Friday, December 12, 2014

NatureBox Review, Unboxing and 2014 Update!

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a LONG time, you might remember a review series I did on NatureBox. Let's just say it's one of my most read reviews, it's old and not very well written, and of course: it was pretty negative. I've been a long time fan of Graze box, and I have had many other snack subscriptions on and off over the past few years. NatureBox was naturally one I gravitated towards due to the large size of their snack portions. Graze is awesome, but there is nothing more sad than coming to the end of those tiny containers of delicious treats.
So I gave NatureBox a try for a few months. The first month started out great. The second had a few misses, but nothing that would make me cancel. The third box had some serious quality control issues in regard to food freshness, and ones I was not willing to overlook to continue receiving their service. 

It's been well over a year since my negative experience with NatureBox, and I had to wonder: Have they improved? The curiosity got the best of me, so I decided to peruse their site and see what was up.

First of all, I noticed they had changed their packaging, the site layout, and even offered a free trail sampler.  Even more interestingly, They had a huge variety of over 100 snacks to choose from. I've got to admit- there were a lot of yummy looking goodies that were too tempting to resist.

First off, let's talk a bit about what NatureBox is, what they offer, and what it costs.

About NatureBox
NatureBox delivers a world of carefully sourced and nutritionist-approved foods right to your door. Each snack contains wholesome ingredients - with no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors. Snacking has never been so deliciously fun and naturally easy.

How It Works
NatureBox has you choose a subscription plan from the following options:
Free Trial
This option is a small sampler box that contains 5 different snacks. It's free, however they have a $2 shipping charge on this box, AND it rolls into a monthly subscription. So if you are interested in this option but do not want a subscription, make sure you cancel as soon as your box ships.

You can also choose to pay month-to-month for your subscription, which is $19.95 per month. 
There are also discounted rates for subscriptions that are paid in advance, so if you know you'll be subscribing for awhile, these are good routes to take.

Each box contains 5 snacks, and to my knowledge, an occasional "bonus snack" that NatureBox chooses and adds into your box.

Many Options
You can leave your box up to chance, which has NatureBox choose all the snacks that will be in your box, or you can browse their snack libarary and add things to your "pantry." This will let NatureBox know which snacks you are interested in trying, and they will incorporate them into your box.

You can also add extra snacks into your box. Each snack costs a different price to add on, however the more you add on, the less the snacks cost.

So now that we've got the basics out of the way, Let's take a look at what I got in my NatureBox, and what I thought of each snack!

Italian Bistro Pretzels
I want to mention right off the bat that this box is pretzel-heavy. I chose all of these snacks rather than having NatureBox do the choosing. I love pretzels, so I chose 2 different types. My "bonus snack" also happened to be pretzels,'ll be seeing a lot of them. Moving on!
These italian bistro pretzels are really delicious, but powerful! First bite, it tastes a bit like a cross between an italian crouton and a pretzel nugget. It's a great flavor, however I found that these were a bit OVER flavored. You can see in the photograph how much seasoning is actually on these things! After a few pieces, your mouth starts to taste like you ate a canister full of italian breadcrumbs. I passed these onto my roommate so he could try them, and when I walked into his room to see what he thought, I was hit with an overwhelming scent. I thought he had cooked pizza...but nope. It was the pretzels. Yikes.

Lemon Almond Biscotti Bites
Aww yiss. This is what I'm talking about! These little biscotti cookies are so good that I literally could not stop eating them. They were the first things I tried in this box and they were gone within a few hours. They're crunchy and fresh-tasting, and have a great balance between the lemon and almond flavors. These would go great with tea, or just as a sweet snack on your lunch break. Probably my favorite snack in the bunch, and I would absolutely get them again!

Honey Dijon Pretzels
Snyders Honey Mustard and onion pretzel pieces are probably one of my all-time favorite snacks. My only issue with them is that they're in all different shapes and sizes, and can sometimes be hard to eat when you get a bag with mostly crumbs and small pieces. These honey dijon pretzels are perfection in that regard! They have the same great flavor, but are easy-to-eat nuggets rather than the Synders "pieces." These were also gone within a short time. Really enjoyed these!

Apple Pie Oat Clusters
I love apple-flavored desserts and breakfast bars, so I thought these would be a safe bet for me. The best way to describe these little guys would be: bite size granola bar cookies. If that sounds good to you, then you need to grab these bad boys. They're chewy with some crunch. They're apple-y goodness. They're bite sized. What more could you ask for? They tasted quite fresh as well. I could see these getting a little stale and bland if you waited too long to eat them after opening. So you know...make sure you eat them asap, which will not be hard to do!

Asiago & Cheddar Cheese Crisps
I got these because I wanted to try something that might be an alternative to potato chips. Asiago cheese is hit-or-miss with me, so I was curious to see how these would taste. 
They do have a very satisfying crunch, and have a lot of flavor. If you live in New England or somewhere that is close to a Dunkin Donuts, I would say that these taste very similar to the Dunkins asiago cheese bagel twists. Unfortunately, I wasn't too fond of these overall. Not because they weren't fresh, but because I wasn't big on the asiago flavor. It came off tasting a bit too burnt for my liking. My mother absolutely loved these, though, so if you're into asiago, you'll probably really enjoy them!

BONUS SNACK: Sourdough Cheddar Pretzels
I honestly don't know if NatureBox always includes a bonus snack, or if it's done on a schedule/at random etc, but they included one in my first box! They must have noticed my pretzel-love and decided to send me this flavor to try. These pretzels are coated in a cheddar cheese flavoring, however they are also made with a beer flavor infused in them that I was definitely not fond of. I absolutely hate beer, beer-battered things, or anything that semi-tastes like beer. Because of that, I really didn't like these. However, that is my preference, and you might really enjoy them. There were no quality issues here either, simply a matter of taste.

Overall Thoughts
I've got to hand it to NatureBox: they're really stepped up their game in regards to quality, selection and service. Their website is much more intuitive now than it was a year ago. It's so easy to browse the snacks and choose the ones you like. It was so easy to cancel my subscription (just the click of a button), whereas before I had to e-mail someone and wait for a response.  There are over 100 snacks to choose from, which is an amazing variety, and I also think they are more generous with the portion sizes (going by what I saw in my snack bags).
I'm genuinely surprised and pleased with my updated NatureBox experience. The flavor of the snacks was almost perfect. I do think the Italian pretzels need a little work. They need to ease off on that flavoring! The asiago crisps weren't my cup of tea, but they weren't bad-tasting at all! I wish they offered cheddar pretzels that didn't have a beer-taste to them as well. I bet they'd be quite popular!
The snacks I did like were fantastic. The honey dijon pretzels, lemon almond biscotti and apple pie oat clusters were absolutely delicious, and surprisingly, I enjoyed them enough to consider getting a regular NatureBox subscription in the future.

If you're interested in signing up for NatureBox, you can do so HERE

I found some coupons online to help you save some money on your first NatureBox! I have no idea if all of these works, but give them a try!

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. Monetary compensation was received, and goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post does not contain affiliate or referral links.

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