The DeGusta box is a monthly subscription box that is designed to introduce you to new types of food and products that you might not otherwise have tried.
The cost is $19.99 per month.
I've learned a bit more since starting the subscription last month, so let's share:
You get one questionnaire per month, not multiple as the site implies. The questionnaire covers all of the items in the box and it takes about an hour to get it done. For doing this, you get 5 points. Every 100 points you get, your next box is free. The questionnaire is not open until the 14th of the month.
Second, the base box consists of only what's on the card in the box. You may get more items than are listed on the card, but it's not a guarantee, so that will change the value of the box. Last month, I received a lot of extra items. Sometimes they're new items, other times they are left over stock from the previous month's box.
Third, not everything is going to be to your taste, or mine, so understand that this review is based on my opinions, and if you like the stuff - it's no reflection against you if it's something I don't like. People have different tastes and I am both a diverse and very picky eater.
So - let's start with the box. This month's box was seriously dinged up in shipping. I took a picture of the side of the box instead of the top this time, since the top didn't show off the damage so well. The box was squished so much that the tape remained taunt while the cardboard was bent in. Still, it did not appear as though anything fell out as a result.
The squished box did not appear to squish the contents, so that was nice.
And then we have the insert that lets you know the primary products for the month. Ten items are on the info card, which puts everything at a roughly $2 cost per item.
On the back of the info card was a recipe for tomato bread pizza. Definitely not my thing. I did not save the recipe.
Next was an info card for one of the products in the box - energems.
On the reverse was a coupon for $1.00 off.
The first item in the box was Boboli Original Crust. The info card lists the store price of this item at $4.99. At the store near me, it's $3.78, but there are online stores that sell it for as much as $6.99. This places the info card price somewhere in the middle, making it still accurate, and still cheaper than you would buy it in the store. I happen to like this pizza crust, but I was somewhat disappointed that there was crust and no other ingredients. I ended up making a special trip to the store.
Loacker Tortina Originals were the next item in the box. These have the wafer cookies in the middle, sort of like a Nutty Buddy, but not as thick. They're coated in chocolate, and they have a layer of hazelnut in the middle. There are three cookies in the package. The flavor was good, but I really don't like wafer cookies, so I gave them to elder child, who ate them all at once. (They're tiny cookies). The insert lists this item as having a store price of $3.99. You can buy them in bulk on Amazon, which comes out to $3.70 per package. They aren't sold locally for me. I personally wouldn't pay $4 for three cookies, and though the flavor was nice, the texture is definitely not my thing, it's not something I would get on my own and I'm not going to pay that much per cookie.
Next up was Mrs. Thinster's Cookie Thins - Chocolate Chip. Let me just say UGH. These were gross. I've had sawdust in my mouth before and it literally tastes better than these so called cookies do. I don't think you can even rightfully call them cookies. They went straight into the trash, including the bite I tried. The info sheet lists these as having a retail price of $2.99. That's how much they run locally too, so that's accurate, but I can't think of a single person who should willingly consume these.
And continuing the trend of so-called healthy foods we find Tolerant Green Lentil and Kale Pasta. Nope. Not going to try them. Lentils? Kale? It's like they're trying to destroy pasta and all that is good about it. This goes to the food bank. I'm not even opening it. The info card says that it's "gluten free, organic, kosher, vegan, and non-gmo." Outside of the scientific issues I have with that, this means a great big ball of no. The info card lists the sale price at $4.99, though stores have it priced between $3.45 and $4.65, so that's a bit high.
Nabisco Good Thins - The Potato One Snacks - Sweet Potato. I'm not one for health foods, and here's health food number three. Still, it's a cracker chip. It can't be terrible, right? I've never had a sweet potato to my knowledge, so I'm not sure if this tastes like a sweet potato, but it's definitely the wrong mix of salty and sweet. It's not my thing. I had a bite of one. The littlest one wouldn't eat it either, and neither would elder child, who usually eats everything. So - this was a bust too. The info card lists the price at $3.69, but I haven't seen these for more than $2.56, so the price value listed on the card is inflated here as well.
