Recently, Fia was given an invite code for Graze – a new service that sends a selection of snacks directly to your home or office. Basically, it’s sort of like a Netflix for food – they have a “library” of different kinds of snacks, and deliver a sampling of four on a regular interval (either every one, two, or four weeks) based on your rating of each item. Each box costs $5 (which includes shipping), but your first and fifth box are free. It’s not much money, and we really couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try something new (especially something we can review), so we enrolled (and we’ve got an invite code that we’re going to share with one of our readers – more on that later).
This review is going to be a bit different because of the nature of the product – but let’s get to it.
Presentation: The first thing I noticed as soon as the package arrived was that Graze has not cut any corners as far as presentation is concerned. They’re shooting for an organic, brown paper look – and they nailed it. The box arrived in immaculate condition – no scuffs, dents, or broken corners – impressive considering the fact that Graze hails from the United Kingdom. The outside is printed in a single spot color on matte paperboard, wrapped in stretchy clear plastic bands (meaning that there’s no tape to mar the finish). Once open, you’re greeted by four individually sealed snacks in plastic tubs. The tops are clearly labeled with the contents. A custom-printed insert (digital on-demand, by the look of it) provides nutrition information and best-by dates for everything in the box. There’s even a napkin at the bottom of the carton. Bottom line: everything in the box is incredibly professional and feels very put together – and in my book, you know that counts for a lot.
Now, for the contents:
Billionaire’s Shortbread:This snack contains fudge pieces, blanched almonds, milk chocolate drops, and cranberries. Eaten individually, the chocolate is standard-issue milk chocolate; the fudge pieces are tiny pieces of sugary fondant, vaguely caramel-like; the cranberries are exactly what you’d expect; the almonds are chewy and mostly tasteless. Eaten as a handful, it’s pleasant enough. I really would have been happier if they’d included roasted, salted almonds for added complexity and some buttery richness, rather than the blandness of blanched ones.
Black Pepper Pistachios: This snack is exactly what you’d gather from the name (roasted pistachios with black pepper). Honestly, there isn’t much to say about it – if you like pistachios, you’ll like these. The pepper is a mild addition, but a nice one. Only a couple of nuts were closed tightly enough that we had to use a cracker to get at the meat (something you probably don’t have at work – since Graze is marketed as an on-the-go snack).
Smoky Gazpacho Dip: This snack consists of “smoky gazpacho relish with wholemeal crisp bread slices.” What it tastes like, however, is sweet BBQ sauce with plain wheat toast or crackers. That isn’t to say that it’s unpleasant or something I didn’t enjoy eating (I do like BBQ sauce, after all) – just that it was a lot less unique than expected. Some more garlic or another standout flavor in the gazpacho, and maybe a bit more taste to the toasts (which were unseasoned) might have helped. Still, it’s an interesting snack idea, and I give them points for mixing up the lineup with dip-able things.
Tutti Frutti: This fruit mix contains blueberry-infused cranberries, pineapple, cherry-infused raisins, and green raisins. It smells like fruit punch. It tastes like…well, confusion. I’ve never really been a fan of fruit that’s made to taste like another fruit (it seems a bit counter-intuitive to me), but I’m always willing to try something new, so I went into this with an open mind. Tutti Frutti, however, is just weird. The blueberry cranberries have an indistinct berry flavor; the cherry raisins completely lose their original flavor; the pineapple is much firmer than the rest of the mix and resists chewing more strongly; the green raisins pick up flavors from the rest, and don’t really have their own flavor as a result. Eaten all at once, it’s a generically fruity, if confusing, handful.
What’s the verdict? Despite not caring for some of the snacks we received in our first box, we’re going to stick with Graze. It’s an exciting idea, and the convenience (and novelty) of getting a different set of four snacks each week is well worth $5 in my book. I have high hopes for some items on their list of foods. Others, I’m not so excited about, but I’m still going to try so I can get a more complete feel for the program. In the end, it’s a cool idea that I hope takes off (Graze is still in invite-only mode at this point, since it’s new).
I want to try Graze! Didn’t you say something about an invite code?
Indeed. We’ve got an invitation code that we can extend to one lucky person (their packaging indicates that we can invite our “friends” (note the plural), but their website strictly limits it to one invite (which makes me question why each box comes with four separate tear-sheets containing the code).
Anyway, if you want to give Graze a shot, all you need to do is Like our Facebook page and post a comment to it letting us know why you want to. You’ll get your first box for free, and your fifth as well if you stick with the program.