Whole Foods 2015 Summer Survival Bag Review

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Whole Foods 2015 Summer Survival bag  Bag 1

The Whole Foods 2015 Summer Survival bag is a curated collection of supplies for active summer living selected from offerings available in Whole Foods Market stores.  This was a one-time purchase, but they did a beauty bag in March, so I hope it will become a regular thing.

My Subscription Addiction paid for this bag. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

The Box: Whole Foods Summer Survival Bag

The Cost: $12

The Products: Deluxe samples of summer essentials like sunscreen, aloe, and shake mixes.

Whole Foods 2015 Summer Survival bag  Products

Ships to: In-store only purchase at US Whole Foods Market locations starting at 10 AM on June 27, 2015.  While supplies last.

Check out the Beauty Subscription Box Directory for more great natural beauty deals!

Whole Foods 2015 Summer Survival bag  Card 1

Whole Foods 2015 Summer Survival bag  Card 2

The bag came with an information card listing the items from the bag.

Whole Foods 2015 Summer Survival bag  Bag 2

RIJIgreen Large Jute Makeup Bag – Value $11.99

RIJIgreen is a company that produces eco-friendly fair trade bags and t-shirts.  They partner with businesses and non-profits that hire survivors of human trafficking and they donate a portion of their profits to anti-human-trafficking causes.  The jute makeup bags aren’t available on their site so I’ve linked to a cotton one in the same size.

Whole Foods 2015 Summer Survival bag  Aloe

Aubrey Pure Aloe Vera (4 oz.; FULL SIZE!) – Value $7.95

Aloe is great for sunburn and this one contains 99% organic ingredients.  I am pale and avoid the sun, but aloe is also good to put on regular burns so I am going to keep this in the kitchen where it will likely be needed before too long…

Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Deodorant (2.25 oz.; FULL SIZE!) – Value $4.99

I am generally not a fan of natural deodorant as I have had some bad experiences with it in the past.  However, I tried this last night.  I like the stick form and it seems to have worked (at least overnight), plus it didn’t cause a rash like some competing products have.  I will continue to use this!

Whole Foods 2015 Summer Survival bag  Arnicare

Boiron Arnicare Gel (0.5 oz.) – Value $1.89

Sorry about the glare here, I think my lighting was a bit out of whack.  I’m not a believer in homeopathic remedies (I have a PhD in biochemistry and the science just isn’t there to support homeopathy, generally speaking), but next time I have sore muscles I will try this, just for the heck of it.

Nuun Active Natural Electrolyte Enhanced Drink Tabs (10 tabs) – Value $3.37

I love that these replenish electrolytes without added sugar (only 8 calories per tab).  Too many products like this are loaded with sugar so I’m happy to see this alternative.

Goddess Garden Organics Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 (1 oz.) – Value $4.41

This is a mineral sunscreen that’s supposed to go on sheer.  I have about 7 open sunscreens right now so I am forcing myself to use up a few of those before I open anything new.  But I am wear sunscreen every day.  I prefer mineral sunscreens and this will definitely get used.  (If you’re watching ingredients, it’s non-GMO, vegan, cruelty free, alcohol free, free of parabens and phthalates, and gluten free!)

Whole Foods 2015 Summer Survival bag  Spectrum

Spectrum Essentials Savory Blend Hemp & Flaxseed Dietary Supplement (0.7 oz) – Value $0.51

Sorry, more glare victims…Anyway, I am so glad I looked at this a second time before dumping it in a smoothie – it contains rosemary, parsley, and garlic.  I like to add seeds to homemade bread for a nutrient boost and I think the herbs and spices in this will work well there, too.  I’ve tried a lot of other products from Spectrum Essentials and I’ve been pretty happy with them.

Spectrum Essentials Tropical Fruit Blend Flaxseed and Camu Camu Powder (0.5 oz) – Value $0.56

Now this one can go in a smoothie!  Camu camu powder is really high in vitamin C.  I’ve seen it more and more in food products and cosmetics lately.  (I have a whole package of camu camu powder at home and seeing this product is finally giving me some ideas of what to do with it.)

