Urthbox Review 2017 – Is it Worth It?
The arrival of a subscription snack box is like getting Christmas morning every month. Nothing makes a long day at the office better than coming home to a box waiting on my doorstep. It’s so full of potential and is a great way to discover new foods and products you wouldn’t otherwise get to try.
This month, I decided to give Urthbox a try.
Urthbox is a healthy food subscription service. Like many other boxes, it contains snacks, beverages, and other goodies, but Urthbox stands out from the crowd by focusing on healthy, organic, and non-GMO products.
While the company isn’t exclusively vegan, subscribers can choose to receive the “vegan” box when making their purchase.
In addition to your dietary preference, you’ll be able to make a few other choices when ordering your box. This helps you get a package that’s tailored to your needs and preferences.
UrthBox Coupon Code
Like other subscription services, Urthbox has some incentives in order to get potential customers to try out their service. We love deals here, so Urthbox hooked up the UV readers with a nice little discount.
For a Limited time, you can get $10 off your first month. No coupon code needed, just click this link to visit Urthbox and you're discount will automatically be applied when you checkout - good to go!
Options: Variety is the spice of life
- Dietary options
Subscribers can choose from four options: classic, gluten-free, vegan, or diet.
Unfortunately, you can’t blend box types, so you can’t get a box that’s vegan and gluten-free, or gluten-free and diet.
- Size & frequency
You can choose the size and frequency of your box based on your budget and snacking needs. Here’s the breakdown of the possible combinations, and what they mean for your wallet:
Price/Month (1 month)
Price/Month (6 month)
# of Products
How does Urthbox work?
The ordering process is easy! All new orders placed before the end of the month are shipped in the middle of the next month. So, my order at the end of February arrived toward the end of March.
Urthbox takes all the effort out of compiling the snacks - you just designate which box you want in what size, and hang tight until it’s delivered.
I also used a coupon code, which allowed me to shave some $$ off my first box. I still would have paid full price to try the subscription, but I'll take a discount any day of the week.
Like I mentioned above if you click this link to visit Urthbox, your $10 discount will be applied to your first order automatically (no coupon code need) - Score!
*Important* note about auto-renewals...
It’s important to note that, unless specified otherwise, all subscriptions will automatically renew on the first of the month.
If you don’t want to be automatically billed each month, make sure you email the company at firstname.lastname@example.org before your next billing cycle. For example, if you are on the month-to-month plan and do not want a June box, you must email your cancellation request before June 1st.
Urthbox can’t accept returned boxes, and won’t provide refunds for requests that come in after the first date or mid-subscription.
This auto renewal process has been a hot button topic for some other subscribers who have posted their negative experiences online. Personally, I haven’t had any issues with the auto renewals but felt it was an important thing to mention.
What Came inside the UrthBox?
1. Unreal Dark Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter Cups
These snacks were my hands-down favorite of the whole box. They reminded me of Reese’s peanut butter cups, but updated (and veganized!) for adults.
These had a really light, delightful coconut flavor and a great peanut punch. The peanut butter filling was a little crumbly, but that didn’t really bother me. I liked the ratio of filling to dark chocolate coating, too.
These were delicious. I want to buy these in giant bags!
2. Jake’s Vitamin Candy, Mango Flavor
However, these have an extremely sour taste that is overwhelmingly artificial. They reminded me of the chewable citrus vitamins I used to eat as a kid - and not in a good way.
The first ingredient in these candies is sorbitol, which is probably responsible for the strong aftertaste. However, if you’re diabetic or avoiding sugar, these are a good way to get a vitamin boost.
3. Protein Hunger Control, Chocolate Smoothie (FAIL!!!!)
When I first saw this in the box, I knew from the packaging that it wasn’t vegan (or part of the “healthy, natural” vibe Urthbox seems to be going for). A quick look at the ingredient list confirmed - the second ingredient behind filtered water was whey protein isolate, a milk product.
Even worse, the expiration date on this thing was September 2015 - a year and a half ago! It was a double-whammy that I couldn’t even give this to a non-vegan friend to enjoy - it had to go straight into the garbage.
It was really disappointing to receive this product.
I mentioned this to their customer service and they were very apologetic and helpful, which was actually nice to see. I talk more about this and their customer service below.
