No I am not addicted to monthly product subscriptions. Ok, maybe just a little. The trend continues with this belated Graze vs NatureBox head to head comparison. Each of these services promise to ship you healthy and delicious snacks direct to your door. Ideally you’ll munch on these nuts and fruits instead of chips and candy.
Two updates from Graze and NatureBox at the end of this post, yay for Twitter!
Both of these services provide healthy snacks delivered to your door. With over 25% of American’s calories coming from snacks, choosing healthy options is important. We have an obesity epidemic here and improper snacking is the number one cause of childhood obesity. This is something both of these companies hope to turn around by making a healthier lifestyle as easy as possible.
But how do these two services compare? Is one better than the other and which one is best for you? Well I get into all of that and more just beyond the break!
Graze – Nature Delivered
I first signed up through Graze when my friend Skylor shared a link to it on Twitter. I thought it was a pretty brilliant idea and apparently so did my friends. I ended up selling around 50 subscriptions to Graze through Facebook and Twitter posts! Their referral program gets you either $1 off your box or $1 donated to the Graze School of Farming in Uganda.
Our school of farming teaches locals how to grow fruit trees in deprived rural Uganda. The project provides local students with tuition, tools and support to start their own orchards. The school invigorates poor rural areas by improving nutrition (the diet in these areas is generally very poor), increasing productivity from the land, empowering locals and providing a source of income. Every penny of your donation is spent on the ground, it’s amazing how far the money goes and how many lives are touched by the donations.
That’s pretty cool huh? With Graze you get a weekly shipment that fits in most standard sized mailboxes. That’s four shipments a month with four snacks each netting you 16 snacks for $20 a month. The servings are meant to be actual single servings.
Graze started in the UK but moved to America last year with a successful beta-by-referral program. But let’s get to the boxes. As I wrote earlier, each shipment comes with four snacks. These individually wrapped snacks range from flavored nuts to dried fruits to flapjacks and even dippers.
- El Picante – jumbo salted corn, hot chili peanuts and mini paprika breadsticks
- Toffee Apple – sticky toffee sauce with granny smith apple slices
- Chili and Lime Pistachios – roasted pistachios with chili and lime seasoning
- Honeycomb Crunch – milk chocolate coated honeycomb, raisins and almonds
I find the serving sizes from Graze about right, perhaps a bit small. They have a flavor profile you fill out to make sure you only get the things you like or would probably like. They also give you the option to mark individual snacks as something you want more of or less of. No complaints here, their system has worked great for me and the sealed up snacks are perfect for tossing into your bag before you head off to class or work. Of course you only get four snacks per week so one day a work week you’re on your own.
Health wise things seem to be pretty decent and they make finding the healthiest options easy with badges to let you know at a glance some things like whether it’s a full serving of fruit, high in fiber, under 90 calories or a good source of vitamins and minerals. They also have some marked as “Heath Stars” which are their healthiest options. Generally speaking they have the “nibblebox” for those who are OK with a few more calories in their snacks and the “lightbox” for those wanting between 50-150 calories per serving.
The things that are sweet are often times too sweet for my tastes and the things that I have loved the most, the flapjacks, are the least healthy. But overall I’ve been quite pleased with my Graze shipments. I’ve found that the dippers are my least favorite items and flapjacks are my favorite if not a little too sweet. The flavored nuts are great but the nuts with chocolates (jaffa cakes) are again too sweet for my taste.
At $20 a month it’s probably a little bit more than what I’d spend at the grocery store for something similar. It’s of course packaged in single servings for me which saves time and prevents over-eating so there is some value in that. At $15 a month I’d consider it a steal. Their affiliate program gives you $1 off per box per referral so my cost was actually $16/m for the first 10 months or so which for me makes it totally worth it. They’ve since limited the number of referrals. Oops!
- $20 / 4 shipments = $5 per week or $1.25 per serving
Graze still isn’t public yet so you can only invite one friend to join. You get $1 off your next box and they get a free box. When I joined there were no limits which is how I got around 50 subscribers so $50 off future boxes.
NatureBox – Healthy Snacks Delivered to You
NatureBox does it a little differently. Instead of four shipments a month you get one. In that shipment will be five full-sized bags of snacks totaling 15-20 servings per month for $19.50/m. NatureBoxes are larger and thus don’t fit in most mailboxes.
I hadn’t actually signed up for NatureBox but I tweeted out to them my interest in their product after subscribing to Graze and they sent me a free box! Thanks NatureBox, you’ve got a new subscriber already! Their shipments are a bit different, as I said earlier. Instead of getting sixteen single-servings over four shipments a month, NatureBox sends you one shipment with five bulk snacks that adds up to 15-20 total servings per month. Like Graze, NatureBox has a charitable angle.
