I don't know who dreamed up the idea of subscription boxes, but one of the earliest must surely be the Graze box. Most boxes are monthly but this comes every week, in a letterbox friendly card box containing four snacks. Boxes vary in color, and sometimes you get one with a seasonal motif but here is a typical example:
Simple and effective. The address is on the reverse and holding it closed are two plastic bands. Cut through them and open up to reveal...
The wee booklet contains the ingredients of each box plus a tear-off strip with four vouchers to distribute to potential grazers. Most of what you see is recyclable, from the box and booklet to the plastic trays which have a triangle with a 1 inside meaning it can go into kerbside recycling. The only parts for landfill are the plastic bands and peel-off lids which isn't bad.
When I first joined you sometimes got a paper napkin with certain snacks or even a wooden spoon but those options are long gone. Another older feature is that occasionally you received a card sheet with push-out shapes that made up into a figure such as a snowman, robin or bunny. The idea was you posed it and took a photo to be entered into a Facebook competition. I just displayed mine on my mantelpiece but it was a nice gesture. I guess one that ultimately just made more waste to be recycled, but there you go.
Here are the four snacks, this time all savory but usually a mix of sweet and savory. How do you know what you are getting? It is fairly random but you have quite a bit of control. Just go to the site and you will find headings for different types of snack. There are savories, cookies, cakes, dips, "a touch of chocolate", seeds etc. You get the chance to rate love, like or bin with (on some items) the option of ticking a box for Send Soon. This means that you want the item as soon as possible. Love means you will get the item a lot, like sometimes and bin never. Be warned that if you can't eat nuts you might get them rather often and all the food comes from a kitchen that must be awash with them.
This bos was a good one as it had four of my "loved" Send Soon items.
Chilli Bean Crunch - chilli broad beans and wild rice sticks
Lightly Spicy - carrot crisps, wild rice sticks, jumbo chilli corn and black beans
Spicy Sriracha Crunch - salted corn, sriracha coated pea and corn hoops - salted
Smoky Barbecue Crunch - BBQ flavoured peas, corn chips & chilli corn
The Graze ethos is to replace unhealthy snacks with healthy ones, such as the type they sell. Everything is high quality, and the only reason I "bin" anything is if it is not to my personal taste rather than it isn't up to standard. What I subscribe to is their Variety Box and it costs £3.79 a week. There are other options to fit in with diets, a gift option if you want to send a box as a present, a shop where you can buy more of your favorites and plenty of information about health benefits of the items in the boxes.
Graze has branches in Ireland and the Netherlands as well as the UK and I get excited every Tuesday (you can have your box delivered other days if you wish) when I hear the thump of the box landing on my mat.
- Quality - Can't be faulted 10/10
- Value For Money - I would say pretty good. Not a bargain or overpriced 9/10
- Delivery - You get the odd hiccup when the box is a day or so late but nothing serious. You don't have to sign for it (hooray!) and it is delivered by your postperson 9/10
- Versatility - Allergies are warned about and it really is unsuitable for anybody with a serious nut allergy but it does not claim otherwise. You can opt out of anything not for you, buy a box as a gift and more of your favorites 8/10
- Green - Most of it can be recycled. 9/10
- Customer Service - A Facebook prescence but not big posters. Whenever I have contacted them I have been dealt with courteously and helpfully. Website average to use. 8/10
- The Whole Nine Yards - As mentioned you got more of this a few years ago than you do now. Plain and simple is how I would describe it and nothing wrong with that. I haven't used their gift service so am unsure how the boxes look but a bit fancier would be worthwhile. 6/10
So, would I recommend it? Yes I would. I would like a few tweaks such as more new snacks more often, a chance to suggest new ones via their Facebook page and more seasonal specials. Currently this is limited to their mince pie flapjacks but some sort of Easter biscuit would be nice, or maybe their Tom Yum Yum rice crackers for Chinese New Year. Long discontinued, they are still my #1 Graze snack and the best rice crackers I ever tasted.