What is Universal Yums?
Universal Yums is a monthly subscription snack box filled with foods from around the world. Each month Universal Yums chooses a new country to highlight, filling the shipment with authentic snack foods from the chosen country. The contents vary but you can expect to find snacks that are both savory and sweet. Watch the videos throughout this article to get a peek at what’s inside the box including us eating something VERY spicy!
Naturally there will be some unique flavors in between that are culturally appropriated! There are even items that they call the “Weirdest Yums”! Products range from cookies, candies, chips and crackers. Expect to find a variety of wafers, gummies, puffs, bars and chews mixed in! Keeping reading for a full and honest Universal Yums review including how to make it a family activity, what snacks are best and maximizing the subscription cost.
What Comes Inside the Universal Yums Box?
There are three different box sizes to choose from, offering a variety of snacks to fit different families. These are the box options, including current pricing:
- Yum Box – 5+ snacks in the box, with basic booklet – $15 per month
- Yum Yum Box -10+ snacks in each box, with complete booklet (including recipes, trivia and games) – $25 per month
- Super Yum Box – 18+ snacks in this box, with complete booklet same as in the Yum Yum Box – $39 per month
In the Universal Yums account dashboard, you can easily switch sizes of boxes. I plan to upgrade to the Super Yum Box during the holidays. The Universal Yums Holiday Box includes a variety of seasonal snacks from a combination of countries for the ultimate cultural celebration. Fingers crossed for Belgian chocolates!
It should be noted that high-melt items like chocolate are generally not shipped year-round. We received a chocolate covered wafer with hazelnut cream from Egypt during the month of July. Most of the chocolate was melted on the wrapper. In hindsight, we probably should have put that into the fridge before eating!
Receiving the Universal Yums Box
On the first of the month, Universal Yums makes an announcement of which country you’ll receive in the next shipment. If you want to know ahead of time, check their Facebook or Instagram page. They also offer clues and teasers leading up to the date, which adds to the fun.
No spoilers! If you can stand the suspense and want to be surprised, you can just wait until the box arrives on your doorstep. A sticker seal on the box reveals the country with a hint. Open the box and the map across the top will affirm the region.
On the receipt of our first Universal Yums box with snacks from the United Kingdom I was concerned when I saw multiple bags of potato chips (err, crisps) inside. Wouldn’t all these delicate chips be broken beyond recognition? But happily, the bags are filled with air and the chips arrive safely in mostly all one piece.
Universal Yums Map and Scoreboard
When you first open your blue and white Universal Yums box, the map will be laying across the top. This country announcement clearly shows what region you’ll be snacking from. The artwork on the map and booklet is bright and colorful, truly kid-friendly. The layout of everything is also very clear and easy to follow.
Flip the map over and there’s a Yum Scoreboard. Write the taste testers names across the top and then rate each snack using the emoji key. Once you’ve tried all the snacks, each “team” ranks their Favorite, Worst and Weirdest Yum. You can tag the brand online with a snapshot of your scoreboard, which they then tally and share with followers. This is my Universal Yums Instagram Highlights with more details. There’s also a section where you can see which snacks were rejected for that month’s box. Universal Yums also highlights three potential locations where they might travel in the future.
Educational Booklet and Guide
Resist the urge to immediately rip open the snacks and start eating! Inside the detailed illustrated booklet you’ll find everything you need to guide you through the Universal Yums snack box.
As you flip through the pamphlet pages, you’ll find fun educational facts about the chosen country, a trivia challenge, games, facts and more. In addition, there is a full dinner recipe in the booklet that highlights cuisine from that month’s country. Ingredients list and nutrition facts are also listed inside the pamphlet for review, if you need it. On the back of the booklet, The Yum Shop features additional snacks that can be purchased online.
There’s a good reason to follow the booklet before snacking. Each pamphlet offers a specific order in which to indulge. This will help balance the salty, sweet, savory and strange snacks! As you eat, read the detailed thoughts that are shared about each food. These annotations are a fantastic way to learn more about the region, including how the snack was created, why certain flavors are used and cultural influences.