4. Everything Bagel Chips
These bagel chips had a great texture! I really enjoyed them with hummus - they are sturdy and super crunchy. I didn’t have any breakage issues when dunking my chips into the hummus. The chips are also on the small size - about the size of a quarter - so they weren’t overwhelming or tough to chew.
My only complaint about these was the flavor. As a lover of everything bagels, I would have liked for the flavor to be a little more assertive. Eaten on their own, these were a little plain. However, I’d totally buy these again as a vehicle for hummus or salsa.
5. Alo Light
I always liked aloe drinks, but I hated that they were always so high in sugar. Alo Light has only 60 calories per 16-ounce bottle, with 7g of sugar. I could see myself enjoying this beverage on a hot day - I bet it’s really refreshing in the summer!
It has a nicely balanced flavor of cucumber and melon, but if you’re sensitive to stevia, you might find the aftertaste hard to deal with.
This drink also contains pulp! I happen to really enjoy the aloe jelly - I even wish this had a little more pulp.
6. Nature’s Joy Almonds
Look, I like almonds as much as the next vegan, but I feel like including these in the box was a bit of a cop-out. I feel like box subscriptions are meant to introduce you to new, healthy snacks you might not try otherwise. I can get plain, raw almonds at any supermarket and convenience store in my neighborhood.
I wish this had some kind of flavoring - it was a little disappointing to receive plain, boring raw almonds in this monthly subscription box.
7. Peter Rabbit Organics Apple Fruit Snack
This organic fruit puree comes in a convenient squeezy pack. I imagine it makes a perfect lunchbox snack for vegan kids, but I thought it was ideal for distance running. I’m always looking for convenient, higher-carb snacks to bring with me on long runs. I loved that this came in a squeezy pack, but doesn’t include the refined sugars and dyes of traditional energy gels.
If I weren’t a runner, I’d probably find the texture a little odd - it felt a little like eating baby food as an adult. However, this would probably be great mixed into oatmeal or as a spread on toast. I also appreciated that it was resealable, so I could ration it out during my run instead of having to slurp the whole thing down.
8. VitaFive Health Without the Hassle Daily Gummy Vitamin Pack
This small sample pack contained two gummy vitamins that were shaped kind of like gumdrops. Because there was no labeling on the package, I have no idea if it was a multivitamin or a specialty vitamin. However, I do know that I want to purchase these in bulk!
The taste was absolutely delicious, and the texture reminded me of the Dots candies I used to eat as a kid. These would actually make me look forward to taking my vitamins every day.
9. Pasta Chips
I had never heard of a pasta chip before, but I am so glad I got introduced! These fun chips have the shape of cut up lasagna noodles, and have a pleasant, flaky texture.
Even better than the texture of these chips was the flavor. The bag in this box was rosemary flavored, and it was perfectly balanced, herby, and savory. I could have eaten a whole salad bowl full of these chips for a meal. They really did a great job with the flavor on these pasta chips, and the rosemary gives it a real “pizza” taste.
If you’re a vegan who hasn’t had authentic pizza in a long time, I think these would be a perfect way to satiate your cravings.
10. Peeled Apple-to-the-Core Snacks
I love dried fruit because it gives a great energy boost without a lot of added sugar or artificial ingredients. These Peeled snacks are as natural as they come, containing nothing but organic dried apples. The apples are cut into rings, and the snacks are 110 calories per serving.
I liked these dried apples quite a bit! Like the squeezy fruit snack, I found these perfect for long run fuel - they’d probably be great to bring along on a hike or as a nutritious after school snack. With just one ingredient, the organic apples, you can feel good about indulging in these.
My only complaint about these dried apples is that they aren’t as moist as I like dried fruit to be. However, this is a really minor complaint - the apple flavor on these is superb, and you can’t get better than a single-item ingredient list.
11. True Lemon Packets
When I first took these out of the box, I wasn’t sure what to think. What was I supposed to do with a baggie full of powdered lemon juice? However, after working my way through the bag, this quickly climbed to one of my favorite items in the whole collection.
The baggie included some packets of grapefruit, lemon, and lime juice, but what really made this item stand out was the flavored drink packets. In a past life, I used to love low-calorie powdered drink mixes like Crystal Light. However, to reduce my consumption of artificial sweeteners, I phased these out. I thought I’d never find another conveniently flavored drink mix that fit my new natural lifestyle - until I found these!
