UmaiBox Food Subscription Review + Coupon – February 2018
UmaiBox is a Japan-based monthly box from NihonBox that is filled with the best treats from JAPAN! Each box includes 13-18 items of the best snacks and products from Japan plus a Gachapon to collect each month. Bonus items are placed in boxes at random!
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.)
The Subscription Box: UmaiBox
The Cost: $21.49 a month + $8.90 shipping
COUPON: Use code ILOVEUMAIBOX to save $2 off your first box!
The Products: 13-18 snacks + a Gachapon
Ships to: Internationally
UmaiBox February 2018 Review
There is an info booklet included each month. The “map,” as I like to call it, guides you through the snacks and gives you added information on the goodies. The back also tells you how you can purchase the NihonBox. Let’s get our snack on!
Gashapon of the Month
This month’s Gashapon is an awesome keychain flashlight! It’s shaped like a super-edgy Pocky box and it’s actually quite bright. I’m definitely keeping this in my car in case I need some extra illumination.
Kanaeru Corn – Chocolate Cake
Aren’t these snacks the craziest shape? I think they soooo cute! They remind me of little croissants, or maybe even little shrimp? The taste is really interesting! They’re definitely sweet, but I don’t necessarily taste a ton of chocolate all the way through. Surprisingly, the corn lends itself pretty well, and they are really satisfyingly crunchy.
Suppa Mucho – Plum
Wowsers were these chips interesting! The texture is definitely that of a regular potato chip, but they’re a little sour, like salt and vinegar chips, and have this sweet, floral, pinkish dust over them? It’s supposed to be a plum blossom flavor, and they smell so beautifully floral. The sour taste is not for me (I actually don’t like salt and vinegar chips, haha), but I was super-excited to try them because they were different from anything I had ever tried.
Habanero – Ginger
When I first pulled it from the box, I gave this bag some serious side-eye because I can’t stand heat as much as I wish I could, and the illustration was kind of intimidating! That pepper looks super-scary. I was worried the flavor was going to blow me away. I cautiously opened it and was delighted to see what a unique shape this snack was. These remind me soooo much of calamari! So cute! Their shape gave me the courage to try them. And they didn’t murder me! They’re spicy, yes, but to just try one or two, it was totally manageable. I don’t think I could eat a ton of these without feelin’ the heat, but they had a nice flavor profile that was more than just heat. I think my husband is going to love these!
Chocolate Crisp – Strawberry
As a life-long rice crispy treat fan, I was super-pumped to see this snack! I always marvel at the packaging of some of these snacks; they’re so clever and well-engineered. This snack was so good, but man, it was sweet. It tasted like white chocolate, and the strawberry was a bit artificial-tasting, but in a good-tasting way, not medicinal or anything. It’s really crispy, too!
Chococo – Matcha
One of my favorite American snacks is those chocolate shortbread cookies – an entire sleeve is a serving size, right? These are like the elegant older sister of those same cookies! The chocolate backing has a nice rich flavor, and the matcha in the cookie balances the chocolate with a nice dose of earthiness, making the overall effect just the right amount of sweet.
Pocky – Double Strawberry
Tell me this isn’t the fanciest Pocky box you’ve ever seen! I actually “oohed” when I took it out of the box. Pocky is one of my very favorite snacks, and I’ve actually never tried this flavor before, nor have I ever seen this type that offered “double” the chocolate. The nice thick strawberry coating was a really creamy texture, and although I didn’t taste much chocolate in the dark cookie part, it was still delicious.
Baby Star Ramen & Setsubun
This box has really been bringing its game with unique snacks! I actually really like ramen, even the cheap stuff. A friend of mine and I used to always keep an emergency Cup’O’Noodles in the back of our desk drawers, in case we ever forgot to bring a “real” lunch to work. We called it the Cup’O’Shame, but there is nothing shameful about this snack! The ramen is very crunchy and has a nice savory flavor, and the dried peas, are a nice textural contrast and offer a balance of milder flavor. Apparently, this flavor of the snack is only available this time of year, a celebration called Setsubun!
Endo-mame – Mayo Chili
I’ve had quite a few snacks that were “mayo” flavored, and I know some people think it’s gross, but these were neat! I adored the color of these chips, and I didn’t think they were spicy at all, despite having chili in their name. They reminded me of the texture and base flavor of Pringles, with a small bit of sweetness, I assume from the peas flavor they’re supposed to contain.
Shabetto Pero – Grapes
Man, this snack took me wayyyy back! I remember a candy kit from childhood that was basically a long pressed sugar pellet that you could lick, then dip in different flavors of sugar. This was definitely in that vein! It was sadly not my type of snack, but it was fun! I’m not a big candy person, and this was painfully sweet. The purple dust did have a powerful grape flavor, though, and was nicely sour for contrast, but overall, I could never finish something like this!
Texas Corn – Okonomiyaki
There is always one snack in the box that surprises me, and this one was it! I was really surprised at how good these were! The texture was a feather-light corn snack; the texture reminded me of “hulless” popcorn my folks got for me when I had braces and couldn’t enjoy most of the greatest snacks on Earth. The flavor was the special part! The flavor is supposed to be that of a savory pancake that’s often served in Japan, and it’s awesome. The umami and depth of flavor were awesome!
This was by far the most unique snack in the box! Sweet little light morsels of fluffed rice, they didn’t have a strong flavor, but the light sweetness was a nice touch. Apparently, it has a long history as a snack food in Japan – it’s been around for 50 years!
Kit Kat – Iyokan
Hooray! Kit Kat time! Last month’s Kit Kat was a reallllly intense matcha that was bitter, and while I wasn’t sorry I tried it, I was looking even more forward to this box for a new flavor profile. These ones made me so happy; I love the little sign on the one that said, “You can do it!” These ones are a limited edition that are meant to be given out to students during their exams. The flavor, Iyokan, is a Japanese citrus between a tangerine and an orange, and the flavor was a nice citrus taste, not artificial, and a nice balance with the sweet light chocolate. It was the best, juiciest creamsicle flavor ever. It took real strength to not eat both of these in one sitting!
Natto and Shrimp Mayo Umaibo
Bonus snack time! I always love these corn snacks; they always have unique flavors and I loved last month’s Takoyaki-flavored one. This time I sampled the shrimp one, and while the flavor was powerful, it was still really tasty! I liked it, but it was actually on the rich side, and I couldn’t finish it myself, so my husband helped.
Verdict: As always, this box was a lot of fun! I’m always so happy to have a good mix of both sweet and savory snacks, and I love trying unusual things, like the Plum chips, and familiar things that have been “leveled up,” like the double-dipped Pocky. This month’s Kit Kat was a complete joy, and I had to push the matcha cookies and the Texas corn waaaay in the back of my pantry so that I don’t eat the entire packages myself.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Nope, you’ll get the March box. Boxes ship between the 5th and 9th each month, with a 20 day transit time.
Coupon – Use coupon code ILOVEUMAIBOX to save $2 off your first box!
Value Breakdown: This box costs $21.49 a month + $8.90 shipping, and I got 16 items, including the two bonus snacks and the Gashapon of the month. With the cost of shipping calculated in, that breaks down to $1.90 per item, which I think is a good value for what I received!
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