It would be patronizing–albeit tempting– to lay claim that subscription-based retail player, KLUTCHclub, is “health and wellness in a box.” But if health and wellness is all about making good choices day after day, month after month, then the entrepeneurs at KLUTCHclub have positioned themselves to be a relevant part of that journey. According to the company website, Chicago-based KLUTCHclub “sends hand-picked, themed boxes of holistic health, fitness and wellness products to monthly subscribers.” For example, they include full-sized, retail versions of protein bars, energy drinks, skin care for men and women, herbal teas, and even gift cards to socially responsible companies.
The niche products are delivered right to the subscriber’s doorstep on a monthly basis, making it easy to try new products that they may otherwise never use. This, in turn, makes it uber easy for members to integrate high-quality, healthier choices into their busy lifestyles. Each box delivers products and services in excess of $50, but costs a fraction of that, in subscription.
There are gift boxes, boxes for women, men’s boxes, products for mom, kid’s boxes, and specialty themed boxes: gluten-free, weight loss, tea, and beauty.
In between monthly deliveries, members can peruse the website for promotions and exclusive deals and discounted offers from affiliated companies that share their core values.
I recently received the men’s box from the marketing team at KLUTCHclub, and thought you might enjoy a review.
The items came in a box the size of a shoebox. I was struck by the minimalistic approach of the package: a monochrome corrugated cardboard box with nothing but the company’s name plastered end-to-end. This unassuming exterior foreshadowed what I found inside: an even simpler product carrier with a non-descript blue packing tissue. When I’m reviewing a product, I like to describe my first impressions. Left to interpret the marketing message, I believe the company values environmental responsibility. Momentarily stepping out of my role as reviewer, and into the role of a subscriber, I imagine I could feel very good about being a consumer of these products. I remember thinking I couldn’t wait to pull back the tissue to see what’s inside.
On top of the tissue inside the box, I found a tri-fold brochure appropriately printed in black and white, describing each of the items inside the box. I set it aside, then took the time to sample each of the items:
Mr. Pink Ginseng Drink, 12 oz.– I find it hilarious that there is a full-sized pink energy drink, unashamedly called Mr. Pink, in this box for men. Again with the first impressions, “This company has a great sense of humor.” The ginseng-based, vitamin-laced refreshment is quite good.
Kind Nuts & Spices protein bar— An all-natural Madagascar vanilla almond bar that is very nutty and even more chewy. Mmmm.
Goldbaums Pop Potato Chips— Interesting product. Popped, not fried potato chips. The chips have big flavor, especially for a product that has so much of nothing else: no cholesterol, gluten-free, 0 trans fats, no chemicals. The chips inside the small bag are tiny and fractured. I’m left wondering if it’s a sample package, or if this is the actual retail pack. I remember thinking I might not buy them, if they were the latter.
The Clymb— Almost as an afterthought, I found a $20 gift card tossed in the box to Portland-based outdoor gear outfitter and discount retailer, TheClymb.com. In less than 10 minutes, I signed on to the site, enrolled, purchased and logged off. Easy navigation, high-quality products. I can’t wait.
Chia, Omega 3 Superfood Drink, 8oz.— There is no shortage of flavor in this little bottle of organic, fluid goodness. The mouth feel and texture of the chia seeds in this thick superfood drink surprised me; I wasn’t ready to feel like I had to eat my drink. I’m quite sure it’s an acquired taste. I find this organic superfood drink hard to swallow.
Happy Squeeze Coco Strawberry Coconut Milk— In the introduction, I mentioned that KLUTCHclub provides people an opportunity to use new products that they might not otherwise try. Check! I feel like I’m drinking an adult version of Capri Sun. As a superfood, this strawberry coconut milk packs a punch rich in Omega-3s, antioxidants, and vitamin C. I’m a new fan of coconut milk now, thanks to Happy Squeeze.
Agrolabs Coconut Water Shot, 3 oz.– It’s important to remember this is a concentrate. All natural and rich in potassium and electrolytes, this water shot is excellent for hydration and recovery after a long run or hard workout at the gym. Agrolabs recommends you chase the shot with a glass of water.
Cocoavia Daily Cocoa Extract Supplement— It’s a daily extract supplement made with unsweetened cocoa. I made hot chocolate with it, and the flavor was subdued, subtle and a bit flat. I think this powdered supplement might be better as a hidden note, not the main attraction. I imagine it sprinkled on oatmeal, or as an ingredient in smoothies. Truth be told, I couldn’t resist the temptation to add some Hershey’s powdered chocolate milk mix in to my cup of Cocoavia.
Aubrey Organic Men’s After Shave Balm— As your reviewer, I get extra credit for this one. I purposely chose a razor in my cupboard that was old and dull. I felt I had to put Aubrey’s claim that the balm “harnesses the natural calming qualities of oat protein and aloe to soothe freshly shaven skin and prevent against razor burn.” So, after I dutifully inflicted razor burn on my jawline, I applied the shave balm. Aside from a slightly annoying oily feel, the balm worked quickly and without much ado. It left a pleasant pine scent and really quelled the fire.
The KLUTCHclub products in my box are high-quality, relevant, interesting and mostly appealing. The packaging is a homerun with its plain vanilla appeal. It’s a feel-good product that brings a new surprise to your doorstep once a month. With prices ranging from $6 (for the kid’s box) to $25 for specialty boxes, there is value in the subscription.*
According to the company’s own website, KLUTCHclub partners with no less than 10 charitable organizations “because giving back is the right thing to do.”
Editor's note: Photo, courtesy C. Douros