Posted: March 11, 2019 by Alex Butler

No junk in this trunk!

I’ve never received a subscription box before and never really understood the appeal. I’m someone who shuns online ordering and chooses to traipse around Tesco for the big weekly shop because I don’t want someone else picking my potatoes so the thought of paying to get a box through the post with mystery items in baffled me! Having said that, I’m not a total neophobe and I do believe that you shouldn’t die wondering so I agreed to give it a whirl!  

First Impressions

The treat trunk arrived in an appealing, wholesome-looking package made from brown cardboard with decals to look like straps around a suitcase (or trunk!). I’ve been much more conscious of packaging waste for a while now and this one seemed thoughtfully produced as it was attractive yet recyclable. Once the lid was opened I was presented with a personalised info card giving an overview of some of the star products. As a mother to a 4-year-old boy (and a big fan of all things tealy-turquoise) the logo appealed to me and suggested that the contents would be good for the whole Butler crew! I’m not going to lie, from the name I was expecting some ‘naughty’ treats like exotic chocolate, luxury popcorn, maybe even a macaron so when I peeled back the tissue paper to reveal a hamper of vegan snacks, my heart sank a little (who am I kidding, I was gutted, but I’m a grown up so I soldiered on!). I’m not saying we have an unhealthy diet in our house but when I think of ‘treat’ it wouldn’t usually involve chickpeas! As we rifled through the numerous products inside there were some reassuring words such as ‘praline’, ‘salted caramel’ and ‘chocolate’ alongside the less ‘treaty’, ‘chia seed’, ‘acai, and ‘quinoa’. Some of the products were already familiar to us such as the BEAR fruit snacks and the Nakd bars but others seemed a bit too far outside of our comfort zone (I’m looking at you, lemon and black pepper savoury porridge!).

Products

The trunk contained far too many individual products for me to tell you about every single one, so I’ve compiled a list at the end (with a micro comment) so you can see just how many things you actually do get. I’ll give you a bit more detail about our favourites. Will, my aforementioned 4-year-old, dived straight into the Bear sour fruit yo-yos. We’ve bought Bear snacks for several years so he knew what he was getting. I like them as they sneak a wider range of veg into his diet and he likes them as he thinks they’re sweets! He monstered all three products over the course of the weekend so that’s at least 3 of his 10 fruit and veg portions covered! My husband, Paul, spotted the Hazelnut and Praline bar and wolfed it down no time at all! His feedback was, ‘Pretty good’ (doesn’t he paint a picture!) but he is a notoriously fussy eater when it comes to anything more exotic than fish and chips so secretly knowing that he had just eaten quinoa and liked made me chuckle inside! The Nakd bars were undoubtedly the best things inside the trunk! I have tried many of the flavours in the past but the two in the box were new to me. The salted caramel one was absolutely delicious and, to say that it only really contained dates, raisins, cashews, peanuts and a bit of sea salt, it tasted like it should be a lot ‘naughtier’! I will definitely be on the lookout for these in future and potentially hiding them in my secret snack store! Hippeas Salt and Vinegar Chickpea Puffs are another winner! I love salt and vinegar crisps, but I need them to have a proper bite! These did not let me down! At only 89kcal per bag they’re a strong contender for my new favourite crisp. They have texture similar to a chipstick but with a bit more structural integrity; like a firm wotsit! Right good! For my job I run a variety of craft workshops all across the north-west and it so happened that I was going to a full day workshop in Milnrow on Saturday. I do one of these every month so I’ve got my routine of packing up my lunch and snacks to see me through the 5 hours of teaching crochet pretty much down. As I’d received this box and I knew I had to write a review relatively soon, I thought I’d share some of the treats with my crocheters to get a broader perspective, so I grabbed a selection and chucked them in my lunch bag. I explained what was going on to the willing participants and asked them to write down their thoughts on each product. Here you go.. The Panda liquorice bars were a mega winner. I hate liquorice (one of my earliest memories is trying to get the taste out of my mouth whilst sitting in my pram in my grandma’s vestibule) so I will take their word for it that these are delicate in flavour, squishy in texture and ‘really lovely’! The comments for the Rhythm 108 Almond Biscotti were similarly favourable and included, ‘Yum yum!’, ‘Soft but full of almondy flavour’ and ‘Please can I take the rest of the bag home?’ (no, Beverley, you’ve got to share!) so I think these ticked all the right boxes. Sadly, the pear crisps were not popular. They were not crisps! I like dried fruits like mango and apricots and I like their chewy nature but these were one step beyond chewy! The Choc Chick plantain nibbles however were very well received. We all agreed that you’d struggle to tell them from chocolate raisins in a taste test. Praise indeed for a dairy-free snack! So, having worked my way through most of the contents (with a little help from my friends) I have come to the following conclusions.
  1. Vegan snack does not mean disappointing, tasteless, cardboard! Most of the products were really tasty and there are definitely a couple of things on the list that I will be making a conscious effort to get my hands on!
  2. Subscription snack boxes are a really good way to open yourself up to new products which you might otherwise walk past in the supermarket aisles, without having to shell out on a multipack to discover you don’t like pear crisps!
  3. Wotsits are dead to me! Long live the Chickpea puff!
Rating 8/10 a couple of curveballs but mostly tip-top tasty treats! Bear Jungle Paws – winner Bear Pure Fruit Yo-yos – tip top Bear Sour Fruit Yo-yos – sneaky veg win Bounce Almond Kale Protein Energy Ball – Incredibly chewy! Cacao and Orange and Acai Organic Raw Brownie Bar – very orangey and very chewy Choc Chick Plantain Bites – thought they were chocolate raisins Gregory’s Tree Double Fruit Twists – intense flavour Hippeas Salt and Vinegar Chickpea Puffs – LOVE! Lemon and Pepper Savoury Porridge – too weird! Sorry! Lions Raw Organic Raw Chocolate with lemon, grapefruit and lime – smooth and tasty Nakd bar Salted Caramel – I WANT TO EAT THEM ALL! Nakd Bar Coffee and Walnut – Plenty of taste Nakd Coconut Bliss Nibbles – nice taste but stuck to my teeth for ages Naturya Organic Berry Superbar – tasted more of seeds than berries Panda Liquorice bears – delicate flavour and squishy texture Pear Crisps – not crisps! Raduga Lavender and Pear flavoured Green Tea Blend – nice smell but less flavour Raduga Cardamom and Rose flavoured Green Tea Blend – very floral Refresh Coconut water with Watermelon – light flavour, refreshing Rhythm 108 Hazelnut and Praline Bar – ‘pretty good’ Rhythm 108 Almond Biscotti – delicious! Tropical Wholefoods 5-fruit salad bar – very dense and filling