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Universal Yums Subscription Box Review – May 2017

Universal Yums is a snack subscription box that sends out snacks and candies from a different country each month.

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

This review is of the Yum Yum, $25 a month, box. 

The Subscription Box: Universal Yums

The Cost: $14.00/month for the Yum Box, $25/month for the Yum Yum Box. Free shipping to the U.S.

The Products: “The contents of the boxes change each month as we try to highlight the best snacks from each featured country. However, you can always expect a mix of flavors: salty, sweet, spicy, fruity, and more. Only authentic snacks from the featured country.”

Ships to: U.S., Canada, U.K., and Israel

Check out all of our Universal Yums reviews and find similar boxes in the Snack Subscription Box Directory!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

This month’s featured country is Japan! If you’ve read my past snack reviews, you know I love a Japanese snack, so this is right up my alley.

The booklet starts off with an introduction and some trivia questions about the featured country. Fun!

The next four pages detail what’s included in the box, and boy oh boy, are they detailed! After each description, you’ll find an ingredients list as well, which is helpful when there isn’t English on the package.

The final four pages include points of interest for travelers to Japan, an origami lesson, some info about Japanese cuisine, as well as a playlist available on their website, and answers to the previous trivia questions. Phew! So much content!

On the back page, you’ll find a clue as to what the next country may be! I’m thinking Mexico! Yaaay!

Another cool feature is a little passport-type card in which you (and a few friends) can rate the snacks!

Aerial Cheese Snack, 70 g – Value $2.39

Starting things off, we have these light crispy cheese snacks that remind me of my beloved Bugles. Just cheesy enough, I like how airy these are, instead of dense like some American cheesy snacks.

Every Burger Cookies, 2.32 oz – Value $3.96

YESSSSS! I’ve had these lil’ burgers before, and I adore them! They are yummy cookies with creamy chocolate “patties” and white chocolate “cheese” sandwiched in between. My favorite part is the sesame seeds on top, which bring a special crunch to this cookie. Shout out to the adorable packaging that’s also resealable (even though you know I ate these all at once).

UHA Puccho Ramune, 1.76 oz – Value $1.99?

This is a strange candy! It’s compared to Hi-Chew, but I definitely agree that it’s very unique. Ramune is the soda flavor I received, and it’s hard to describe. It’s chewy like a Hi-Chew or Starburst, but it has a center part that fizzles a little in your mouth. It seems that the idea is to recreate those awesome fizzy sodas I used to buy at the Asian market as a teenager. I can taste it for sure! I couldn’t find this exact item online, so I linked to something similar to give an idea of value.

Bourbon Petit Caramel Rice Crackers, 31 g – Value $5.00

When I first opened these, I thought they were like Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal or something. They look like wee crunchy French toasts. They are really quite sweet and taste like caramel. I can only eat one or two at a time! Apparently, these are popular to have with tea.

Kasugai Mame Mix, 2.22 oz – Value $1.31

“Mame” means bean in Japanese, but there is certainly a lot going on in this mix. I can taste so many different flavors while munching on these, but they come together in a great way. There are Japanese peanuts, seaweed peas, and broad beans, among other things. I’d definitely re-buy this snack for a road trip. So colorful too!

Big Thunder III, 36 g – Value $1.99 (Buy a case of 20 for $65.36 via Amazon)

It looks like this was incorrectly identified as the Black Thunder Chocolate Bar in the booklet, but I found the right one to link above. I am digging this super thin cookie-like chocolate wafer covered in more chocolate. It doesn’t really feel heavy but packs a super chocolatey punch. Kind of like a chocolate-dipped Oreo, sans cream filling.

Umaibo Gyutan, 2 individually wrapped sticks – Value $0.70 (Get a variety pack of 50 for $12.00 at Amazon)

These puffy flavored “sticks” are all the rage in Japan due to how cheap they are, as well as how good they are for on-the-go snacking. Do you know what “gyutan” is? It’s beef tongue. Yeah. You’re welcome for me tasting this first, so you all don’t have to. It’s WEIRD. The puffy texture is kinda awesome, but this flavor is quite salty and a bit too flavorful for me. It’s as if you dumped out a seasoning packet from Top Ramen and rolled a corn puff in it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Umaibo Teriyaki Burger, 2 individually wrapped sticks – Value $0.70

Same deal here, different flavor. Maybe Teriyaki Burger will be better?

Nope. Nope. Nope. Still not a fan. It certainly tastes totally different, much like teriyaki, but whoa boy. So much flavoring.

Then we have a slew of individually wrapped candies. 4 different candies, 4 pieces of each.

