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June 2016 MunchPak Review
MunchPak is a popular food subscription box that assembles a variety of tasty treats and sends them straight to your door. I’ve heard good things about them, so when they offered me the opportunity to review their “original” size box, I jumped on the chance!
Something cool about the box that I discovered while doing my review is that the snacks are sourced internationally. I’ll include the country of origin for each treat for your information.
The first item I took out of the box was a full-size box of Sour Dudes from Turkey. I had been craving a sour, fruity treat, so these came at a perfect time! They remind me of Sour Punch Straws, but in a more unique array of flavors. The yellow one in particular had an interesting taste. Peach, I think? I couldn’t find a listing of the flavors. Regardless, it was delicious. I devoured the box - worth $3 - within 24 hours.
The second item was a full-size pouch of Atori brand crispy seasoned stick biscuits from Thailand. I’m not quite as fond of savory snacks as I am of sweet snacks, so I haven’t yet given these a try. However, I was impressed by the pouch’s size and I expect it will contain a sizable quantity of biscuits. This pouch sells for $2.
The third item was a full-size box of Lotte brand Pepero chocolate-filled biscuits from Korea. This reminded me of Glico’s Pejoy, which is a similar type of chocolate-filled biscuit from the makers of Pocky. But dare I say, I thought the Pepero sticks tasted better than any Pocky or Pejoy I’ve ever had! That’s not to say that the other brands are bad, but that they’re all good and I simply enjoyed the Pepero sticks marginally more. I think it’s because I felt like the Pepero sticks had a better chocolate to biscuit ratio, whereas the Glico products tend to have more biscuit. Regardless, I enjoyed the Pepero biscuits, which sell for $2 per box.
The fourth item was a full-size bag of Kolson’s masala flavor cheese balls from Pakistan. Although I enjoy sweet items more than savory ones, I love cheese, and I looked forward to trying these. To my sadness, they were too spicy for me to handle - they should be a great treat for anyone who likes spicy foods. This bag is valued at $1.
The fifth item was a slab of sunflower seed brittle from Ukraine. This item intrigued me, because I hadn’t seen anything quite like it before. I’m disappointed to say I haven’t had the chance to try it yet; I have a strict calorie limit each day and this product is too many calories to fit reasonably into my daily routine. Due to the high caloric count and decent shelf life, this might serve as a good “back up” snack in case of an emergency that limits access to food. Or, if you’re not worried about calories, you could go right ahead and eat it. Being a brittle, I expect it will have a sweet taste mixed with the savory sunflower seeds. This brittle is worth $2.
The sixth item was a small box of Lotte Waffle Mate from Korea. This product included two pouches that each have three mini waffles inside, similar to a thin Stroopwafel with no filling. Despite the lack of filling, they were still delicious! Anyone who likes waffles should like them. They sell for about $2 per box.
The seventh item was a full-size box of Haitai HomeRun Chocolate Balls from Korea. I enjoyed these simply due to their chocolate nature, although they definitely tasted like a cheap treat rather than a rich chocolate. That is what is to be expected with this type of product, though. I personally wouldn’t go out and purchase these on my own compared to other chocolate products, but I appreciated their inclusion in the MunchPak. The box of balls sells for around $3.
The eighth item was a Pei Tien brand rice cake from Taiwan. I haven’t had a chance to try this, but I expect it will be a nice little snack that tastes similar to the rice in its namesake. This rice cake has a value of $1.
The ninth item was a Skwinklote tamarind-flavored strip from Mexico. As soon as I saw this, the part of my brain that loves fruity, sour candy warred with the part that dislikes spicy foods. Tamarind is typically described as a spicy pineapple flavor, so I’m not a fan of it. Still, I think this was a good item to include in the box to add to the box’s variety. This strip is worth $2.
The tenth and eleventh items were both small pouches from the Pei Tein brand, with one being a corn roll and the other being an Energy 99 Stick in a Taro flavor. Both products are from Taiwan. I ate the corn roll stick and it tasted pretty good - like a crunchy corn puff. I haven’t had a chance to try the Energy 99 Stick yet, but I think it’s neat they included the taro-flavored variety, because taro is a less common flavor in the USA. Each pouch is worth $1, giving them a value of $2 collectively.
The twelfth item was a small box of Botan Rice Candy from Japan. It’s a bit difficult from the packaging to know what to expect from the candy. Essentially, it’s a chewy orange-lemon flavor candy that comes in a small edible wrapper (wrapped in a bigger, non-edible wrapper). They were delicious! I hadn’t had Botan Rice Candy before and, after trying it in the box, I will probably be buying more on my own. These boxes sell for around $2.
The thirteenth and final item was a pack of Pelon Pelonetes tamarind-chili flavored candy bites. The container makes these look like little fruity pellets, so it was difficult to resist them based on the knowledge that they are made with tamarind. Like the other tamarind item, though, I think it was fair to include because I hadn’t submitted a preference survey, so MunchPak had no way to know about my aversion to tamarind. This pack is worth $2.
Overall, the MunchPak I received in June 2016 contained $24 worth of snacks. With the box only costing $20, that’s a great deal!
Some people may claim that I’m biased by the fact that I received the box for free, and that’s certainly true. However, consider that the previous snack box I reviewed provided only $16 worth of items for a cost of $45. With that being the case, it’s clear that MunchPak delivers a good value for its cost.
Aside from its value, I appreciated the variety of the MunchPak. I think they did a great job of including snacks of different types (sweet, savory, spicy, etc.) from a collection of different countries. If you become a regular subscriber, you’ll get to specify your preferences so you get treats and snacks that are more suited to your tastes.
My only frustration was that the box didn’t come with an information card that identified each item, which made it trickier to do my research later on. I believe this is because MunchPak has their own app that subscribers can use to scan each item and get information about it. I would prefer that MunchPak also included an information card for subscribers that do not want to download the app. If they are trying to save money / the environment by limiting the amount of paper they include in the box, perhaps they can simply create a webpage listing that information for which the URL can be included in the box.
This is a minor nitpick, however, and it didn’t detract significantly from my enjoyment of the MunchPak. Unlike some food subscription boxes, I have eaten or plan to eat most of the items in this box, so they won’t go to waste. Furthermore, the food they included in the box is not food you can always buy easily in the USA; for example, I noticed that Sour Dudes are difficult to purchase. It was great to be able to get the item in a subscription box and try it for myself without investing significant resources in getting it from abroad.
Recommended for: people who enjoy trying snacks from around the world
Not recommended for: people who don’t like trying new foods
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary box in exchange for an honest review.