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As I've ventured into the world of subscription boxes, I've stumbled across many fun & inventive ones.
I can't say I ever envisioned myself trying a keto box—or any dietary box for that matter. I'm not on a specific diet myself, so there didn't seem to be any point. However, my mom is!
For the past couple of years, my mom has taken the keto diet very seriously. As opposed to treating it like a fad, as some people do, it's become more of a lifestyle for her. And she has actually seen very positive results!
Now, I'm not a dietitian. I'm not advocating for or against being keto. Some people find it abhorrent for your body and others, like my mom, find it very cleansing.
What I love is that those who follow this diet are included in the subscription box world too—that there is something out there that appeals to them. There are also vegan boxes, paleo boxes, etc.
What exactly does it mean to be keto?
The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carb diet that forces the body to burn fats instead of carbs. Some people reduce their carb intake almost entirely while others limit it—although it's important to note that MOST foods have carbs (including vegetables!!). This reduction in carb intake puts your body into a metabolic state called "ketosis." Because you are burning fat instead of carbs, it is linked to weight loss, blood sugar control, etc.
What is The Keto Box?
My mom and I ordered The Keto Box for the month of August. There ARE other keto subscription boxes too, like "Keto Krate," but we have yet to try them. Perhaps in the future it would be fun to do a comparison post. But anyway, as per their website, The Keto Box is...
"a subscription service that sends out 10+ low carb snacks to your doorstep monthly. We provide snacks and goodies that help those on the ketogenic diet. We curate hard to find and new snacks for our customers to enjoy! Our box contains keto items and snacks such as (but not limited to):
On the go snacks
Condiments and sauces
Initial impressions of the box before opening
We were both surprised at how small the box was. We knew that this observation alone didn't necessarily determine the quality of the content INSIDE the box. However, considering the box contained 10 products inside, we figured it would be almost double the size.
Items in the August box
Product #1: Field Trip Snacks's Parmesan Peppercorn Pork Rinds
I'm starting with these pork rinds both because it was the first item we pulled out of the box and also because it is the only product we cannot comment on, as we didn't try it. My family doesn't eat pork for religious reasons. They look good, if that helps!
Figured I'd get the boring one out of the way first.
Retail Value: $2.20
Product #2: House of Macademia's Nuts with Namibian Sea Salt
Would you believe that my mom had never before tried macadamia nuts?! (Or at least to her recollection; I'm sure she actually has at some point in time). She had seen containers at the store but never made the investment—they ARE rather pricey. So she loved these.
Even though it was a small pack, she thought they were delicious. I agreed that they were tasty, yet simple. My mom loves to grind up nuts and use them in recipes or on top of her yogurt. I think this inspired her to go buy more.
Retail Value: $2.50
Product #3: The Cookie Department's "Cake Walk" Cookie
We thought this one was SCRUMPTIOUS. I was happily surprised by this cookie because frankly, keto cookies can be a hit or miss—with more times being misses. I'm also not the largest fan of birthday cake-flavored sweets, so I didn't have high expectations. But this was yummy!
It did have a somewhat crumbly texture, which was to be expected given that it's made with almond flour. However, it was very moist and had a rich, buttery flavor. I've actually craved this cookie since unboxing.
Retail Value: $3.75
Product #4: Sweet Logic's "Confetti Mug Cake"
Two birthday cake items in one box? What?!
Unfortunately, this one was not as good as the cookie. In fact, it was one of my least favorite items in the box. Mom agreed.
I noted that it had a grittier texture while Mom commented on the fact that it was mushy. (Granted, we did taste it directly out of the microwave but still. I wonder if the microwave's wattage could have anything to do with this?).
The flavor just seemed off to me. Mom said it was almost too sweet—ironically.
However, my brother, Farris, liked it!! So...?
Retail Value: $3.60
Product #5: Country Archer's Original Beef Stick
This beef stick had a good flavor, reminiscent of beef jerky. It did have a pretty strong pepper component, which could arguably make it spicy for certain taste buds. My mom, who prefers milder tastes, wasn't the biggest fan of this part.
I did think it was a little silly to include this product in a keto box. Yes, all beef sticks may NOT be keto like this one is; many, however, are. I would think the point of a box like this would be to introduce good keto substitutes for "normal" snacks and ingredients, like cookies and breads and whatnot—things that are normally taboo for a keto person. Not something you can find near the checkout of every Walmart.
Like sure, broccoli is keto, but that doesn't mean people want to receive it in their $40 box, right? We prefer our Costco Greenridge Farm beef sticks more anyway (which ARE keto!).