Kasugai Kiwi Gummies, 4 pieces – Value $1.47 (Buy a 3.7 oz bag for $2.39 at Jet)

This is a classic Japanese gummy, and I heart it very much. So squishy and juicy! It does not get softer than this. It’s the closest thing you can get to eating a real Kiwi (…fruit, not bird). Yummmmms.

Sakuma Matcha Milk Candy, 4 pieces – Value $1.00? (Buy a full-size bag for $2.25 at Matcha Lover)

Awww heck yes. Is everyone over the matcha green tea latte by now? I’m not. I am all about it, and these candies taste just like it. Did you know matcha is proven to help curb bad breath? I didn’t either, but the booklet says it’s true, so I am going with it. I’m not sure how many pieces come in a full-size bag, so I just took a guess at the value of these four pieces!

Ribon Nama Ume Candy, 4 pieces – Value $0.66 (Buy a 3.87 oz. bag for $4.99 on Amazon)

THESE LOOK SO COOL! At the center of this glass-like candy is a plum pickled by a ton of salt. The booklet warns you that it will be intense once you get to the center, so I was excited. It really wasn’t as bad as I thought, but then again, I love salty stuff (except maybe beef-tongue-salty stuff). I immediately ordered my poor guinea-pig roommate to also eat one, but he did not spit it out like he did that foul sour pickle candy from Munchpak last month. *shudder* This salty plum was well-received after the delightfully sweet candy!

Rakka Ame Candy, 4 pieces – Value $1.00? (Buy a full-size bag for $3.98 on Amazon)

Here we have the last of the candies, which were probably my least favorite. I’m not trying to hate on peanut brittle, but peanut-flavored hard candy kinda grosses me out. It’s really sweet, but in a peanut way. How can my brain make sense of that? Once you get to the center of this bad boy, there are some roasted peanuts, so I guess that IS kinda cool…

I couldn’t find how many pieces came in a full-size bag, so I estimated the value of these four pieces above!

SPECIAL DIY ITEM: Choco Kinako Mochi, 1 kit – Value $1.91

We end our journey with this bizarre DIY kit. I’m down with mochi, but this kit has me all 🤔. You get dried mochi discs, a packet of chocolate, a packet of roasted soybean flour, plus a teensy fork, and a tray to put it all together. All you need to do is add a bit of water to rehydrate the mochi, then squeeze the packets out into the tray. I thought this would be sort of like a s’more, and I wasn’t really wrong, but the outcome was not super appetizing. Can’t win them all, I suppose. I’ll still put mochi on my froyo tho.

Verdict: I was delighted by all of this month’s snack items, and will never be mad at Japanese candies. They hit me with a few favorites and opened my eyes to an armful of weirdos; some good, some not-so-good. I do wish they would have included full packages of the 4 hard candies, instead of just a few pieces. The value there was quite low. I calculated the value of this box to be around $20, without counting those 16 hard candies. With my estimations for the hard candies, the value is still only about $24.00 (which is still below the $25.00 cost of the box). However, I was really impressed by the wealth of information they put together, and the playlist is a super fun idea. As I always mention, it’s hard to put a price on the curation and discovery of new snacks, so I’m thumbs-upping this!!

Which Universal Yums snack would you most like to try? 

Universal Yums

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Written by Marne Orenich

Marne Orenich

Marne is a lipstick connoisseur, record collector, and twice over cat mom. She loves discovering new clean beauty brands and has quite the collection of beautifully packaged serums and moisturizers.

Posted in Food & Drink Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Universal Yums Reviews| Tags: universal yums | 7 comments

Comments (7)

  1. This was my second Universal Yum box and I didn’t like it as much as my first box (Austria). The chocolate and rice crackers have been enjoyable, but I don’t care for the other flavors. I still love this sub and can’t wait for next month (Mexico)!

  2. I loved this review, Marne. Good job!

  3. Overall, this month’s box wasn’t my fave UY box ever, but I could eat those Big Thunder bars all day long! SO good.

  4. Umm…kiwi birds are NOT extinct.

    • Sike! Just making sure you were paying attention, Sheree!
      Kidding. You’re totally right, I was thinking of the Dodo bird. Sadly, I have never met a Kiwi bird though! 😉

  5. I used to sub to Universal Yums, and we always found the box to be lacking.

    As this one is a Japanese box, and there are at least 4 Japanese snack boxes I can name without looking, I would say this is quite a disappointment if you were to compare the value and choices.

    • Haha I was JUST saying how every snack box is from Japan! I do love them, but totally hear you. Variety of more countries that don’t already have a ton of boxes would be awesome.

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