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Get Your Head Down and Graze!
Member Name: sharper_fin
Advantages: Lovely, random treats
Disadvantages: Not cheap, and random isn't always good
I like chocolate, it's my snack of choice. But I also know that it's inherently unhealthy, so I was intrigued when I got an offer from Graze to try one of their snack boxes for free.
The premise behind Graze is simple: you pay them £3-89 (as at August 2013) and they send you a box of treats. You have to sign up and give your credit cards and also select the frequency that you want your delivery. The standard default is one box every two weeks. This box fits neatly through your letter box and contains four little plastic pots of snacks, each one measuring approximately 12 cm by 8 cm by 3 cm. You cannot expressly demand a specific snack but you can go through the huge list on their website and mark off which ones you definitely don't want and those which you would like to try. They'll honour your wishes as much as possible and, once you have received a delivery, you can go back to the site and rate each selection, thereby increasing or decreasing the chances of getting that particular choice again. I guess the longer you stay with them the better the chances of only receiving the ones that you particularly like but for me part of the appeal is that element of variety, of not knowing what's coming beyond the fact that it will be something that I like. They usually send an email to tell you that it's on its way too, which is a nice touch.
So what snacks do they have? Well, as you'd expect from a company that says it will deliver healthy snacks they tend to be of the nuts, seeds and dried fruit variety but they're invariably given a twist to make them a little bit special. There are flapjacks, olives, dippers with dipping sauces, beef jerkies, popping corns, some little puddings and even some treat packs with little bits of high-quality chocolate mixed in with the healthier products. One of my personal favourites is the pear tatin pot which contains slices of dried pear, raspberry infused cranberries, yoghurt coated sunflower seeds and almonds. Yummy.
As you'd expect, each delivery comes with complete nutritional information about the pots that you've received. It's important to mention here that these are not necessarily the best treats to eat if you're counting calories. Yes, they're all very healthy and of the finest quality but some are pretty high in calories. But they're supposed to be treats and if they replace my usual Cadbury Dairy Milk then that's a step in the right direction.
If I had to say anything bad about these it would probably be the price - I'm sure that you can buy similar things from your local healthfood shop in bulk for a lot less and make up your own snack pots - and the fact that not knowing what you're going to get can lead to a few unpleasant surprises. For example the Nacho Libre pot (containing salsa almonds, cheesy ricecake sombreros and jumbo chilli corn) wasn't to my taste at all. But that's OK, I just went online and gave it a "Bin it" rating, ensuring that they'll never send it me again.
I like Graze as an idea and as a company. They provide little treats in times when most of us can't afford big ones.
Summary: They provide little treats in times when most of us can't afford big ones.