Universal Yums is something our family looks forward to every month but after a full year of subscribing, I’ve noticed some concerning trends. If you’re considering subscribing to this service, there are a few things you should know.
What is Universal Yums?
Universal Yums is a monthly subscription box that sends a variety of international snacks. Each month is dedicated to a different country from around the world. We have enjoyed treats from Taiwan, the Czech Republic, the UK and more!
One of the things I love about this service is that they also include a packet of information about that country. The packet usually includes fun facts, recipes, and reasons why each treat was included in the box. With this material, it’s easy to build an entire homeschool unit study around each country – and the kids love getting to “travel” from home!
How much does Universal Yums cost?
The price for Universal Yums depends on how many snacks you want to receive. The smallest box offers 5-7 snacks for as low as $15 per box. The mid-range box is 10-12 snacks for as low as $25 per box. The largest box contains 18-20 snacks and starts at $38 per box with an annual subscription.
|BOX SIZE||ANNUAL PRICE PER BOX||MONTHLY PRICE PER BOX|
|Small (5-7 Snacks)||$15||$17|
Our family subscribes to the largest box. I prefer this option because I divide the treats evenly among five children and the smaller boxes wouldn’t go as far. Also, the larger box includes an expanded 16-page booklet with information, trivia and games. It also includes bonus content like recipes, which I incorporate into our homeschool studies.
How do you sign up for Universal Yums?
It’s easy to sign up for the Universal Yums subscription box on their website! When you first subscribe, you’ll be able to choose your snack box size and select your first country from a few of the recent options. After that, you’ll receive the same box as everyone else each month.
Why do we love Universal Yums?
Basically, we love Universal Yums because it’s a fun, educational experience that creates memories for our family. It’s weird and unusual (just like us) and we love the sense of novelty that each box brings.
You can’t beat the sense of novelty.
The human brain loves novelty and we are no exception to that. We love that we can explore different countries and cultures from home. There’s something new and interesting every single month. Sometimes we find new family favorites (like the spicy mango gummies from Spain) or new things we absolutely hate (looking at you, salted egg yolk popcorn). We never know what’s inside, so we all get a sense of excitement and discovery from each box.
Each box has a variety of tastes and textures.
After receiving 12 boxes from Universal Yums, I’ve noticed that each box contains a blend of sweet and savory snacks. There are usually some crunchy chips, some sweet cookies, and a variety of other tastes and textures so that each country is well-represented.
As of January 2022, they are also rolling out beverages as a supplemental add-on to their boxes. I think that’s a great addition, although I did not choose this option because I didn’t want to deal with dividing one drink among all my kids.
Of course, everything is processed and packaged. You won’t find any fresh fruits or vegetables here. It is a snack box, so they don’t send you ingredients to cook with or anything like that.
My kids are learning to love trying new things.
Some of my kids are naturally more adventurous and eager to try new things than others. Some of my kids are downright picky (I’m not even kidding, at one point our daughter refused to eat sausage because it sounded like sauce).
Although I originally got some pushback with this idea, it has now become a family rule that even the children love. Honestly, I think that’s because they all enjoy the funny faces that happen when their siblings have to choke down some of the more creative and bizarre snacks… but the point is that they are all trying new things, and discovering new flavors and textures and ideas that they love. So overall, that’s a plus.
It’s a great homeschool supplement.
As a homeschool mom, I love that Universal Yums supplements our homeschool with creative information and an activity that keeps everyone’s attention. As soon as I know what country is coming next, I’m able to plan recipes and meals around it. We listen to music, watch documentaries, and start learning about that culture so that the box has more meaning when it arrives.
It creates a fun (and sometimes funny) family memory.
I’m a fan of anything that creates a fun family memory… and we have definitely made a lot of fun family memories with Universal Yums! Our boys still talk about the ketchup chips that their sister loved (even though she’s the one who has always claimed to hate sauces of all kinds).
Although I’m the sort of person that would ordinarily skip the review card, the kids love working together to rate each snack and score it. Since this is something they actually cooperate and enjoy doing together, I love that Universal Yums gives us that opportunity to bond and strengthen those family relationships.
If you really love a certain snack, you can order more.
The Yums Shop allows you to order individual snacks instead of full boxes. If you discover something in the box that you really love, you can order more online… but remember, the store has a limited supply and their inventory changes often.
However, there are some things you need to know.
As an adult, I have to admit that I would not subscribe to Universal Yums if it weren’t for the kids. While they get seriously SO excited about each and every box, there are some interesting things I’ve noticed in the year that we’ve been subscribing.
It can get surprisingly repetative.
First, there are some suspiciously repetitive snacks that pop up in different countries. Truffle chips are one of these. I’ll admit that I enjoy the Truffle Chips, but after receiving them for multiple countries I started to get a little curious.
While investigating this, I noticed that the label indicates that they are packaged for Universal Yums. The company claims that they only send authentic snacks from each country and their website states that they work with snack creators to ensure FDA labelling compliance… but sometimes I wonder because there have been some nearly-identical treats in nearly-identical packaging from very different countries.
There’s a glaring lack of “famous” treats from certain countries.
Don’t expect to find famous brands in the Universal Yums box. For example, there were no Cadbury chocolates in the UK box. If you’re looking for a specialty, famous or brand-name treat, you’d best buy it separately.
It’s not a great option if you have dietary restrictions, food sensitivities or don’t like trying new things.
You do not get to choose the snacks that come in each box because they are all pre-packaged with the same selection. People with dietary restrictions may receive snacks that they cannot eat. Depending on your situation, the number of affected foods can be extensive.
In fact, the Universal Yums website clearly states, “Unfortunately, we are not able to individually customize the boxes. The ingredients of each snack are listed on the booklet included in your box. Please be aware that some products are manufactured in a facility that also handles common allergens such as wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, soybeans, eggs, milk, fish, and shellfish. If you have severe food allergies please do not purchase our product.”
Are there alternatives to Universal Yums?
Yes! There are several companies that offer snack boxes from different countries.
Snack Crate has a similar box structure but doesn’t include as much information about each country. They do let you answer certain questions, such as your food preferences, which allegedly influences which snacks you will receive. If you’re going purely for the experience and not the educational component, that may be a better choice.
Try the World is a food subscription that is a bit more expensive. However, it also sends you food that you can cook in larger portions, which can be a fun experience. Instead of doing that, I just look up recipes online to supplement our snack box.
Bokksu is another popular snack subscription box but it only provides snacks from Japan. If you want more of a global experience, you’ll need to try one of the other options.
Overall, I think Universal Yums offer a great experience and I highly recommend it to families.
If you’d like to get started with Universal Yums, head on over to their website!