Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cave Cravings' Paleo Snack Box Service Review

Cave Cravings Paleo Snack Box

About a month ago I was asked to be a part of the review team for Cave Cravings' Paleo/Primal snack delivery service.  I was pretty excited about doing this review.  With many delivery services available in the Bay Area for lunch, groceries, etc, I've been waiting for one focused on Paleo/Primal foods.  In a nut shell, Cave Cravings is a service that delivers a variety of Paleo snacks, monthly.  For those with busy schedules like me, Cave Cravings' monthly delivery service will save you some major shopping and research time.  You know, like reading labels in the aisles of Whole Foods and such.

I like the Cave Cravings service for two main reasons: 1, Paleo snacks available at work so I don't munch on chips or other crap in there and 2, exposure to the different vendors who make the Paleo snacks.  You get a nice variety of products to sample from.  If I like something from one of the vendors, I'll order it separately, else, it's just enough to taste.

Cave Cravings' mission is to "provide the best selection of Paleo/Primal foods and snacks anywhere on the web."  For $29 per month, you will receive more than $30 worth of natural, organic, gluten-free Paleo snacks delivered right to your door.  They avoid snacks that contain: dairy, grains, processed foods and sugar, legumes, and starches.

This is what I got in my shipment:

Quantity Company Product Name Size Value
1 My Cocoroons Mini Coco-Roons in Vanilla Maple 2oz bag $2.99/bag
1 My Cocoroons Mini Coco-Roons in Lemon Pie 2oz bag $2.99/bag
2 Bearded Brothers Radical Raspberry Lemon Energy Bar 2oz/each $12.00/4-pack
1 Bearded Brothers Bodacious Blueberry Vanilla Energy Bar  sample size --
1 Bearded Brothers Colossal Coconut Mango Energy Bar  sample size --
1 Sophia's Survival Food Jerky Chews in Mild 1oz/bag $3.99/bag
1 Sophia's Survival Food Jerky Chews in Original 1oz/bag $3.99/bag
4 Caveman Bakery Caveman Cookies in Original 14g/cookie $6.25/6 cookies

Total Product Value: ~$24.13.

My Thoughts on the Items in the Shipment:
My favorite item in the shipment was the Mini Coco-Roons in Lemon Pie.  Vanilla was decent, but Lemon Pie was a notch up.  The name "Coco-Roons" is bizarre to me because they looked and tasted nothing like macaroons, but they tasted better than any other item in the shipment.  It's sweetened with unrefined maple syrup, and unlike a lot of Paleo snack products, a sugar alternative was not the main ingredient.  The next items in the box were energy bars from Bearded Brothers.  The Radical Raspberry Lemon flavor was the best of the three I received.  You have to be a fig-lover to like that.   The other two flavors were date-based.  At ~$3/bar with almost no protein, these are expensive, tiny, and not worth the price.  The Jerky Chews in Mild and Original (from Sophia's Survival Food) was next in the shipment.  The flavor naming is a bit weird, as mild had spices in addition to just jerky and sea salt.  If you like snacks really plain and simple, it doesn't get much simpler than this jerky.  There are only 2 ingredients in the Original: grass-fed beef and sea salt.  Personally, I thought it was a bit bland, but I know many folks who like things bare.  The last items in the shipment were Caveman cookies in Original from Caveman Bakery.  Oddly enough, these are marketed as "oatmeal raisin" Paleo cookies.  I didn't like these too much since it tasted like eating solid honey.  Overall, it was great to have a good variety of snacks to sample!

What I like about Cave Cravings' service:
  • Convenience.  For those who are busy, you don't have to think about what snacks to buy.  Someone else has already read the labels and checked if the snack is Paleo.  All you have to do is eat it!
  • Simple concept, easy sign up, free shipping, and flexible cancellation policy.  
  • Variety in snacks and balance.  Some "treats" and some healthier snack options made with little or no sugar (ex. honey, maple syrup, etc).  Often times, when it comes to Paleo snacks, you get the same flavors over and over again.  There's actually variety in a Cave Cravings' box.
  • Variety in brands.  Not all the snacks come from the same vendor!  Items in the box came from different companies and tasted different from one another.  It was nice to see products from Austin, New York, and California.
  • Transparency.  Each month, in addition to snacks, the box also comes with a summary of each product and list of ingredients so you know exactly what you're eating.  
  • Brand awareness & exposure to the company that makes the snack.  The Paleo/Primal scene is still a growing area.  It's tough to find companies that make snacks that are Paleo approved.  

Some things that could use improvement:
  • Sizing options and/or delivery frequency options.  I blew through the snacks so quickly and probably could've eaten the entire box in one sitting had I not been reviewing.  This box is not going to last you a month!
  • Low Sugar and/or High Protein option.  While Cave Cravings' boxes bring variety, it would be nice to have a low sugar option, where snacks in the box don't have added sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, etc, as the main ingredient.  The same goes for a high protein option.  Perhaps a box with Paleo protein bar options and jerky options?

Cave Cravings Box & Items:

2. Cave Cravings' shipment

3. My favorite items in the box from Coco-Roons.  I like the 'Lemon Pie' flavor.  They were mini, for sure.

4. Caveman Cookies in Original

5. tasted almost like all honey.  Ingredients: honey, almond flour, walnuts, raisins, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

6. Grass-fed Jerky from Sophia's Survival Food.  Very simple ingredients.  The original only contains jerky and sea salt.

5. Bearded Brothers' Radical Raspberry Lemon Energy bar.. best flavor of the ones sent to me.  Great if you're a fig lover.  No additional sweeteners.

6. 2oz bar.

7. samples of some other flavors.

8. Definitely bite-size.

If you're looking for a Paleo snack/treat delivery service that will send you a variety of products to try each month, check out Cave Cravings'.  They'll send you organic and natural Paleo snacks.  I'm not sure if there are any other companies that do the same thing yet.  It's hassle-free: easy to sign up and easy to cancel if you don't like it.  Let me know what you think!