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Universal Yums “The Philippines” Subscription Box Review – May 2018

closed Universal Yums box

Universal Yums is a snack subscription box that sends out sacks and candies from a different country each month. Choose from the Yum Box for $14 a month, the Yum Yum Box for $25 a month, or the Super Yum Box for $39 a month. This month’s box takes us to the Philippines!

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

open Universal Yums box

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.)

products inside Universal Yums box

Universal Yums May 2018 review

About Universal Yums

The Subscription Box: Universal Yums

The Cost: $25 a month + free US shipping

The Products: The contents of the boxes change each month as they 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

Universal Yums “The Philippines” May 2018 Review

This is my first box from Universal Yums, and I was excited to see what country they were featuring this month. I admittedly don’t know much about the Philippines, so I was pleased when I opened the box and saw the flag!

When you flip the flag over, there is a fun little grid that features all of the products and gives you the ability to gamify your tasting a bit – awarding the snacks in different categories. There’s a social media challenge asking you to upload your ballot on social media tagging @universalyums for a chance to win a box full of goodies!

A great info guide is included in the box – with a write up (including ingredient list!) of each of the items. I thought it was really interesting to learn a little about each snack as I enjoyed it, especially the ones that I found a bit unusual – but more on that in a bit!

Now – let’s snack!

Oishi Pillows Ube-Filled Crackers, 1.34 oz. – Buy a 1.48 oz. bag for $0.69 (found here for $0.49)

In the Philippines, potatoes are considered a “dessert” item and often are used in cakes, custards, candy, and ice cream. When I unpacked this box I noticed several “ube” flavored items – and upon further research, I learned that this is a purple variety of yam used often by the Filipinos.

These little crispy cookies reminded me of the Krave cereal sold in the US. I could definitely see myself munching on these regularly if they were easily available to me! They had a wonderful crunch and a sweet, nutty flavor. I really enjoyed them!

Goldilocks Pinipig Polvoron, 1 oz. – Buy 60 assorted pieces for $34.00 + shipping

Goldilocks Ube Polvoron, 1 oz. – Buy 60 assorted pieces for $34.00 + shipping

These individually wrapped treats most closely resemble shortbread cookies. Pinipig is a toasted, sticky rice and Ube, as noted above is a variety of yam. I thought that both of these cookies were really tasty, super sweet, and left you with the same velvety mouthfeel you get when eating a shortbread cookie. My preference was the Pinipig – and since it was so sweet, it went great with a cup of black coffee!

Rebisco Extreme Ultimate Choco – Buy 10 pieces for $0.97 USD

This was the first item I grabbed to try – the words “extreme” and “choco” on the same label are my favorite things to see on a snack! The texture was more of a biscuit than a cookie – and I expected it to be really sweet. It wasn’t! It had a delicious chocolate flavor without the candy-like sweetness that I was expecting.

Leslie's Cheezy Corn Crunch (

Leslie’s Cheezy Corn Crunch, 0.85 oz. – Buy a 70g bag for $1.32

I had a really hard time finding any US websites that sold this delicious snack! I typically don’t like hot peppers, but I loved that these cheddar jalapeno cheese puffs had a pepper flavor without much heat! My 3-year-old son LOVED these and ate most of the bag himself. I am going to grab a bag of the Cheeto version the next time I’m at the grocery store, as I expect them to be really similar to this product.

Boy Bawang Barbecue Corn Nuts, 1.76 oz. – Buy 3, 100g bags for $9.97

Corn nuts are some of my favorite snacks! I love the crunch that they pack, and these were no exception. Corn nuts are some of the most popular snacks in the Philippines, and I was pleased to find there are several varieties of this brand sold on Amazon. I really liked the texture of this bite – it was crunch but not “break your teeth” hard. I received the BBQ version, which I thought was delish – but I admit I’m really curious to try the garlic!

Cupp Keyk in Coco Ube

Cupp Keyk in Coco Ube, 34g.

Another Ube treat! I liked the first two Ube favored snacks, and I love cupcakes, so I was happy to try this packaged cake. Unfortunately, it was a big miss for me. I thought it was dry and could really use icing. I also thought it generally looked unappetizing – the purple and brown scheme just didn’t do it for me.

Oishi Ketchup Potato Fries, 1.76 oz. – Retail Value $0.89 (found here for $0.79)

Hey, I’m from Pittsburgh (read: home of Heinz ketchup) – so you know, I know ketchup. As someone who firmly believes that if you add either bacon, peanut butter, or ketchup to any food you can make it better – I was excited to try these! One bite – and – yuck. Not for me.

I was surprised that I didn’t like these – and I learned from reading the insert that unlike Western tomato ketchup, this traditional Filipino condiment is made from bananas. The fruit is smashed, and then vinegar sugar and spices are added to mimic the iconic taste of tomato ketchup. I’m not sure if that’s the reason that these didn’t hit the spot – but, regardless, it was fun to try something different – even if it was a miss for my taste buds!

Leslie’s Clover Chips, 0.85 oz. – Buy a pack of 25 for $52.95

Wow, what a crunch! The clover shape is perfect for dipping, and the flavor was bold! They are a little spicy for my tastes, but I think if I would have received a BBQ or cheese flavor instead of the chili cheese version I would absolutely love this treat!