NatureBox works with WhyHunger to solve the problems of hunger and poverty, while working to make more nutritious food available to everyone. Aside from making donations to WhyHunger, we also donate our healthy snacks directly to WhyHunger partners, including community-based organizations, emergency food providers and summer meal programs for low-income children.
Here’s what I found in my “Wholesome Comfort Foods” box:
- Blueberry Nom Noms – Sink your teeth into these soft baked Nom Noms- they are almost like the cookie dough your mom wouldn’t let you eat as a kid, but good for you!
- Dark Cocoa Almonds – More delicious and creamy than any boxed chocolates or candy bar, these Dark Cocoa Almonds do double duty as a snack or dessert.
- Vanilla Macaroon Granola – Beat the early morning blues with a comforting breakfast of warm vanilla and tropical-scented coconut. We love it with vanilla yogurt or even as a topping for baked apple crisp!
- Honeycomb Sunflower Kernels – When you think sunflower kernels, it’s usually in a savory trail mix but we love the surprising hint of sweetness that these kernels deliver.
- Nature’s Bounty – If you need a break from sweets and dessert, snack on our Nature’s Bounty mix of organic nuts and berries to give your body the healthful energy boost it needs.
NatureBox doesn’t wrap each serving up individually so you’re at a disadvantage if you want a grab-and-go option like Graze. For many this will make things a little inconvenient, however if you invest in a few of those small GladWare storage containers (cheap) you can accomplish the Graze serving solution.
I do however prefer the single shipment a month. I travel a ton and found I’d come home to three or four Graze boxes waiting for me where with NatureBox I could have packed the entire month in my suitecase and enjoyed the snacks while traveling, when I want them the most anyways.
The point of these snacks is to be healthy and as with Graze everything seems to be just that. I was happy to see that they don’t use high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. They also don’t use partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats or artificial colors and flavors.
Everything from NatureBox was delicious. The foods seemed to be higher quality than Graze. It reminded me of something I might pick up from Whole Foods Market. Again the sweet things are a little too sweet for me but other than that I have no issues with the flavor of what I got in my box. The Blueberry Nom Noms were delicious if not a tiny bit too sweet, soft and hearty it reminded me of a snack my mom used to make for us as kids. The Dark Cocoa Almonds was probably my favorite with a perfect balance of dark chocolate to nut ratio. Just perfect really.
NatureBox has three price points for their shipments depending on how much you need. The basic plan is $19.50/m for five snacks. If you’re buying it for you and one other person or buying to keep your small office healthy and productive you can save quite a bit of money.
- Deluxe Package – $19.50 / 5 items = $3.90 per item or $1.11 per serving
- Family Snacker – $29.99 / 10 items = $2.99 per item or $0.88 per serving
- Professional Snacker – $49.99 / 20 items = $2.50 per item or $0.44 per serving
NatureBox is definitely the cheaper option especially if you’re buying for two or more people. Their affiliate program is also much more generous than Graze. For each referral you get $10 off your next box. That’s ten times the referral benefits! Plus they get $10 off as well. Amazing.
If I had to choose one of these services it would have to be NatureBox. It’s cheaper than Graze, I can customize the serving size (which is both good and bad I suspect) and getting one shipment a month instead of four is actually much more convenient for me. Ironically I like that NatureBox has themed boxes
instead of boxes customized for my tastes in addition to customized taste boxes (this is new and rolling out now). The referral program provided by NatureBox absolutely slays Graze. Use my links to NatureBox from this post and you should save $10 on your first box.
If you’re a picky eater or have issues with portion-control then Graze would be the way to go. I’d also suggest Graze if you want the convenience of individually wrapped snacks. I’d love to send you a discount for a free Graze box
but they aren’t giving me those anymore. Sorry! and luckily it turns out that they are about to roll out in full force now out of beta so yay! Perhaps more referrals for you guys.
Here’s from where those strikethroughs came:
@justex07 thanks for the super in-depth review! we are expanding membership soon after we’ve fully launched, so more good things to come 🙂
— graze.com (@grazeusa) June 18, 2013
@justex07 We’re so happy to hear that you enjoyed your snacks, Justin! 🙂 We just rolled out the option to choose your snacks, if you’d like
— NatureBox (@naturebox) June 18, 2013
So how about that? Yay for companies listening in on Twitter, taking in the good and bad of a review and getting their message across. Three cheers for NatureBox and Graze social media outreach. You’re doing a great job!