuts and corn sticks are the spiciest. With this mix I found it best to toss a whole handful in my mouth, rather than go piece by piece. A handful is nice and spicy and you can taste the different flavors, which all go well together. I never tried a spicy mix like this with pumpkin seeds before. They did a good job with this combo. If you like spicy party snacks, this fits the bill!

masa crisps

Masa Crisps
Here’s the one item that looked like a snack cracker. They’re basically corn chips with flax seeds in them. I guess “corn masa” is basically “corn dough.” They look very interesting and taste great. Actually, they remind me of Fritos! (Though I haven’t had those in years.) They have the corn flavor, oily texture, and saltiness to fool me. I shouldn’t get these any more because I would mindlessly eat them non-stop!

southern bbq sunflower kernels

Southern BBQ Sunflower Kernels
Sunflower seeds are a good fatty snack, and the BBQ spice on these is delicious! These are like barbeque potato chips!! I’d go as far as to say they rival Middleswarth (Pennsylvania’s finest BBQ chips.) I could eat a bag of these every day! I didn’t think I’d get so excited by these, but man, the spice mix is perfect, and the crunch is just like a good potato chip.

peppery pistachios

Peppery Pistachios
These are good quality pistachio to start with, and NatureBox did a great job of getting the seasoning down inside the shells. I used to get a popular brand of salt and pepper pistachios that were good, but the shells had more flavor than the nut inside. The seasoning on these is delicious. It’s only salt and pepper according to the ingredients, but they must use some fancy pepper, because these have a more robust “bite” to them than I’m used to! (Also, conveniently, I didn’t run into any pistachios that were closed shut. Each one opened easily in my hands.)

lone star snack mix

Lone Star Snack Mix
This one appears to contain dry roasted peanuts, spicy cashews, almonds, masa crisp lookalikes, and even a few hazelnuts. The flavor is very bold and very strong. It’s not zesty like the fiesta mix. The cashews are stellar, the chips are good, and the almonds are good and spicy. I didn’t like the peanuts a whole lot on their own, but here’s the thing – this is a snack mix that DEFINITELY should be eaten as a snack mix. Grab a handful, don’t pick and choose. Consuming it all at once is so much better than any of the individual components.

That makes eight reviews, and there are so many more left to try, too! I’ll have to keep coming back and updating this part! (When will Big Island Pineapple be back in stock?!)

naturebox bag and contents

A Word About Their Health and Nutrition Practices

Since there are so many different snacks to choose from, I’m not going to list the specific details here – you can find them on the NatureBox.com website anyway. What I will do is make a few observations.

These are snack foods. Don’t be fooled into thinking these snacks are substitutes for fresh veggies. At the end of the day, these are still snacks, not the base of a healthy diet. It’s also very easy to eat too many if you’re not careful.

Not every ingredient is ideal. You’re still going to run into ingredients like wheat flour, sugar, salt, soybean oil, and preservatives in some cases. Many of the options are very natural, but some of them are still processed food, so they’ll contain small amounts of these less-than-ideal ingredients.

These are healthy for snack foods. By comparison, I’m pretty sure everything on the NatureBox menu is healthier than typical potato chips or snack crackers. That’s the whole point! You won’t find any high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors in any of the options.

There is something for everyone. Say you’re on the Paleo diet – there are lots of high-fat and high-protein options like the nuts and seeds. If you need carbs after a workout, there are plenty of crackers and dried fruit. If you want it all, there are trail mixes with good fat, protein, and carbs in a single bag. Quite a few are even Vegan friendly.

naturebox website

What Sets NatureBox Apart From Other “____ of the Month” Clubs?

In the past year, I’ve seen a few clubs like this pop up. Some offered socks, some shipped fresh razor blades each month, and some compiled snack foods and energy bars. Nothing was quite like NatureBox though. Here’s why…

NatureBox offers their own proprietary food concoctions.

The products you get in your NatureBox are not available at your local grocery store, so you don’t have to worry about a box of Planter’s peanuts and Wheat Thins showing up at your door. Not only that, what you do get is sourced from local growers in the Bay Area and independent food suppliers across the country. It’s mostly organic, too.

NatureBox has their own nutritionist on board.

There’s actually a company nutritionist who curates each set of snacks each month based upon a seasonal health and wellness theme. I’d much rather have my snack selection chosen by a nutritionist than a marketer or publicist trying to promote promote their brand!

You can choose what you get.

When you sign-up for NatureBox, you can go into your account dashboard and choose “surprise me” or “personalize.” If you choose to personalize your box, you can pick items from this selection, and those are what you get that month. That’s great if you have special needs.

In my mind, part of what you’re paying for is making use of their snack experts. And I like surprises! So in most cases I’d let them choose what neat stuff to send me each month.

They offer good gift subscriptions.

I instantly thought that NatureBox would make a great gift… but what if you don’t want to spend $20/month on someone for a whole year?

They offer multiple gift options that range from $60-200. This means you can get someone a three-month gift subscription and stay within your budget! You can also get a full year gift subscription for someone for $200 (which is $40 off retail pricing, or two months free.)

Tip: Ideally you’d gift this to someone you see often so that you also get to enjoy the snacks. 😉

NatureBox feeds hungry children.

NatureBox has a deal with charitable partners where, for each box they sell, they donate one meal to help feed hungry children!

naturebox snacks buffet table

My final verdict is…

As soon as I held my NatureBox in front of me, I knew it would be good. Now that I’ve tried it, I can say it was excellent! The service combines top-notch snack quality, great value, and giving back into one package. If you eat snacks, you need to do yourself a favor and sign up for NatureBox!

(If you act fast, I know there are still some coupons that will give you a discount on your first month.*)

Official website: NatureBox.com

Buy online: NatureBox.com

*Use promo code REFER25 and get 25% off your first month.

Product Review Details
Company: NatureBox.
Product: NatureBox
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Date last updated: 2013-02-07
Obtained Product: Purchased at online retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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2 Comments
  1. I’m sorry, but as someone who wasn’t paid to do a review, I have to say that it was very disappointing. The bags were $4 each and were very small, the food didn’t have good flavor, and the customer service workers have been impossible to deal with while trying to cancel my account.

  2. @Ashley

    Sounds like the complete opposite of my experience! Hopefully you can get things worked out.

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