How We “Do” Universal Yums as a Family
My family has found a fantastic way to enjoy Universal Yums. It’s a slow paced and joyful monthly gathering that brings everyone in our household to the table! Check out how we do Universal Yums to maximize our moments sharing this subscription box.
- To set the mood, we ask our Alexa Echo Dot to play music from that particular country.
- We keep small plates, a pair of scissors, a knife and paper towels handy for opening wrappers, splitting and sharing the snacks.
- Rather than just eating all the snacks straight through, we alternate with reading the booklet. We eat a snack (following the order in the booklet), then do the trivia. Eat a snack, then play a game. It helps space out the eating and we learn about the country in an entertaining way. It really keeps everyone engaged!
- Along the way, keep track of snack likes and dislikes in the scorecard for your own at-home Universal Yums review.
More Universal Yums Tips
- If your box includes spicy snacks, have a glass of milk close-by. The day we tried Tasto Devil Thai chili pepper potato chips from Thailand is the day that my kids were running to the fridge for milk refills! As the booklet explains, the Thai chili pepper is 15 times hotter than a jalapeno (and there are dried bits of them in the bag of chips!)
- I save the map and booklet together in a file folder for keeping. My elementary aged son likes to look back and read through them again.
- If you and your family want to stretch out the activity, consider eating a single snack each day rather than all in one sitting.
- Expand upon the Universal Yums box with activities for preschoolers, young children and teenagers that include reading books, preparing recipes and watching famous movies from that country.
Naturally this box of snacks is perfect for homeschooling as a jumping off point to study other regions. Other suggestions include using your Universal Yums for a date night or adult couples party. Gifted to a grandparent or elderly person, this could satisfy their wanderlust without leaving home. I love the idea of having a birthday party with that country as a theme, then serving the snacks for all the guests to try!
Universal Yums Review for Picky Eaters
If you have a picky eater in the family, you might wonder if getting Universal Yums is worth it? Sharing my personal experience, having Universal Yums arrive each month has helped my particular eaters branch out and start trying new things!
Because of the large variety of snacks included, there’s sure to be something that will intrigue picky eaters. I mean who could resist the clotted cream fudge in the UK box? Yeah, that name is a little strange but the melt-in-your-mouth caramel flavored bites are delish!
An Exploration for All the Senses
The Universal Yums box is an exploration of all 5 senses. Some snacks may be familiar, like potato chips. But the Kent Crisps Ashmore Cheese & Onion is just different enough that picky eaters may still venture to take a bite. I will not mention our reaction to the more exotic Lamb and Mint potato crisps (you’ll have to watch our Facebook live unboxing of the United Kingdom box!)
The texture of the Hartbeat Lime Gummy treats from Thailand look a lot like gummy candy that kids are used to. However the fruity-salty combination is a new but not unpleasant flavor (I thought it tasted like a margarita!)
The smells of some snacks straight out of the bag might be slightly off-putting. I have to admit that I gagged at the scent of the Cono Puffs Crazy Tomato from Egypt. A nibble didn’t help much, they are my least favorite snack. But my 4 year old daughter polished off the rest handily!
Earning Adventure Points
It’s been so interesting in my family how each of us scores the snacks. My highly-particular preschooler will boldly try everything. She calls these snacks “super yummy” and has definitely been more adventurous with her eating since we started our Universal Yum review.
Trying something from the Universal Yums box also earns my picky eaters what we call, “Adventure Points”. Each time my kids take at least one bite of a new food, we keep track of their Adventure Points. Ten points and I give them something special as a reward. It’s helped them get out of their comfort zone in a creative way.
A note that you should always read inside the snack guide about each food before eating. As you’ll see in this video, my daughter was highly displeased with one of the spicier snacks!
