Universal Yums Subscription Box Review – July 2015
Universal Yums is an international snack subscription box. Every month they send a mix of snacks from one country or region. (A different country or region is featured each month.)
This month’s snacks are from Japan!
This box was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription: Universal Yums
The Cost: $13/month for the Yum Box (6+ snacks) and $25/month for the Yum Yum Box (13+ snacks). (Note that this is a review of the Yum Yum Box.)
The Products: A selection of unique snacks from a different country each month.
Ships to: US
Check out all of our reviews of Universal Yums!
This month, Universal Yums has upgraded from a flat information card to a larger folding card! All of the items in the box are listed on the card, and Universal Yums also lists details and the ingredients of each item on their website.
Calbee Wasabi Shrimp Chips (3.3 oz.)- $ 1.98 (Currently out of stock.)
I’m sure some subscribers will be a little uncertain about these shellfish-flavored crisps, but I’m happy to report that they’re delicious! Wasabi is definitely the primary flavor, and, while there are certainly other flavors in the background, I don’t think the chips are “fishy” at all.
Meiji Karl Cheese (2.53 oz.)- $1.79 (on sale for $1.49)
Cheese puffs are one of my favorite indulgences, and these are definitely some of the best I’ve ever had. Universal Yums describes them as “a better version of Cheetos,” and I’m inclined to agree. (Sorry, Chester!) The cheesy flavor is subtle, though tasty, and I like the curled shape.
Saya Snow Pea Crisps (2.74 oz.)- $1.49 (On sale for $1.35.)
I often pick up Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps at my local grocery store, and I was surprised to discover that the same company, Calbee, makes both products! (Are we living in a global marketplace, or what?) The Saya crisps are just as crunchy and delicious as the ones I’m used to from Harvest Snaps, but the flavor is a little different. Out of curiosity, I checked the ingredients list and discovered that they’re made with “tuna extract.” While I’m not sure this strongly affects the flavor, I wanted to point it out for any vegetarians out there.
Double Chocolate Hello Panda (1.74 oz.)- $1.29
Hello Panda Double Chocolate cookies have crispy wafer shells that are filled with creamy chocolate. They’re so much fun to eat and give me major flashbacks to the Koala Yummies my mom would occasionally put in my lunchbox back in the early 90’s!
Cookies & Cream Pocky (2.47 oz.)- $1.98 (Currently out of stock.)
Pocky isn’t too difficult to find in the US (most of my local chain grocery stores stock it in the International section), but I’ve never seen this flavor before! The Pocky cookie sticks are dipped in a vanilla coating that’s mixed with tiny bits of chocolate cookie. They’re really delicious and remind me of cookies & cream ice cream.
Mango Hi-Chew (1.76 oz.)- $.99
Hi-Chew is another Japanese candy that’s not too difficult to find in the US. It was originally created as an alternative to chewing gum (because in Japanese culture it’s considered rude to remove food from your mouth), and I really enjoy its gum-like texture. Hi-Chew comes in a number of different flavors, but mango is my favorite. I think it tastes remarkably similar to the actual fruit.
Botan Rice Candy (.75 oz.)- $1.19
This is a popular Japanese snack that consists of chewy citrus gummies that are wrapped in rice paper. I’ve had the treat before, and I’m a fan. I also like that each box comes with a cute children’s sticker.
Baum Roll (4 rolls)
Baum Rolls are definitely a new discovery for me, and the little frosted cake rolls are delicious. They’re moist, soft, and have a tiny hint of lemon.
Nestle Aero Matcha (2 candies)
Nestle Aero is a popular UK candy bar that contains an aerated filling that’s light and filled with tiny pockets of air. Match Aero, however, is only available in Japan. I love matcha-flavored treats (I’m looking at you, Matcha Kit Kat.), and I thought this was great!
Kuro Ame Brown Sugar Candy (4 candies)
Kuro Ame is another completely new discovery for me. It’s such an interesting candy… The flavor is rich, deep, dark, and reminds me of caramelized, almost burnt sugar. I like it, but it’s certainly a complex, grown-up flavor. Amazingly, it’s been around since the 1860’s!
Flower’s Kiss Candy (4 candies)
According to Universal Yums, the name for these hard candy treats is a bit of a mystery since they don’t taste like flowers. (Instead, they have a light, peachy taste.)
Kasugai Gummies (8 gummies)
I’ve sampled Kasugai Gummies many times before. They come in a wide variety of flavors, and Universal Yums has included melon, lychee, ramune (a Japanese soft drink), and kiwi. I’m a fan of all these flavors, but the Kiwi Kasugai is my all-time favorite. The flavor is very similar to the real thing, and some of the gummies even contain kiwi seeds!
On the back of the information card, Universal Yums provides a clue to the next month’s destination. This clue is a little trickier than usual. Initially, “cradle of the human race” had me thinking Mesopotamia, but, then, India has 29 states. What do you think about the clue? Which country do you think will be featured next?
Verdict: This month’s Universal Yums box was a big hit for me! I love Japanese snacks and candy, and I don’t think there was a single item in this box I didn’t like. I think Universal Yums does a great job curating treats from a different country each month, and I’ve had so much fun discovering new foods from around the world. As usual, it’s difficult to determine an overall value for this box, but I’m happy with what I’ve received. Universal Yums excels at introducing new foods and snacks in a fun way, and I love being transported to a new destination every month. In fact, I’m already looking forward seeing what they’ll have in store for subscribers next month!
Did you love the Japanese goodies from Universal Yums this month, too? What did you think of the Shrimp Chips?