So, my buddy knows our family well and sent us a Universal Yums box to try out for Christmas! I was SO EXCITED. I wanted to write about it, because I didn’t see a Universal Yums review specifically for families.
In fact, I think it’s an awesome gift to give a group of people, whether it’s a family, workplace or a freshman living in a dorm. Most subscription boxes are intended to be enjoyed solo, but this one’s different and worth checking out. I think you definitely get your money’s worth! Here’s why.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission from your clicks. However, I mean every word of this review and don’t get any free snacks for my post.
Universal Yums is a subscription snack box, although you CAN order a single box.
Every month, you get a number of snacks from a different country. You also get a delightful little magazine in the box that tells you more about each snack.
Each year, they have a December box that deviates from their norm; the holiday box has snacks from several different countries all on the holiday theme. For example, my December box had a bag of Turkey and Stuffing Chips from Scotland and some Gingerbread and Apple Chocolates from Germany.
Our box also came with a fun little scoring grid that encouraged us to rank the snacks together each night.
Here is a handy page from their site that includes a helpful overview of past boxes, so you can get an idea of what’s in each box.
Here’s the box on night 1, when we first opened it!
Reviewed: Is Universal Yums Worth the Price?
The short answer is YES!
There is tons of pricing flexibility.
One thing that makes this subscription box great is the pricing flexibility. You can choose a variety of durations: 1, 3, 6 or 12 months. You get one month free if you choose the year-long subscription. Also, you can choose how many snacks you get in your box: 6, 12, or 20.
The 6 snack box (the Yum Box) is $14.
The 12 snack box (the Yum Yum Box) is $25. It’s the most popular box.
The 20 snack box (the Super Yum Box) is $37.
Shipping is free to the USA.
These mocktail bon bons were DIVINE. They earned a smiley face from all four of us sweet-eaters.
It’s more than just an (overpriced?) snack.
In our household, this was way more than just a box of snacks. It became a little evening ritual, a conversation starter, a bit of culture, and motivation for our pickiest eater to enthusiastically try new foods. While we are pretty frugal people, we think it’s a great subscription box for a family, or even just a one-time treat.
It’s not allergen friendly, but it can still be fun (and safe) for families.
I am gluten intolerant, and about half the snacks had wheat in them. I still took a tiny nibble to participate in the fun, and the rest of the family enthusiastically polished off my share.
I appreciated how clearly the snacks were labeled both on the packaging and in the magazine. They put wheat, soy and milk in bold letters.
For that reason, I woudn’t recommend this box to a solo snacker with dietary restrictions. For a family, it can still be great fun, as long as the whole family doesn’t avoid certain allergens.
Why Universal Yums is an Awesome Family (or group) Box
Plenty of people enjoy this subscription solo, but I think it’s extra fun to taste all these unique flavors around a family dinner table.
Universal Yums encourages adventurous eating.
Despite my absolute best intentions and lots of reading about raising adventurous eaters, our Turkey Burger is six years old and opinionated about EVERYTHING I put in front of her.
However, she’s also a super curious kid about different cultures and loves reading. This box was the perfect way to interest her to unfamiliar foods. She was responsible each night for reading aloud about the snack we would sample that evening. She was frequently given the job of choosing the daily snack, a duty she alternated with her 3 year old brother. She helped us divide out the snack amongst all our plates.
These little activities helped Turkey Burger get excited about tasting something unfamiliar. Plus, all kids love pre-packaged snacks, so it was a simple way to expose her to new flavors.
These turkey and stuffing chips were surprisingly tasty. It was the perfect addition to a holiday box, of course. They tasted EXACTLY like Thanksgiving dinner! It was uncanny.
Universal Yums makes for a fun dinner time tradition.
Our friend sent us the December box about 12 days before Christmas. It was perfect! Each day, we sampled a different snack around the dinner table with our meal. We took turns getting to choose the snack. Reading from the magazine about the chosen snack was a great way to keep the focus on learning about other cultures. But of course, the best part was shrieking with delight over the tasty snacks and groaning when one was just too weird for our American palettes. Lookin’ at you, Taiwanese egg yolk popcorn!
Finally, Universal Yums provided a scorecard that allowed us to each individually rate each snack with a smiley face, neutral face, and frowney face. When we finish all 12 snacks, it should be easy to look back at the scorecard and agree upon which snack was the best, 2nd best, and weirdest.
At the end of every tasting, we recorded our thoughts with a simple emoji as shown on the bottom of the card.
You can give one box as a gift very affordably.
You can treat an entire family to a really fun experience for just $25. We think that’s a great deal!
In my case, I’ve already ordered a three month subscription for a family member whose birthday is coming up. I’m having it sent to their workplace, so they can all share in the fun during the afternoon drowsies (as I like to call them).
It introduces culture to young kids.
Even if we weren’t at the (hopefully tail end) of a global pandemic, we wouldn’t be doing much world travel right now, although that’s something we value and think would be really cool. Our kids are young, travel is kind of stressful, and it’s just so expensive! One way I plan to enrich the Universal Yums experience over the next few days is by bringing the globe to the dinner table. That way, as we read about the “snack of the day,” we can pinpoint it on the globe and further the conversation.
This also gave us the chance to have a talk about respecting other cultures. One evening, Turkey Burger tasted the egg yolk popcorn and enthusiastically exclaimed how DISGUSTING it was and how she couldn’t believe ANYONE would like it. Of course, that can be a natural reaction for a little kid, and nobody around the table particularly cared for that snack. But we got to have a gentle conversation about respecting other cultures, and that seemed worthwhile.
It sparks great conversation.
On the night we tried Universal Yums, there was no “Ho hum, how was school today?” conversations. We really did look forward to the end of the meal when we’d all try something new together. Something about a novel, shared experience set us up for a great meal each night.
I really hope you’ll try it!