Retail Value: $1.99
Product #6: Fullgreen's "Cauli Rice"
Now this was a true disappointment. Sooo bland.
I know that cauliflower rice in and of itself is on the blander side, but I was hoping that since it was advertised to be flavored with tomato, garlic, and herbs right on the front of the package, it might be flavorful & potent. Nope.
My mom literally said, "Yuck." She said she would prefer just plain ol' cauliflower with butter and salt, and I would completely agree with that statement. We did try to add some butter and salt to the Cauli Rice with minimal results.
The same way I thought the Confetti Mug Cake had an "off" taste, Mom thought this did too—and she attributed it to a "paprika/pepper taste." (Again, this may be a bias, but it's worth noting if you are also sensitive to such tastes).
Mom wanted to throw it away entirely. I was able to get through at least half of it. But definitely not my favorite.
Retail Value: $2.36
Product #7: Ice Chips's Peppermint Xylitol Mints
We both said these mints would be nice to keep in your purse or bag for after a meal. They've got a powerful peppermint flavor. I think they're almost a little too strong in my opinion, like they were heavily flavored with peppermint extract—you know, that artificial taste?
They are super pretty, though! I like the concept of having mints that look like ice chips. I found one that looked like a heart!
Retail Value: $4.99
Product #8: Keto Chow's Chocolate Shake
This is actually meant to be a meal substitute. I like this product for what it represents: both a filling meal and a keto-friendly option to a beloved chocolate shake.
It reminded me of Swiss Miss's hot cocoa. Mom noted its rich chocolatey taste and added that you could probably put it in a blender with some ice to make a delicious frosty drink.
This was a cool product to receive!
Retail Value: $3.33
Product #9: Mavuno Harvest's Dried Organic Coconut
This product is good, but at the end of the day, it's just coconut. At least it can be used as an ingredient in many keto recipes.
The bag was a decent size, about the size of my spread-out hand. I also appreciate that it's made from organic coconuts.
My mom, who got dentures years ago, wouldn't be able to eat this without cutting/grinding it up. They are pretty tough strips of coconut.
Retail Value: $3.99
Product #10: Kalifornia Keto's "Cinnamon Pecan K*Bites"
I thought these were ehh. Mom, on the other hand, enjoyed them much more. I'm not the BIGGEST peanut butter person to begin with, nor am I a fanatic lover of cinnamon, so these two flavors together was a little overwhelming in my opinion. I would eat one or two and be done.
My mom likes this style of sweets—the dessert bombs, balls, and bites (weird to say, right??). I knew this would be up her alley from the second I pulled it out of the box. She also texted me the next day and said they were somehow even better on day 2.
The cool part is that you can choose which nut butter to mix into the powder. I could've probably done cashew butter and enjoyed them much more!
I did also find out they produce an almond espresso flavor, and those sound right up my alley.
Retail Value: $6.99
Fun experience getting to try everything, especially with someone else
It helps you figure out what's worth ordering (or recreating!) and what's not
Likely to receive organic products
Comes with coupons for the products
On the pricier side—$30 would seem more fair
Most products are single servings, like ONE cookie or ONE beef jerky stick instead of a pack
Not all tasty
Hard to purchase some snacks individually & not in bulk
To summarize, the box as as whole seems overpriced for the amount you get—not the number of products but the size of the products themselves. However, the cumulative retail value of the box is actually around $35, so $40 doesn't seem far off once you count shipping costs and hourly wage for employees. (Granted, the company doesn't PAY even close to retail value for these items). It's also important to recognize that these are keto foods, and most dietary products do cost more than average products.
The variety was relatively good in the box, but I do hope in future months we receive more things like drinks, sauces, baking mixes, sugar substitutes, etc.
At the end of the day, these boxes are fun and eye-opening. The whole point of them is that you get to try new foods you wouldn't have thought to buy before, or that you may have seen but hesitated on. Products you may decide to go out again and buy.
And though this may seem like somewhat of a stretch, part of art is exposure; these kinds of boxes undoubtedly expose people to new tastes & sensations, which is one of multiple reasons I love them. They've got a creative component that I appreciate.
So was it worth it? Kinda yes. Would I subscribe for a year? As of now, no. But it was only the first month. Let's see what else comes.
This would be a good gift for a person following the keto diet (maybe a one- or three-month subscription?).
Alright... what do you guys think? Is this something you would order?
Mom and I agreed we would try The Keto Box for 3 months and decide whether or not to subscribe from then on. It may just be one of those fun things you test out for fun, but who knows? If the products are good enough, we may keep em' coming!
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more unboxing posts... 😉
SIMILAR POST: Boxycharm Unboxing | July 2020
Until next time...