Assorted Mr. Candies

These assorted candies are traditional and locally inspired chewy candies with a center cream filling. I received 3 different varieties – and out of all of the snacks, I thought that these were the most unique! I can’t say that I loved all of them – but I can say that I enjoyed the opportunity to try each one.

  • Mr. Buko – Buko Pandan Chewy Candy with Milk Filling: The pandan is a spiky green plant found exclusively in Southeast Asia. I had never heard of, nor eaten it before, and I actually really liked this odd little treat. It was a bit tart and paired really nicely with the sweetened milk flavored cream filling.
  • Mr. Keso – Chewy Cheese Candy with Cheese Filling: Have you ever had queso? Have you ever had a tootsie roll? Imagine combining the two of those – that’s what you have here! The insert says “some people say it tastes like cheesecake, some say it tastes like a nightmare” – and I can totally understand that. It’s very much love or hate! In my house, we weren’t big fans – but I can see how some people would think these were totally crave-worthy! 
  • Mr. Mais – Chewy Sweet Corn Candy with Butter Filling: Hands down, the most unusual thing that I’ve ever put in my mouth. This tasted like chewy creamed corn – with a hint of artificial buttercream. It was very, very odd to me – but I can’t say I hated it! I actually thought it was pretty neat!

The Verdict: Wow, what a fun box! Universal Yums is one of my favorite international snack boxes! I loved the varieties of flavors and textures featured, and I thought that it was a great value. For $25 I received a ton of different snacks. I also love the playfulness of the curation, especially since they included the “Mr. Candy” line – which I believe was intentionally for a love/hate reaction!

If I were to fill out the scorecard from above I would say that in my opinion:

  • Best Yum: Leslie’s Cheezy Corn Crunch
  • Runner-Up: Oishi Pillows Ube-Filled Crackers
  • Worst Yum: Cupp Keyk in Coco Ube
  • Most Unusual: Mr. Mais – Chewy Sweet Corn Candy with Butter Filling

To Wrap Up:

Can I still get this box if I sign up today? No, you will receive the July box, which ships 7/15.

Value Breakdown: This box is $25.00 a month (including shipping). I received 22 individual snacks, which averages out to $1.14 per item.

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!

Which Universal Yums snack would you most like to try? 

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Written by Colette Christian

Colette Christian

Colette’s subscription addiction started innocently enough with a few beauty boxes in 2013. As her life has evolved, so have her subscriptions – and some of her favorites now include boxes that cater towards lifestyle (Popsugar Must Have), pets (BarkBox), and children (Gap Outfit Box and Mac & Mia).

Posted in Food & Drink Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, UK Subscription Box Reviews, Universal Yums Reviews| Tags: universal yums | 8 comments

Comments (8)

  1. Hi there, great review! I am also subscribed to these boxes! My favorite things in the box were the cornicks ( I received both bbq and adobo flavor, and both were similar but adobo was better), the polvorons, and the Ube pillows.

    I’ve since bought all of them a few times over, and I have a few suggestions: Don’t buy them from amazon. They’re actually more expensive there. Like the cornicks? They’re usually sold on amazon in units of 3 bags, and though the price fluctuates, the per bag price usually works out to $2.50 – $4.00! It’s crazy. A few days ago when I was checking the price it was $11.99 for 3 bags.

    So I’ve been buying all the stuff from Filstop.com, an online store selling Filipino food located in NJ. Cornicks? 89 cents. Ube pillows? $1.99 for a big party sized pouch.

    The only thing I don’t recommend ordering there, or almost anywhere, is the Golilocks Polvorons. If you remember, the ones we got in the box were round with fluted edges and a light coating of granulated sugar. You could tell each flavor was different, and tasted like what they were supposed to. But here in the US, it’s pretty much only possible to get ones that are oval/bar shaped that come in a box that says “Goldilocks Sweet Delights”.

    So far, they are gross. They don’t have the sugar coating and all the flavors taste the same – not in a good way. The flavor is generic sweet at first, but quickly turns like…sour? Bitter? Stale? It leaves a pretty gross aftertaste. I actually thought that maybe they had gone stale or the milk powder used in them had gone sour, but I was assured they were fresh.

    So I’ve tried multiple boxes and multiple flavors now, and they’re all the same – gross. I mean, hey, maybe for some reason you won’t notice it and will think they’re great, but just wanted to give you a heads up.

  2. Oooooh, I just got my Brazil box and 3/4 things I’ve tried are just delicious. This review totally sold me. I usually keep my pantry very healthy, but when I’m jonesing for something else, it’s nice to have something that feels more like a really special treat, to be savored instead of scarfed.

  3. I thought Mr. Maize rated like corn chowder. I liked it.
    I also thiNK I am a fan of ube.
    My cup cake was chocolate mocha. It had a nice mild chocolate flavour.
    I enjoyed it all especially the ketchup chips.

    • Glad you liked it!! It was a fun box to try.

  4. Great review! You described it so well I could totally imagine how it tasted.

    • Thank you!

  5. Great review!

    Personally, this was not my favorite box. The curation choices were dubious this time. Usually you get a variety of candies. That helps when some of them aren’t your jam. I didn’t like them at all, and they only had one company’s products, so the whole candy bag was a bust.
    The shortbread cookies crumbled into dust before you could eat them, and the dry cupcake was like plain bread.
    The idea of the box is to try new things though, and try them I did lol!

    • Haha agree!! To me it was worth it just to try the mr mais!!

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