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***This review was originally posted on Dooyoo last year***
Graze is a company that delivers healthy and tasty snack foods to your door. I signed up on the promise of one free box and another half price, but ended up staying a good few months! You can also go through a cashback site to get a bonus - I went through TopCashBack and got an extra £1. It's not much but every little helps!
The company seems to be really designed for busy working people who might not have time to make or eat healthy snacks. When you sign up on the website, giving your details (email address, contact details and credit card details) you will be asked to choose how often you want a box. The default is twice a week but you can choose more or fewer deliveries if you wish - minimum once a week, which is what I chose. I chose to get mine delivered on Tuesdays.
You also get to choose whether you would like a fresh fruit box or a snack box. I'm a bit dubious about Royal Mail so I went for the snack box, on the understanding that if delivery was late, at least my food wouldn't be ruined!
Each box costs £2.99. However, there are often codes floating about over the internet giving you a free box, and the first is half price anyway. When I joined I was constantly deluged with offers telling me that I could give my friends a special code allowing them to get a free box - I would get some money off a box too if I did this. The cost may seem expensive, each item inside the box working out at 75p, but bear in mind that though delivery is technically free, it has to be paid for somehow. The snacks are often cheaper than the ones I might have otherwise had - for example, a chocolate chip cookie at my uni cafe costs £1.10, and is a lot more unhealthy than the snacks you get at graze. Having said that I've seen larger bags of the kind of snacks you get with graze in supermarkets for about £1.50, but this of course depends on you having the willpower to resist eating the whole bag!
Once you've signed up, you need to choose the kinds of snacks you like. The snacks are mainly combinations of dried fruit and nuts, rice cakes, olives, and occasionally chocolate buttons and/or other random items. Each has 4 buttons underneath which you can click to determine how much you like the item: Never send; Try; Like; and Love. Each snack is set to 'try' by default. You can also choose whether you'd like to receive a higher proportion of snacks you 'love' and 'like', or if you want to be a bit more adventurous and have more of the snacks you'd like to try.
Some of my favourite snacks include:
Olives - of any description, I just love them. Korean rice cakes - spicy and tasty. Wasabi peas - these are unbelievably hot but I'm addicted! However I've seen a massive bag of them in the big Tesco near me for under £2. Anything with dried fruit and chocolate drops - marginally healthier than pure chocolate. Honey roast cashews - I'm not a fan of plain nuts but the honey gave them a unique and yummy taste.
The calorie count and other nutritional information of every item in your box is displayed on the leaflet inside.
The boxes, which are plain, brown and recyclable, will drop through your door on the day you specify. The money goes out a couple of days before. However if you don't want a particular box it is very easy to 'push back' a delivery - you can do this numerous times at once, from the home page, so if you know you aren't going to want another box for two months this is fine. You can also order extra boxes, for example to give to a friend, should you so wish. If there is a problem with delivery - for example if there is a bank holiday coming up and Monday deliveries are not possible - graze will email you to let you know.
I've found the customer service at graze to be excellent. Once, I didn't receive my box until the Thursday (it was supposed to be delivered on Tuesday). I emailed graze on the Wednesday, and they got back to me really quickly, apologising and telling me they'd applied another free box to my account! I was really impressed by this, as I was sure that because I'd only just opened my account they might assume I was lying, and they were only going to email me back and say something about the post being out of their control.
Having said all this, I recently decided to leave graze, simply because as a student it's a luxury I really don't need. Cancelling was very simple - I followed the instructions on the website and I didn't have to phone up or anything. I did have to answer a short survey about why I was leaving - I can understand this though, as they are a business and naturally want to know why people are going so they can take steps to encourage people to stay. Another plus is that once I had cancelled my deliveries I was able to delete my payment card from the account, unlike on Lovefilm for example.
I really liked graze when I was with them and would certainly consider joining up again when I have a full-time job, perhaps getting the box delivered to work as I understand many people do. I was impressed with all aspects of their service: the only thing that isn't so good is the price, but as I mentioned, if you're buying snack foods at work or on the move they are often expensive anyway, and the box is only the price of a Boots meal deal, to put it another way. I would certainly recommend signing up, even if it's only to try the free box!
***Update Sept 2011 - I'm seriously considering reactivating my graze subscription because I was very happy with it.***