Quinoa granola bars - nuts, seeds, and honey. I like granola bars. This doesn't taste like a granola bar. It kinda tastes like bird seed. It's not a good blend. It also doesn't leave you feeling like you've actually eaten anything. These aren't yet in stores. Their website doesn't have prices, and their store locator isn't functional yet. So - a new product. I'm hoping this box is their focus group testing, because I feel like they're going to loose a bundle on this product. There are only 5 bars in the box, and the info card says that it has a sale price of $7.49, which I doubt. Just about every single company making granola bars is far cheaper than this, and they taste better. This is a bust for me.
Energems Mint Dark Chocolate (21 gems) - Three of these is supposed to equal one serving - the rough equivalent of a can of soda or a cup of coffee. They taste delicious. However, they don't equate out to a can of soda. (I don't know about the coffee comparison - I am not a coffee person.) So - tasty candied vitamins, but not effective to their purpose. Locally you can find them for $6.99, which isn't worth the price to me, and the info card lists the retail price at $6.99, so that's accurate. Each piece is about the size of three m&ms, so you've got a lot of chocolate and a good flavor, but as they don't do what they're supposed to do, it's not really worth it here either.
This was interesting. I thought I would hate it - I don't like lemonade. I also don't like my coconut without a little pineapple. Still, I did a ton of yardwork the other day and this was cold and in the fridge, so I figured why not? It was delicious. Very refreshing and just the pick me up I needed after getting all hot and sweaty and gross. It's an Italian beverage, and it's not sold locally. The info card lists the price at $1.59 and that's a gross understatement. You can buy it online for $28.50 for a 12 pack, not including shipping, which comes out to $2.38 per can. I'd buy this if it was available, but I'm not about to spend that much or have to have beverages shipped in the mail. I've only done that once, and that was for the now-discontinued Romulan Ale energy drinks. That was worth it, this isn't.
What's with the quinoa this month? Goya's black beans, bell peppers and spices quinoa blend. Nope. No beans, no peppers, and none of the spices that go with it. This is going to the food bank. The info card lists this at $2.99. It's not available in stores around here. It's unavailable on Amazon, and people are selling six oz boxes (the size pictured) for $46 bucks, no joke. I believe the info card in terms of pricing on this one. It also appears as though this product is no longer being offered, so that doesn't instill in me any greater confidence in terms of trying it. This is just a no.
This is a peanut butter and jelly filled croissant. Yeah, you read that right. I'm not a pb&j person. The little one stopped eating as soon as she got to the jelly. This was just a no. I don't like the concept, I don't like the flavor, nothing. The info card lists this at $1.49 but you can only buy it in packages of 6, and one of those packages is $12.99, which comes out to $2.17 per. It's not worth it.
Ultimately, there were two products in the box (pizza crust and lemon drink) that I really liked. There were two that were so-so (Loacker and energems). Even factoring in all four of those, that translates to a $5 per item cost, which makes the box not worth it, as I could get comparable items for less.
Ultimately, in light of these weird/gross/ not to my taste items, I made the decision to cancel the box.
They're moving more toward "healthy" options, and that's not why I joined. If I wanted a health food box, I would have subscribed to one. These just aren't my preferred food styles, and I don't see a reason to waste money on it. It's a shame too, as I read the reviews for about five months before subscribing myself, and in all of those boxes - I would have eaten everything. I will say that the company was very polite about cancelling my subscription, there was no argument or fuss, and they were highly professional. I can easily resubscribe if I decide that I want to, and I will get to see spoilers for the next box once I have completed this month's survey to see if I want to give it a shot and let it finish out my three month rule. For now though, I'm happy I made the decision to cancel, as it's just not my thing.
The total for the box, based on the prices listed on the info sheet was: $41.20, which is a good value for a $19.99 box - if you like all of the items included. Unfortunately for me, this just wasn't my thing.