Using Universal Yums to Learn About Diversity
This is one of the best ways to tour the world – through food! The cultural education my kids are receiving through the Universal Yums box has been priceless. They’re all interested in learning more about each country we’ve received, including reading more and researching on their own. They have remembered and can recall the quirky trivia answers! Upon receipt of our United Kingdom box, my 2nd grader was delighted to peruse the map. He discovered UK is actually made up of 4 different countries – England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Universal Yums has been an ideal at-home activity for my family and would fit in nicely with those who are doing distance learning or homeschool. It’s also important to expose children to diversity and cultures outside of our own. Through the trivia challenges included in the booklet, my kids have learned that Sriracha sauce originated in Thailand, that 90% of Egypt is desert and that the unicorn is the national animal of Scotland!
Why Do We Use Universal Yums?
I discovered Universal Yums through an online friend and have received the last 3 subscription boxes. While stuck at home with my four kids these last few months, it’s been an awesome diversion for us to open and share the Universal Yums box together.
- Indulging in Universal Yums snacks is a safe way to travel without leaving home!
- We’ve been able to expand our palates and discover new flavors.
- This has truly been an excellent activity for the entire family. Everyone from my preschooler to my teen looks forward to when the next Universal Yums box arrives. They’re excited to share the snacks and learn about each country. It’s been an engaging event we can do together.
Universal Yums Box – Pros
I’ve outlined many of the positives in the section above but here are a few more reasons to try Universal Yums! This is my honest Universal Yums review and I’ll go into detail on both the pros and cons of this snack subscription box.
- Reasonably priced – The most popular Yum Yum Box is just $25 a month and that includes free shipping in the United States. For several hours of entertainment and lots of laughs, this is a great price for our family.
- If you fall in love with a certain snack, you may find it available in the Universal Yums Store (called the Yum Shop) for reorder. I think these would make great stocking stuffers for my kids!
- Cancelling the Universal Yums subscription is as easy as a click on the website.
- To send Universal Yums as a gift, you can create an order for a one-time box without signing up for the monthly subscription. It’s the ideal gift for just about anyone, including travelers, foodies or those who love to try new things. I bought one for my nephew’s birthday and had it sent to him and his brothers!
Universal Yums Review – Cons
- Is Universal Yums safe for those with food allergies? Unfortunately no, as there’s no way to switch out contents. What comes in the box is a surprise, without any option for customization.
- Some of the snack sizes are on the small side, making them difficult to share with others.
- You won’t be able to purchase past boxes. However Universal Yums does repeat countries and snacks on occasion.
- If you’re ordering for the first time, you might receive the previous month’s box, based upon availability. The website will tell you what country you’ll be receiving on your initial shipment. You might even have the choice between two options when signing up.
How to Sign Up
The signup process for Universal Yums is easy. You’ll enter in a charge card number that will be billed monthly. With the monthly subscription, billing happens on the first day of the month.
Choose an annual membership to pay for the year upfront. You’ll save the cost of one month using the annual payment method, resulting in what equals to one free box! A Universal Yums coupon isn’t available or needed. Signing up for the annual subscription is the best discounted pricing that Universal Yums offers.
Boxes ship automatically on the 15th of each month with free shipping in the US. In addition, Universal Yums ships to Canada, Australia, the U.K., and Israel.
Universal Yums Snack Subscription Boxes – The Bottom Line
Don’t be swayed with an opinion if you follow Universal Yums social accounts. What one person thinks is the worst snack they’ve ever eaten could be another person’s favorite snack in the box! While there have been snacks in each of the boxes that I personally didn’t care for, there is still a lot that I loved.
Even with the foods that I didn’t like, it was still fun to try a bite or two. My family has enjoyed each Universal Yums box individually without comparison to the prior month. After all, that’s like comparing the country of Italy to Japan – they’re both completely different places, with unique snacks to go along with it! If you didn’t care for the flavors of that month’s country, there’s always next month. We can’t wait to see where we travel next. I’ll keep adding to this Universal Yums review in 2020 and 2021 as we receive new boxes!