The collection included original lemonade, black cherry limeade, raspberry lemonade, peach lemonade, and watermelon agua fresca. I really enjoyed all of the flavors, but the watermelon agua fresca was so delicious that I’ve already ordered a giant case of it. It’s light and refreshing, with no weird aftertaste. I can’t wait to sip this on my porch all summer long!
12. Surf Sweets Gummy Bears
I enjoyed the flavors of these gummy bears! They came in fun citrus flavors like lemon and grapefruit, and had a light coating of sugar on the outside that provided a nice crunch.
There were about five gummies in this pouch, but I’m okay with that. This provided built-in portion control - I don’t know about you, but I can go from civilized adult to unsupervised child pretty quickly around a big batch of gummy bears!
I also enjoyed the texture of these gummies - they reminded me of those orange slice candies, which have a very firm texture. However, my husband, who prefers very chewy, traditional gummies, didn’t care very much for the texture. I would totally eat them again, though.
13. Primizie Crispbreads
These salty snacks were like a cross between a tortilla chip, a pita chip, and one of those skinny breadsticks you get at Italian restaurants. I loved the texture! They were firm, crisp, and thick-cut, and the little sprinkling of salt helped bring out the flavor of the crispbread.
My only complaint here is that these chips are extremely oily. They look visibly greasy when you take them out of the bag, and they leave a bit of oily aftertaste in your mouth. I generally don’t consume much oil, so the 210 calories per relatively small bag is a big splurge. However, I’d buy these as a “company” chip for sure. They’re thick enough to stand up to hummus and salsa!
Value of Combined Contents
Ever a bargain hunter, the value of the box was important to me. Did the cost of each item, purchased a la carte*, add up to the total price of the box?
*price of each item based off an Amazon, ThriveMarket, or similar site listing.
- Unreal Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups: $1.00
- Jake’s Vitamin Candy: $1.25
- Peeled Apple Snacks: $3.00
- Protein Shake: $2.00
- Alo Light: $2.50
- Pasta Chips: $2.00
- Everything Bagel Chips: $1.00
- True Lemon Packets: $3.50
- Gummy Vitamins: $1.00
- Surf Sweets: $1.95
- Nature’s Joy Almonds: $1.50
- Peter Rabbit Organics Apple Snack: $1.50
Overall, my box came out to an estimated $22.20 worth of goods. Since I used a $5 coupon code, this comes pretty close to the amount I spent on it. If you include some of the product coupons that were included in the box, I broke about even on this box.
Plus, I have a whole bunch of new products that I would have never known I liked!
What I Loved
Overall, I really enjoyed this subscription box. However, there were a few products, and aspects of the subscription, that really stood out to me among the others.
- The Overall Experience
Like I mentioned earlier, having a subscription box show up to your door is a kin to the feeling you get on Christmas morning as a child.
Opening up my "present" was a fun experience, and I couldn't wait to try everything in the box. It's like when you first get home from Halloween and dump all the candy on the table - you're so excited and just aren't sure where to start.
Regarding delivery timeline, company promises and overall enjoyability of the box, I'd give it an A+ rating. But that's not to say this box is without faults, which you will see below.
- Four words: Unreal Peanut Butter Cups
These were, hands down, my favorite part of the Urthbox. I’ve got a big sweet tooth, but these were just a fabulous product. And I got two of them!
I appreciated that these were like “grown up” Reese’s cups. They packed in a delicious, peanut-butter-meets-chocolate flavor, but contained natural, healthy ingredients instead of tons of refined sugars and artificial flavors.
As a coconut lover, I really appreciated the addition of coconut flavor in this candy. I feel that the coconut-peanut-chocolate flavor combo is underappreciated, so it was awesome to receive these candies. The coconut flavor wasn’t overwhelming, so I think even if you don’t love it, you’ll still appreciate these cups.
Apparently, this company offers more flavors of these little cups, and I’m hopeful that I’ll get to try all the options before long.
- True Lemon Drink Packets
To me, the flavored drink packets from True Lemon are what subscription boxes are all about! By including a broad range of products from the company, I was able to sample each flavor and see which one I liked best. Trying each variety “a la carte” would be expensive and wasteful if I didn’t like a particular flavor. Having a packet of each option allowed me to explore my options.
I probably wouldn’t have tried the watermelon agua fresca on my own, but by trying it through this box, I found a delicious product that I can’t wait to buy more of.
