Subscription boxes are hot. And why wouldn’t they be? It’s so much fun to go to the mailbox and find a little box of surprise goodies rather than the usual stack of bills and junk mail. If you’ve never explored the world of subscription boxes, you might be surprised to find what you can have delivered to your doorstep — socks, gourmet dog treats, barbecue sauces, makeup, craft supplies, shaving products, you name it. They’re convenient and fun, but not all of them are healthy (monthly box o’ cookies, anyone?). That’s why we were excited to try a Good Habit Box, a brand-new Atlanta-based subscription service that delivers single-serving snacks, teas, protein shakes, and breakfast foods for busy people. As an added bonus, Good Habit donates one meal to a child in need for every box purchased.
How it started
When Emory MBA Rahul Sharma found himself skipping lunch in favor of quick vending machine snacks on his busiest days, he started looking for a better option. When he wasn’t able to find an easy way to get snacks that were portable, tasty, and still healthy, he did what anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit would do: He started his own company to fill the void. He brought fellow Emory MBA and former Nestlé brand manager Meghan Stevens in and after a few months of planning, the duo and their growing team are just days away from delivering boxes to their first customers.
Deliveries start Thursday, April 2, and are available throughout the continental U.S. (although all food is prepared at an organic local bakery here in Georgia). Pro tip: The first 500 subscribers get 50 percent off their first box on launch day.
You can choose to get boxes weekly, biweekly, or monthly, and the cost of each box ranges from $7.99/box (for four snacks and two teas) to $19.99/box (for four breakfasts, four snacks, and four protein shakes) with several options in between.
Our Good Habit Box
We received the Be Balanced Box, which includes two breakfasts, two snacks, two protein shakes, and two teas. The press information says that you’ll never receive the same box twice, which is awesome because who doesn’t love variety? Our box included two oatmeals (Gingered Fig & Walnuts and Very Forest Berry), two snack packs (Cinnamon Apple Walnut and Honey Balsamic Cashews & Dates), two teas (Earl Grey with Bergamot and Organic Green Jasmine), and two protein shakes (Dark Chocolate). This kind of box will run you $12.99.
The oatmeal was just the right size for a light, get-you-going breakfast. And sure, you could just grab an envelope of instant oatmeal from the grocery store and chuck it into your bag for the day, but you’ll find that a lot of the store-bought instant oats contain sugar, and lots of it. The Good Habit oats don’t, and they’re also organic and gluten-free. The addition of dried cranberries sweetened with pineapple juice, raisins, and currants made the Forest Berry particularly tasty.
The info on the Cinnamon Apple Walnut snack mix says, “no plate, spoon, or sharing,” but lord have mercy, when we just dumped a little from the tiny pouch directly into our hands, we had debris everywhere. Maybe we’re just messy eaters but our desk looked like a walnut factory exploded up in here. Just crumbs everywhere. That said, it was tasty and enjoyable once we decided to put it into a little bowl.
The Honey Balsamic Cashews & Dates, on the other hand, can really be enjoyed straight out of the package with no mess. And when we say “enjoyed,” we mean it. These things are addictive. Like, we’re sort of getting the shakes craving more as we speak. Raw roasted cashews, oat-covered dates, balsamic vinegar, tapioca syrup, organic honey, black pepper, and sea salt combine to create the ultimate sweet and savory flavor explosion and come in at 160 calories. They could build a whole business off of these things.
We tried the “Ascend” tea (Earl Grey with Bergamot) because we’re working here and need to be a little more turnt up than the “Calm” Green Tea would allow. It’s a black tea from India and thanks to the blue cornflower petals and Osmanthus flowers, it’s a tea as pretty as it is delicious.
Finally, the protein shake… against our better judgment and experience with protein shakes, we made it according to the instructions on the package, which advised us to pour the powder into a glass, add 8 to 10 ounces of cold water, stir or shake well, and enjoy. If you’re a protein shake drinker, you probably know that they can be tough to blend. As expected, the powder struggled to mix with the cold water and got sort of chunky (by “sort of,” we mean “really quite chunky indeed”) and despite a crazy amount of stirring and shaking, it never ended up as a smooth, easy-to-drink beverage. And because it didn’t all blend properly, what was left tasted a bit watery. We tried again with a bit of cashew milk and, more importantly, a blender and found it to be really nice though. It had a good, chocolatey flavor and the cashew milk gave the whole thing a milkshake sort of vibe.
According to the packaging, the shakes contain 18 grams of protein, 5 grams of acacia fiber (a prebiotic), naturally occurring caffeine, and 20 percent of your recommended daily value of a whole slew of vitamins and minerals. There’s also EGCG from green tea extract, which is designed to boost energy, and Choline, “a natural ingredient found in eggs and broccoli to keep you focused and enhance your cognitive performance.” It’s sweetened with stevia.
The few issues that we had with the box were more about the instructions (don’t try to eat the walnut mix without a bowl and maybe use a blender for the protein shake) than the food itself, which was flavorful and high-quality. The pricing seemed in line with what you’d expect to pay for organic, individually packaged, healthy food, and we love the fact that they donate a meal to a child in need for every box purchased. And frankly, those cashews alone were enough to get us to give Good Habit Box our seal of approval.