Maybe you’ve seen the advertisements for one of those boxes and you’d really love to get your mitts on some international nibbles of your own. Maybe, just like us, one member of your family wants to order a box out of curiosity and before too long, trying out international snacks becomes a whole family affair. Whichever happens to be the case for you, today we’ll be comparing two of the biggest rivals in seven different criteria. This is based on shipping to (and within) the UK, and so it is not guaranteed that your experience will be the same. Who will win in our review? Let’s meet the competitors…
SnackCrate: Founded in 2015 in Florida, USA, SnackCrate is one of the biggest rivals in the international snack tasting business.
SnackSurprise: compared to SnackCrate, SnackSurprised is the baby of the group. Founded in ‘late 2019’, the business was originally founded by two brothers from England.
And now, let’s get on with the competition…
Round One: Price
(Based on ‘Original’ box sizes)
SnackCrate: The ‘Original’ box costs £22.99 ($31.62) with free shipping and weighs one pound (450g), or approximately 10-12 snacks. There is the option of adding a drink to this box for £4.99 ($6.87) extra. All in, that’s £27.98 ($38.49).
SnackSurprise: SnackSurprise’s ‘Original’ box costs £12.99 and includes free Royal Mail 48 Tracked delivery, so you know when your snacks have arrived. Again, you receive 10-12 snacks, but one of these is a drink. Typically, it’s a can or a small plastic bottle, though cartons have also appeared. Weight totals approximately 700-800 grams, on average. SnackSurprise don’t do free international postage outside the UK however, and that is something worth noting.
Round One Winner: At £10-15 cheaper and for more weight? That has to be SnackSurprise. Comparatively, SnackCrate feels a little extortionate. On a price-per-weight comparison, SnackCrate works out at £6.22/100g, versus SnackSurprise at £1.85. Justifiable? We’ll let you decide.
Round Two: Value For Money
SnackCrate: To their credit, SnackCrate usually try and include the snacks that you’ve heard of, and want to try out. Airheads? It’s been done. Alyonka chocolate from Russia? That too. SnackCrate, it seems, really do care to bring you the things you want to try, that you’ve heard all about.
SnackSurprise: Okay, so the cat is out of the bag and you can see that next week we’ll be taking you on a culinary adventure to New Zealand, but still. I hate to break it, but some of the snacks from SnackSurprise can seem and feel a little bit cheap and there have been a few times when multipack items have shown up, too. A randomly wrapped cake or a crisp flavour that nobody in that country would think to recommend? Sometimes, it almost feels as though SnackSurprise are trying to make up the value a little bit. They’re still good snacks, but when we’ve talked to our international friends, sometimes we’ve been told that the SnackSurprise snacks are ‘completely random’ or ‘strange’.
Round Two Winner: Because of the appearance of the things we’ve actually heard of before and wanted to try, we’re appointing this one to SnackCrate. The snacks often feel better quality too, though perhaps that’s also because of the higher price.
Round Three: Packaging
SnackCrate: Ahh yes, you have to love those sky blue boxes. They’re strong and often packed as much with colour as they are with flavour. Until recently, SnackCrate used to wrap your snacks in tissue paper and hold it closed with a sticker seal associated with that country, which I then used to unstick and collect in my scrapbook. In more recent times however, SnackCrate have a glossy folding insert with facts about the country and a ‘Scan 4 Jamz’ QR code, which allows you to play a Spotify playlist of music from the country. The content sheet also features a recipe, though we have run into some issues with making these recipes, including the requirement for expensive and difficult-to-source ingredients.
SnackSurprise: Until recent times, SnackSurprise snacks were thrown into a plain brown box with a pamphlet and then shipped. There was little care in the packaging and on two occasions, we ended up with damaged snacks a result. As time has gone on, however, SnackSurprise also now have stronger navy and yellow boxes with cute graphics and a colourful pamphlet, as well as printed tissue paper and a custom sticker box seal. There’s no music QR code or recipe in the pamphlet, but there are still fun facts, an option to colour in your rating on the snacks (though I think more for your own reference than for theirs) and a fun little puzzle on the back, usually a wordsearch, spot the difference or a maze. It’s a cute touch, but in all honesty, I think the millenials and the Gen Z’s among would probably prefer something else..
Round Three Winner: Again, we have to hand it to SnackCrate. SnackSurprise are close, but we think the puzzles are a little bit childish, in all honesty.