Whole Foods 2015 Summer Survival bag  Superfoods

Amazing Meal Vanilla Chai (0.88 oz) – Value $3

I’ve had this before.  It is plant-based and doesn’t mix quite as well with liquid as whey does (so this product is better in a smoothie than mixed straight into liquid).  However, I’m always happy to get samples for the greens and probiotics they include – no more buying multiple products.

Garden of Life Perfect Food Raw Organic Green Super Food (0.34 oz) – Value $0.91

Green superfood products tend to be expensive so I am always glad to see them – I don’t eat enough greens and yet I know how many nutrients are in supplements like this.  (I mixed this into a smoothie because I’m moving soon so I’m trying to clear out the frozen fruit from my freezer.  It worked very well there.)

Whole Foods 2015 Summer Survival bag  Coupon

The bag also came with a couple of in-store coupons.  I am not counting these towards the overall value because I don’t know the prices of these items at Whole Foods stores.

Verdict: The 2015 Whole Foods Summer Survival Bag had an overall value of about $39.58 if you count the samples (but not the values of the coupons).  That’s outstanding for the $12 cost, although it doesn’t deliver on the promised $50 value.  (The $50 value may be based on Whole Foods prices, though, and since they don’t have a web store, some of the products linked to above may be cheaper online from merchants like Amazon)  I think the personal care products, in particular, were well curated around the “Ready for Action” summer theme.  I think, though, that rather than having the protein powders, superfoods, etc., in packets in this bag, I’d like to see a fitness and nutrition collection from Whole Foods at some point in the future.

I don’t know if these are still available.  When I showed up at 10AM, my normal store hadn’t even put them out yet.  I went to another Whole Foods later in the afternoon and they had tons on the shelf.  It probably wouldn’t hurt to call and ask, if you’re interested.

What did you think of the Whole Foods Summer Survival Bag?  Were you able to get one?

Written by Ragan Buckley

Ragan Buckley

Ragan stumbled across My Subscription Addiction in late 2013 and immediately subscribed to way too many beauty boxes. She’s now focused on boxes for her cats and dog, vegan/vegetarian food boxes, and craft subscriptions (and she didn’t give up beauty boxes entirely).

Posted in Subscription Box Reviews, Whole Foods Beauty Bag Reviews| 23 comments


  1. I read the TOMS deodorant ingredients a few times. I can’t find the words “baking soda” or “sodium bicarbonate”. At the risk of sounding stupid, which ingredient is the baking soda? I’m debating whether to use it or pass onto my sister who has armpits of steel,

    I’m excited about the Arnica gel. I’ve used it in the past with great success. I also believe in homeopathy 🙂 Maybe science will catch up in one day. (I hope you know I am teasing you in a good manner, Ragan. I know we don’t agree on homeopathy).

    My sister has experienced less migraines since going gluten-free .

  2. If anyone is heading to Orlando, they had bags at the Whole Foods store! Could not believe my luck, thought I had missed out. What a cute bag with lots of useful and fun goodies!

  3. Arnica has been a staple in my family’s medicine cabinet for my entire life! Try it on bruises, strains, and sprains! It really helps speed up healing time! My husband recently used it with great success on a bruised rib!

  4. I think this bag is a great value. The Aloe Vera and the deodorant are full size. The bag reminds me of the FEED bag that came in a Birchbox Natural specialty box last year. The 2.00 coupon makes the Aloe Vera 3.99 at my store.

    We were at a Whole Food event and my friend and I both bought the bags. Another friend used the coupon and bought the Aloe Vera. We live in Florida so this is great for our year round climate. I do feel these are some good sized samples but agree that the beauty bag was more fun. I enjoy the events at WFM but just don’t do my regular shopping there.

  5. Honestly if you take the bag out this looks like the stuff you used to be able to get as free samples from them. Not impressed.

  6. i refuse to support whole foods.

  7. Ok, I’m clearly a minority here but I thought this bag was great! I actually prefer skin care to beauty products and I like natural products. The bag was way cuter than any Ipsy I’ve gotten and is currently in my purse with the awesome electrolyte tabs. The deodorant worked for me, the aloe and sunblock were great sizes, and even though I don’t buy into homeopathy a lot of people swear by the arnicare so I’m interested to try it without investing. The packets aren’t that interesting to me, would have preferred a lip balm, but I’m very pleased with this bag.