With the warmer weather on its way, I’m so glad Urthbox introduced me to the refreshing and natural watermelon agua fresca! What started out as a “huh?” turned out to be a “yum!”
- Customer Service
Before grabbing this box and trying it out, I read other reviews online. Some of these reviewers were very negative towards the customer service. And even though I had some issues, the customer service I received was actually really good.
After I had found the whey-based protein shake in the box, I sent an email to Urthbox. I noted that it was really disappointing to receive a product in the box that both contained milk ingredients (because vegan!) and had been expired for so long.
A few days after I sent the email, I received the following response from Urthbox:
"I want to sincerely apologize for this error. It appears that this particular vendor sent in a small batch of the incorrect product that affected just a few accounts. I have made sure to mark your account so that you will receive a free box in April to make up for that item. I completely understand your frustration but I assure you that was a mistake and will not happen moving forward. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.
Holly @ UrthBox"
While it was really frustrating to receive the protein shake in my Urthbox, I have to give the company props for this response. They owned up to the mistake and offered me an entire free box next month for the mix-up - Score!
I’m excited to give Urthbox another shot in the upcoming month and experience a “truly” vegan box from them in the near future. I understand that people make mistakes, and it’s refreshing to see a company handle issues in this manner.
What Didn’t Wow Me
Of course, few products are without a couple of downsides. Here are the handful of things that I wasn’t thrilled with about my Urthbox.
- Non-vegan items included in the box
While I appreciate the response from Urthbox about the milk-based product in my “vegan” box, I can’t lie and say it didn’t bother me. Expiration date aside, I felt a little betrayed by the company that I had been sent a product that contained dairy products, when I know the pain and suffering that is caused by the dairy industry.
I should note here that while Urthbox offers a vegan option, they are not an entirely vegan company. They offer boxes that contain animal ingredients, so mistakes and mix-ups like this are bound to happen eventually. I can understand that everyone make mistakes, but this particular product felt like a big oversight on the company’s part.
If you are a very strict vegan, have food allergies, or you’re purchasing a vegan subscription box as a gift for a friend, I’d argue that Urthbox may not be the one to go for. I always try to buy the vegan option from non-vegan companies to demonstrate demand, but this mishap shook my faith in the company, from a vegan point of view.
- Volume of food
When I first received my Urthbox, I was surprised and delighted at how heavy the thing was. However, I do think I would rather get a few more full-size items in my box, or a larger collection of products from the same company.
I mentioned earlier that I loved the True Lemon packets - this was a baggie that contained almost ten sample-size items from True Lemon. I loved it because I got to try all different flavors that brand had to offer. However, in some cases, things felt a little like cheap “free samples”. For example, the gummy bears only contained 5 candies in the pouch, and the gummy vitamins only had two measly gumdrops.
I wouldn’t harp on this as much if Urthbox didn’t boast about including “full size” items on the front page of its website. Receiving lots of samples from the same company is great, but in a few cases, like the vitamin gummies and gummy bears, I felt a little-taken advantage of.
It’s a shame too, because I really liked both of those products, and would have loved to have more of them or to try more flavors. I wish Urthbox would include a wider variety of certain flavors of items, especially if they are going to advertise “full size” products.
The Bottom Line
When it comes down to it, I enjoyed my first Urthbox experience. I felt like a little kid, opening the box and getting to try all the fun new items that were included.
On the whole, I enjoyed the taste and quality of all the items in the box. The peanut butter cups and powdered drink mixes were my hands-down favorites of the whole group, but my chip-loving husband liked their selection of salty snacks. I felt the box provided good variety, and for the most part, I felt like these were healthier alternatives to my favorite snack foods.
The only major disappointment of the box was receiving the whey-based protein shake. However, I felt Urthbox’s response was genuine, and I appreciate that they will be sending me a whole new box, free of charge, to make up for the mistake. We’re all human, and mistakes happen! But it’s refreshing to see a company step up and take steps to make it right.
While I don’t know that Urthbox would be my top choice for a strictly vegan subscription, I would definitely treat myself to this box again. It would also be a great birthday gift - I would love to receive a three- or six-month subscription as a present, so each month I could look forward to sampling new and exciting vegan products.
If you’re comfortable with buying from a company that's not 100% vegan, and are ready to try some new products, I definitely recommend giving Urthbox at least one shot. Treat yo’self to some tasty, healthy snacks, and give yourself the joy of opening a special gift, just for you.