Round Four: Delivery Time
SnackCrate: In truth, the reason we stopped receiving SnackCrate boxes was because we had a lot of delayed, and I repeat, a LOT of delayed boxes. Maybe it’s different in the US, but in the UK, we must have had delays at least five times in a year. Tracking (UPS/Hermes) is a bit shoddy too, and you sort of accept that it will reach you when it reaches you. There’s no discounts or solutions for the delay either, which sort of makes you feel as though SnackCrate simply don’t care.
SnackSurprise: In this department, SnackSurprise are slashing their way to victory. We’ve only had a delay once and that was because of a lack of availability of a snack which SnackSurprise wanted to remedy prior to sending out the boxes. We were kept fully informed of both the delay and when the box had been shipped, as well as being provided with tracking – which worked! If SnackSurprise continue to use the Royal Mail 48 Tracked service with their shipments, they will be unstoppable against their rivals.
Round Four Winner: For consistency and communication? SnackSurprise have knocked out the competition, hands down.
Round Five: Bonuses
SnackCrate: SnackCrate operate an ‘Adventure Ticket’ draw which, if you find an adventure ticket, will allow you to jet set and explore the country for that box (USA for a USA box, Greece for a Greece box and so on). Although it sounds great, your chances of winning are smal, it is limited to US residents only and there are no runner-up prices to be won. You also can’t swap for another country either, which could result in a major culture shock for some…
SnackSurprise: SnackSurprise donates to a cancer charity, though they don’t say how much or who to. The chance to travel sounds great, but who doesn’t love a touch of philanthropy? Cancer is close to our hearts too, because of my Dad.
Round Five Winner: There does feel like there’s a bit more corporate greed wth SnackCrate, and if they give to charity, then it’s not written anywhere on their website. We’re all for giving back to those less fortunate than ourselves, so for us then again, it has to be SnackSurprise.
Round Six: Referral Codes
SnackCrate: Getting a referral code out of SnackCrate was like getting blood out of a stone. On their website, they say that you can get $10 (£7.26) off of your next box when your friend signs up using your referral link, yet, when you ask SnackCrate where you can find said link on your acount or box, they seem a bit evasive about it. When Matt approached them, their suggestion was that said friend signs up and contacts them, then they would apply the discount to both accounts. If you really believe that your friend is going to sign up at the full cost on the premise that you both then may or may not get some money back then more fool you.
SnackSurprise: You want a referral code? No problemo! Just contact SnackSurprise on Instagram and they’ll sort you out. Okay, so the response time isn’t terribly quick, but they do get it done. (PS. If you want 15% off of your first box, just use discount code ‘HELENANDMATT’ at checkout. Okay, so we won’t benefit, but you do! ) .
Round Six Winner: Despite the back and forth taking a couple of days with SnackSurprise, we got there, which is a lot further than we got with SnackCrate. SnackSurprise also sorted it for us, unlike their American counterparts. For that reason, SnackSurprise easily wins this one.
Round Seven: Customer Service
SnackCrate: SnackCrate boasts very friendly and energetic customer service, but to be honest, what they have in energy, they lack in efficiency. When boxes have gone missing, they track your shipment using the same details and services that you have used, then politely just tell you to keep waiting. Again, there’s no discounts for the inconvenience, you just have to stare at the door and waiting for the mailman to come.
SnackSurprise:: SnackSurprise do not boast the same high-speed, overly-friendly customer service. Their customer service is kept professional and seemingly handled by a few individuals, possibly even the founders themselves. That being said, we did find that they were happy to help and follow-up on queries. Sometimes it seems, smaller really is better.
Round Seven Winner: Sometimes, the human touch is what is called for when there is a problem, and a human touch that feel as though it is putting its customers before the company for a change. SnackCrate seemed more focused on appearing artificially friendly and hip than they did on actually helping us track lost boxes, and we didn’t really care for that. SnackSurprise wins this round because it felt as though you were talking with a real human, not some (possibly scripted) cool dude.
And The Winner Is…
With a score of 5-2, for us, the overall winner is SnackSurprise! Even if they don’t do playlists like SnackCrate do, you can get around this by streaming some music for yourself. We’ve cancelled our SnackCrate subscription now due to the number of delays. Instead, we’re team SnackSurprise, all the way.
Do note, however, that SnackCrate are US-based and SnackSurprise UK-based. Try one or both, but do also remember that as with anything, your miles may vary.
I hope this review helps you decide which box you’d like to order, if you’d like to order one at all. If you’d like to take a look back at some of the past boxes that we’ve received, take a look at those posts here.
Until next time,
Stay safe & ave fun,
Helen & Matt xx