We are fans of subscription boxes, and Skoshbox piqued our interest since it's a Japanese snack monthly subscription box. We got a few months worth of boxes and wanted to share our thoughts.
The ordering process was fairly straightforward. Similar to other monthly subscription services, you order your boxes a few weeks in advance and they ship it to you once it's available. Unfortunately, if you want this month's box right now, there's no way to get it. You'll have to place your order in advance and wait a few weeks for the following month's box. They also only ship to the US and some US territories, so international customers are out of luck. There is no flexibility in your orders; if you are allergic to certain snacks (ex: peanuts) there is no way for you to know in advance what is in the box or replace that particular item with something else. It's an all or nothing proposition.
In terms of price, it's one of the more affordable food subscription boxes. It starts at $12/month (shipping included) for the month-to-month plan. They also have a 6-month plan at $11/box and a 1 year plan at $10/box. Cancellation policies are rigid in that if you get a multi-month subscription, it's non-refundable. I also had a problem when I wanted to cancel my subscription; my cancellation didn't go through, so was shipped another box the following month and couldn't get a refund or return it. The plan is very inflexible as well. If you get a 1 year subscription but want to skip a month (i.e. because you're away for vacation), there is no way to skip the month.
The box was shipped via USPS from Hawaii (where Skoshbox is based) in a small package. The box itself is a standard cardboard box with the Skoshbox logo stamped on the outside. It was much smaller than expected and was similar in size to a paperback novel.
The inside of the box had a logo printed on it with "Skoshbox" written in both English and Japanese. Skoshbox literally means "box of small things" in Japanese. The package also comes with a postcard which has the month of the subscription on the front and a list of the included snacks on the back. The postcard also lists the ingredients of each snack. It's a nice touch as some people might be allergic to certain ingredients. The snacks themselves were wrapped in a layer of tissue paper, held together by a logo sticker.
Overall, the packaging was decent. Unfortunately, there was no cushion holding the snacks in place which led to a few crushed items (USPS is not the most gentle of carriers). Since the packaging is a simple thin cardboard box, I would be concerned if the box gets dropped or wet during transit.
There are usually around 9 different types of snacks in the box, with some snacks coming in a set of two more more. In this particular month's box I'm reviewing, I had 9 different types of snacks, but a total of 10 pieces.
Tamago Boro Cookies: Ball-Shaped Potato/Egg Cookies
These are like little balls of wafer cookies, and they taste pretty good. Unfortunately, the texture is a bit weird in that once you put it into your mouth, it starts dissolving and becomes a bit powdery. While the initial taste is pretty good, it leaves a brief aftertaste in your mouth. If you eat a bunch, it'll definitely dry out your mouth (similar to saltines), so it's best to just eat 1 or 2 at a time. I believe these were specifically made for young children.
TLDR (Too Long Didn't Read): Tastes decent but weird texture
Roanne Vanilla Wafers: Baked Vanilla Wafers
These are probably one of my favorite snacks. There are two in each small package and luckily none of them were broken. These are light and airy vanilla wafers, and I could definitely eat a bunch of these if given the chance. It has a great crunchy texture and leaves no aftertaste in your mouth. It's not too sweet but has good flavors and has just the right amount of cream between the wafers.
TLDR: My favorite snack in the box
Yocchan Cut Squid: Pieces of Pickled Cut Squid
These were the funky snacks that came in this month's box. While it might sound disgusting, dried fish and such are actually pretty common snacks in Asia. I've had some pretty tasty ones, but unfortunately these are not it. It has the texture of a chewier Fruit Rollup. And since it's pickled, it's a combination of salty and sour. From the moment you open this little package, the smell is intense and has a bit of a chemically smell too.
TLDR: Squid jerky that tastes too artificial. I've had much better.
Fried Senbei: Flash Fried Crispy Rice Cracker
Senbeis are one of Japan's most popular snacks. There are thousands of different types of senbeis in Japan with each region specializing in their own unique type of senbei. The type that you see here are one of the most popular and can easily be found in Asian grocery stores in the States. It's very crispy and since the base flavoring is soy sauce, it is slightly salty and sweet at the same time. Unfortunately, these were a bit stale.
TLDR: Senbeis are awesome! But these were stale.
Oreo Raspberry: Oreo Stick in Raspberry Flavor
Why we don't have these in the States, I don't know. Similarly, did you know that in Japan there are over 100 different types of Kit-Kats? There's even a store in Japan entirely dedicated to Kit-Kats. In any case, the Oreo Raspberry is exactly what it sounds like...berry flavored Oreo sticks. The taste is similar to the cookies and cream chocolate bars that you can find here but with a yogurty berry flavor. Actually the raspberry frosting was a bit too sweet and overpowered the Oreo flavor. Texture wise, the outside is soft and the inside has the harder Oreo crunch.
TLDR: Pretty good but too sweet and not enough Oreo.
Bourbon Lumonde Cookies: Flaky Chocolate Coated Cookie Stick
I absolutely love these and can eat a whole bag in one sitting. Unfortunately, this one in the box was crushed and extremely hard to eat. It's a cookie stick made of thin wafer like layers with a silky smooth milk chocolate covering. These are one of my favorite Japanese snacks of all-time! I just wish there were more in the box.
TLDR: Amazing, but arrived crushed in the box.
Dried Ume: Dried Whole Pickled Plum
Dried fruits are pretty popular in Japan, so if you've had them before, these are pretty good. If you've never had dried pickled fruits before, then you might not like them so much. The fruit itself is sour but is covered with sugar. It has a soft texture, but it's not that chewy and breaks apart in your mouth easily. Unfortunately, I couldn't taste much of the plum.
TLDR: You are going to either love or hate this.
Bubble Gum: Orange Flavor
These can be found in virtually any grocery store with an Asian goods section and come in a variety of flavors (orange, strawberry, grape, melon, apple, grapefruit, cola, or yogurt). Full disclosure, I'm not a fan of gum. The exterior is hard, but the inside is extremely soft with a very strong sweet tangy flavor. To get a decent piece of gum in your mouth, you'll have to chew on 2-3 gum balls at a time. While the initial flavor is very impactful, it dies down a bit too quickly and lasts for less than 3mins. The gum itself is also a bit too soft compared to other popular gums out there.
TLDR: Short-lived flavor.
Mizore Dama: Hard Candy
These come in multiple flavors (lemon, orange, melon, grape, strawberry, cider). It's a marble sized hard candy covered in a rough sugary coating. It's a bit too big, but has good flavor and is not too sweet.
TLDR: If you like hard candies, these are great.
Skoshbox is an interesting proposition. If you want to try a lot of little snacks and explore what's out there, then it's great. Everything in the box are cheaper snacks that you can find at your local Asian/Japanese grocery store, so nothing in the box is truly unique. But if you don't live near a Japanese store, the box is great. In terms of value, the box has around $5-6 worth of goods, but you are paying $12. It's definitely cheaper to just go out there and get what you want, but you'll be missing the exploratory experience. I think the box is worth it to send as a gift or to treat yourself, but I'm not sure if I would subscribe to it for more than a few months.
Liked this post? Check out our other Japanese snack reviews filled with deliciousness!
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