  8. This bag was a joke! All sample’s I’d rather get a Ipsy bag for $10. Only good product in there was the Arnicare ! That works great ,but skip this and get the full size that’s wort it.

  9. I hate Toms of Maine. I’ve had the worst experience with them. Their toothpaste irritates the inside of my mouth and when I used their deodorant I had the most horrible allergic reaction (like in need of penicillin reaction) when it caused my armpits to swell up and turned bright painful red. Never again would I use anything from their line. I LOVE Aubrey though but that’s the only OH MY GOSH item that caught my attention. It’s a great value even if it’s not the full $50 for someone who is going to use everything.

  10. I picked one up on Sunday, and there were still several left at my Whole Foods. I got the kids sunscreen, and I have a preschooler who is into stripping all her clothes off while in the backyard right now, so it will definitely get used this summer 🙂

    Overall, I agree, the other beauty bag was more fun, but I do appreciate the chance to try a variety of products (like I wouldn’t buy that vanilla chai powder or the deodorant, which did nothing for me) but I’m really glad to try everything. (Oh and I thought the electrolyte tabs were great!)

  11. I keep trying to like green smoothies but I can’t! Even the face wash in the last Petit Vour box smelt of dirt!

    • The trick is to not make them green. Add the superfoods but then add a whole bunch of fruit and fruit juice (and cocoa powder or almond butter or whatever) so you can’t taste the greens any longer.

  12. My sister makes her own deodorant and she assures me that the rash is totally tomorrow (and is actually a chemical burn) from the included baking soda that is actually an irritant. Yeah. No thanks.

    • Wow, thanks for the info about the burns from baking soda! I have been wondering why some of the formulas irritate my skin and now I know to look out for it.

      • No problem! She said it so matter of factly too like that was normal haha.

  13. i enjoyed the last bag much better as it geared more towards beauty. This one is good if you’re interested in a variety of natural products.

  14. I got one and the $50 value is absurd! It was just ok for $12 because part will go to charity… But couldn’t they throw in a lipstick or something fun? If the Aloe Vera Was a gel and did not need refrigeration after opening, I would have been a little better.

    • Oh my gosh, I didn’t read those directions on the aloe vera. Kind of a pain if you take it on vacation!

  15. You should definitely try the arnicare on bruises. It actually does work really well to get bruises to heal faster!

    • I had Botox for Migraine injections last summer – like 31 needles for one treatment. It didn’t work well enough for me to keep enduring the pain (and good lord what pain there was – I don’t know how people do it repeatedly for cosmetic reasons).

      There is a lot of bruising and swelling following treatment and the Arnicare Gel was a MIRACLE worker for the swelling and bruising. I was given Rx painkillers each time, and they didn’t help nearly as much as the gel did. YMMV, but I swear by it!

      • This is completely random but whenever anyone mentions migraines I feel the need to spread the word. After years of near daily migraines and medications with horrid side effects I searched high and low and found many studies being done proving the majority of migraines can be controlled by diet. I found I’m actually intolerant to dairy and gluten and after eliminating my migraines are gone. Back on topic I think I will pick up one of these bags! 🙂

        • Thanks for the migraine suggestion! I was tested for dairy and gluten again this spring and was well within normal range.

          [Warning: Medical talk ahead…] One of the key reasons Botox did not work for me is that my migraines are caused by chemical damage. We bought a new home in 2007 that ended up having Chinese drywall, and my kids and I were VERY sick by the time we knew what was going on and got out in 2010. Kids are fine now (thank goodness!), but I’m not and they don’t know if I ever will be again. I have visible “brain damage” on MRI, and they had trouble even injecting the Botox due to scar tissue that’s formed around blood vessels.

          So definitely not run of the mill and I’ve tried every cure and suggestion out there. Unfortunately there’s no good treatment for repeated / prolonged exposure to carbon disulfide, carbonyl sulfide, and hydrogen sulfide. [End of boring medical talk…]

          Back on topic, I can’t recommend Arnicare gel enough though – it did the job when narcotics couldn’t even make a dent.

    • I totally agree! My son hit his head and had one heck of a goose egg. His bruise and the knot were gone within 48 hours! I know it’s hard to know if that was just the healing process or the arnicare, but I’ve never seen a bruise go away that quickly!

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