First Impressions: Chomps
First Impressions is a series that introduces and reviews new brands to My Subscription Addiction, drawing from readers’ requests for an insider’s first look. Interested in seeing more reviews from this brand, or have another box in mind that you’d like to see reviewed? Let us know in the comments.
If you’ve ever looked at the ingredients in some of the beef jerky out there and thought “holy sodium Batman,” well… you can imagine why I was curious about Chomps, a subscription service for jerky snacks that are free from sugars and nitrates. Open my pantry at any given time and look past the general disorganization (I’m getting there, I’m getting there!), you’re bound to find beef jerky… and a lot of it. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s one of my husband’s favorite snacks. But as we try to eat healthier, it’s a snack that we’re looking to update.
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.)
How Does It Work?
The Chomps model is pretty simple. Pick the jerky snacks you like on their website — they offer jerky made from grass-fed beef or venison as well as organic free-range turkey — and you can get a one-time delivery or set up a subscription to be delivered as often as you’d like. Their deliveries range from every 14 to 90 days, with options in between.
Chomps has a variety of flavors on site, including:
- Original Beef
- Jalapeno Turkey
- Best-Selling Turkey
- Sea Salt Beef
- Salt & Pepper Venison
- Pepperoni Seasoned Turkey
- Italian Style Beef
Each variety costs $22.50 for a 10-pack with discounts for larger packs and for folks who sign up for a subscription.
The brand also offers three versions of what they call Chomplings — boxes of mini jerky sticks that cost $28 for a 24-pack — and a variety sampler pack that costs $14.99.
Each jerky treat has no added sugar, and they naturally have low or no carbs. Made with lean protein, they’re paleo and keto-friendly too.
I decided to give Chomps Variety Sampler Box a try. With six different flavors of jerky in the box, including venison, turkey, and the traditional beef, I figured this was the best way to get a good look at what the brand had to offer.
Now for a confession: I’m a vegetarian, so I don’t eat jerky. But my husband and I have been working to find healthier swaps for our favorite snacks as we look to lose the weight we gained when the pandemic first hit, and this was my family’s chance to try to make a switch from the sodium-laced jerky treats to something healthier.
The Chomps Variety Pack arrives in a pretty unassuming brown box, but that’s OK. It’s a delivery of meat snacks; I don’t really expect the same attention to detail that you get with a beauty box aimed to pamper yourself!
The variety pack box inside was protected with brown paper so everything made it through shipping just fine. Because of the nature of jerky — dried meats in plastic casing — the food didn’t have to be refrigerated or frozen along the way. That’s likely why Chomps is able to keep shipping free on all orders.
What Was in the Box?
This was the first stick out of the box, and my jerky-loving husband did the honors. Chomps uses a grass-fed beef from the pastures of Tasmania in Australia and skips sugar and nitrates, and he immediately tasted the difference. The taste was a bit dull compared to the convenience store jerky he’s used to eating.
Admittedly, he said he realizes the convenience store brands are not terribly healthy, so he expected to lose there! Of course this was the big win for me as I attempt to clean up our family’s more unhealthy habits.
The best part of this jerky was the “snap” (if you’ve ever watched a Slim Jim commercial about snap, you’ll know this a big point for jerky fans), which means the texture was spot on. And I got a nod when I asked “would you consider a switch to these for the sake of being healthier?” He said, “I could get used to it.” Ok. Fair enough, right?
This was far and away my husband’s favorite flavor in the Chomps box, as the jalapeño gave the stick extra bite and flavor. If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, you may want to steer clear. Then again, if you’re like my husband who can drink hot sauce out of a jar, this might be the best flavor for you!
After the lukewarm “I could get used to it,” this was the big thumbs up I’d been hoping for. We could have stopped there, but we had four more sticks to try!
Italian Style Beef
The Italian style jerky has oregano and other spices you probably expect in an Italian blend, but my family felt like the seasonings were a better fit for pizza than jerky. This was far and away the least liked option in the box from both my husband and daughter.
My husband isn’t a turkey fan, and my daughter isn’t a pepperoni fan, so I have to admit this one was doomed from the start. Sorry, Chomps. It’s not you. It’s us!
This one was all about my daughter, who is the turkey eater in the house. Although they don’t eat as much jerky as their dad, they said this would be a great after school snack or to throw in a lunch box.
Salt & Pepper Venison
I grew up in a small town where hunting is popular, and it’s how many folks stock their freezers for the winter. I’ve eaten my fair share of venison growing up (before I went vegetarian at age 17), but my husband didn’t grow up like me and hasn’t had much venison in his life. He said this jerky was OK but “a little strange.” I’m chalking this one up to him just not being familiar with venison rather than blaming this one on Chomps!
What I Loved About Chomps
Right off the bat, I loved that Chomps gave the variety pack option so you could try before investing in a full box of one flavor you ended up hating. I wish more brands would do this!
I also loved knowing the brand has focused on making jerky healthier by skipping the sugar and nitrates as well as sourcing quality meats for their snacks. There’s still sodium in there to watch out for — the jalapeno sticks my husband loves? One stick has 13% of your daily value of sodium! That said, it’s quite a bit less than your average jerky which has about 22% of your daily allowance of sodium. That’s a pretty significant difference.
What I Didn’t Love About Chomps
Even with a discount for signing up for a subscription plus a discount for choosing the 24-pack over the 10-pack, an order of Chomps comes out to $44.10. That’s about $1.84 per 1.15 oz. stick.
While I would expect to pay more for the grass-fed beef and shipping, it’s worth noting that a package of 9 jerky sticks from the brand Jack Links was $5.30 at my local store, which works out to about .58 cents a stick.
In this case, I think the change is worth it for my family’s health, but I know it’s not a small difference if you’re eating jerky on a regular basis.
If you’re looking for a slightly healthier version of jerky without having to go through all the hard work of dehydrating meats yourself, Chomps could be the perfect option. With its wide variety of flavors, there’s something for just about everyone.
Have you tried Chomp yet? Which flavors appeal to you?