So, this is the start of my monthly review series, where each month I will give you a long detailed breakdown of a product/service and my review on it. Every month the review will be split into 4 sections:
- Details on the product
- First impressions of what it includes
- My opinions 1 week later
- Is it worth the money?
I am starting this off with The January box from The Unibox – a company that I’d never really heard about til recently and was surprised that it wasn’t more popular.
Details On the Product
The idea behind Unibox is that parents pay a monthly subscription (but you could pay it yourself if you really wanted to) to have care packages sent to their children filled with healthy treats and little objects to aid the University experience. They have 3 different payment plans available:
- Paying Monthly: works out at £24.99 a month, and you can pick and choose the months you pay for with no extra charge (provided that you cancel before the end of the previous month, e.g. you’d have to cancel before 31st January so as not to receive the February box)
- Paying 3 Months at a time: This is where you pre-pay £71.95 to receive 3 months in a row, and this works out at £23.99 a month. If you are semi-committed to Unibox, this probably works out better as you save £1 a month and this will start adding up.
- Paying 6 Months at a time: With this plan you pre-pay £139.99 to receive 6 months in a row, and this works out to £22.83 a month. Again, if you end up loving Unibox this is the best deal as you end up saving the most money monthly.
Each month you will receive a variety of healthy treats/snacks as well as little novelty items to aid your University experience. You never know exactly what you’re going to get so it’s a bit like a monthly present… something to look forward to each month.
What Was In My January Box?
I was very excited to receive this, purely because I had no idea what to expect as I’ve never really done anything like this before. On opening the box, there was a hand written envelope addressed to me with a cute little message inside. The products were wrapped in blue tissue paper and sealed with a little Unibox sticker. Underneath the tissue paper, I was met with:
- 1 Pack of Apple Crisps: From the brand spare fruit, these crisps are made with Kentish apples, which are due to give it a sweet but tangy. At 69 calories a bag and 1 of your 5 a day, these crisps are a perfect healthy treat when you’re craving something sweet.
- 15 “Popcorn Tea” Bags: After doing a little reading on these (because I was very intrigued) I found out that these are based off of the tea that Japanese peasants used to make by mixing green tea with toasted rice to make the tea go further. The brand Teapig’s “popcorn tea” is made with quality whole green tea leaf and toasted rice and is supposed to provide your tea with an almost nutty undertone.
- 1 Dark Chocolate & Honeycomb Bar: This chocolate bar from the brand Nomnom (love the name) are a welsh chocolate brand that work with local food producers to create chocolate bars with cocoa that’s always sourced from a single region. At 72% dark chocolate and 25% honeycomb this bar is healthier than the average chocolate bar due to it’s dark chocolate nature.
- 2 Wholefood Protein Shake Sachets: These came from the brand Purition and I received one chocolate flavour, and one macadamia & vanilla flavoured one. Purition pride themselves on using wholefood ingredients, producing a “deliciously nutty”, gluten free, high protein, high fibre and low sugar drink. These work blended with milk or stirred into Greek yogurt, and they suggest adding fruit, spinach or ice for that extra something special.
- 10 Effervescent Vitamin Tablets: These are soluble orange flavoured tablets with sweeteners, containing 500mg of Calcium and 5.0 grams of Vitamin D. The brand Voost advises that you take 1 a day, dissolved into 200ml of water to help maintain normal bones and teeth.
- 1 Tonka Bean & Lime Room Spray: This spray comes from the brand Bubble Off, who specialise in making Handmade Vegan Skin Care & Bath Treats. The idea of this is pretty self-explanatory: a little spritz will supposedly make your room smell nice, fresh and chemical free.
- Phone Student Card Holder: This is a little silicone pouch to hold your student card, that comes with a sticky back so that you can adhere it to the back of your phone/phone case so you’ll never forget your student card again. It is very thin, so as to avoid bulkiness, and is brought to us by Unibox themselves.
- £20 Giftcard to Teech: The final product in my box was a £20 giftcard for the new app Teech. This app connects users to a variety of mentors from top UK Universities like Oxford, Cambridge, LSE etc., that will answer any of your course questions on live video calls.
1 Week Later: Opinions
I loved… The chocolate bar, the room spray and the popcorn tea!
- I haven’t been eating much chocolate recently due to my whole clean eating thing (which I’ll talk about in a blog post sometime) but the chocolate bar was so good and easily my favourite thing in the box. It’s dark chocolate, vegan (which I didn’t realise until my friend told me) and tastes so good. It’s richness makes it very easy to have in moderation, and I’m satisfied after a few squares… planning to repurchase this on my own accord once I finish this bar.
- The room spray smells really fresh – I have no idea what a Tonka Bean is (my friend says it’s kind of like vanilla?) but paired with lime it smells gorgeous. Will definitely use this to give my room a light, airy scent.
- I think I was most excited about trying the popcorn tea, because I was very intrigued as to whether the tiny little popcorn pieces in the tea bags would do anything… They didn’t. However, the slightly oaty finish made for a rather delicious cup of tea. I also liked that the company uses biodegradable tea bags, making it good for the environment.
I liked… The apple crisps, the vitamin tablets and the ID holder. (These are slight white lies, because I don’t like apple crisps in general, and soluble vitamin tablets are not my thing so I’d be incredibly biased, but I had multiple friends try them and took their opinions)
- I did actually give the apple crisps a try, despite my general dislike and they were nice and crispy, just as you’d expect crisps to be. They had a strong after taste of apple, confirming that they were made from the real deal and according to my friends they were very tasty and more-ish. Being air fried, they would make for a great healthy snack for when you’re feeling a little peckish, however they’re in the like instead of love category because you could just pick up an apple…
- The vitamin tablets fizzed and exploded as soon as you dropped them in water, like a drinkable bath bomb, which was very fun to watch. According to my friends they tasted better than Berocca (a similar, more well known product) but were nothing particularly special. Also, (like most drinks like this) the closer you got to the bottom of the glass, the worst it tasted.
- I think the ID holder is a good idea, and great for people that forget their ID on a regular basis (which can be insanely annoying). However, I can’t say that I loved it because our University has Lanyards, and I wear that most of the time, me and my friends just personally had no need for it. With an item like this, I say that it really comes down to preference.
I wasn’t that bothered about… the protein shake sachets and the Teech giftcard.
- The protein shakes come under here purely because I think they’re such a particular thing and I would never use them, but I gave them to my flatmate and he seemed happy. The problem with these were that you get 2 sachets, and people who drink protein shakes generally buy in bulk, so 2 sachets won’t do much. However, they would probably be useful for trying out a new brand.
- The teech giftcard is a really good idea in theory. Live chatting mentors from top Universities seems quite handy, however most Universities (well, at least my University) offer tutors with contact hours that are free to talk to you about anything that you’re struggling with, defeating the purpose. I suppose it would be good to use from the comfort of your own room though.
Is It Worth It?
After researching the retail value of each item, the total came to £43.81, so for around £25 it is worth it money-wise. However, when it comes to the actual products you receive, I’d say that it’s debatable.
I absolutely love the whole care package idea and think that this could be a really successful company, but based on what they’re selling at the moment… I wouldn’t say it’s worth £25 a month for me personally. I would only actually use 3 of the products I received in this months box, which have a total retail value of £13.40, so essentially my parents would have paid £25 for £13.4o worth of products.
However, this is a great box for trying new things! Without this I would have never bought that chocolate bar or the popcorn tea, which I am now a firm lover of and plan to purchase again. If you’re more experimental than I am, and want to try new healthy snacks and new novelty items then you should definitely give this a go, because from that perspective it’s fantastic! Personally, for me it’s not the one, but it all comes down to what you/your parents want out of a care package like this.
You can now get a January box for free until the end of January using the code “MYUNIBOX“, so go and check it out for yourself if you’re interested!
Hope this helps! And comment below anything you want me to review in the following months.
Lots of love,