Business Food

Top 5 Japanese Snack and Candy Subscription Boxes

Imagine a life where $12-$35 can feed a needy mouth (yours) with an assortment of Japanese candies and snacks each month.

It’s not a fantasy, and this can be your reality.

*Featured image by TokyoTreat.

The “TOP 5” (the short attention span version)

Posted in alphabetical order because all these companies offer something the others do not, so there isn’t an absolute number one amongst them, well that I can discern from. Although there is a favorite, but I cannot say which one because it will make the others jealous, and “the best” Japanese candy subscription box is purely subjective. That’s why I’m providing my research to help you find the one that best matches your criteria.

Below is the top five most popular Japanese subscription boxes on the market as of late 2016 (back when the Chainsmokers “Closer” was topping the charts). I did it this way to make it easier on you for you to choose from… thank me later (size M, and an 8 shoe size).

Also for the readers that are all pumped up on sugar already, I’ve included a short attention span version. The long list is for when you come down from your sugar rush which has more detailed information (unless you go HAM and get all five).

  • Japan Candy Box:
    JCB-logo-2_265.pngRegardless if their parent company (Kawaii Group) is based out of Hong Kong, it doesn’t seem as though they have had any issue with building a fan base here in the U.S. and around the world.
    • “Shut up and take my money” link to buy

  • Japan Crate:
    japancrate_265.png
    Based out of the SF Bay Area, so they seem to have a very visible presence in not only the U.S. market but also globally. Domestically expect to see them in a lot of places including their involvement with their partnerships with Crunchyroll which has had involvement with the Anime Expo.
    • “Shut up and take my money” link to buy

  • Skosh Box:
    skoshbox_logo_265pxA very straightforward looking website, but one of the few sites with a comprehensive catalogue of the many items they package in with their boxes. They also tout that they were the original monthly box service for candy from Japan.
    • “Shut up and take my money” link to buy

  • Snakku:
    snakku_265.png
    If you’re out to impress somebody with sophisticated tastes, and they’re into traditional Japanese snacks, this is the one you’ll want to get them. To top everything off, their packaging comes with a reusable furoshiki.
    • “Shut up and take my money” link to buy

  • Tokyo Treat:
    tokyotreat_400
    Headquartered out of Tokyo, Japan, they have a slight advantage over the others by offering seasonal boxes to special or limited editions products. Also, being in Japan does not prevent them from staying connected with the market because they often run promo’s and contests for the community to participate in.
    • “Shut up and take my money” link to buy

Honorable mention

  • Wow Box:Wavey, gravy, bold pac-man like graphics, and they offer four different box variations from “fun & tasty”, “kawaii & beauty”, “new & unlimited”, to “dagashi”.
    • “Shut up and take my money” link to buy

The TOP 5 (the Adderall version)

If you’re like me, before I buy/subscribe to a service, I pop-open multiple tabs, do background checks on the business, find out where they’re located, look up their web traffic, to any other dirt I can find on them before I buy (I get all NSA on them). If that’s you, don’t worry, I got you covered because I’m sharing everything I researched and learned about these companies.

1. Japan Candy Box

japan-candy-box_2015-08_01_1month
The 1 month plan (automatic entry into the Japan Candy Megabox raffle value over $100).
  • Who: Established in 2002, the Kawaii Group out of Hong Kong has been doing this for quite some time, so they’re not noobs to the game. Their motto is “even the smallest amount of cuteness can provide a huge boost of joy and happiness to your everyday life. Just remember to stay kawaii!”
  • Their Pitch: The sweetest monthly Japanese candy subscription box.
  • How Much Does it Cost:
    • 1-month starts at $19.90 a month.
    • 3-months for $19.90 a month.
    • 6-months for $18.90 a month (most popular)
    • 1 year plan for $18.20 a month.
  • How I See It: The site may look straightforward, but they do have a ton of ways to engage their brand with an expansive social media network: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, and Instagram. It isn’t just from the consumer end they engage on because they also have an Affiliate Program, banners and logos readily available, and a Reviewer of the Month Program to incentivize bloggers and YouTubers.
  • Instagram:  37.1k followers, @japancandybox
  • Website: http://www.japancandybox.com
  • Web Traffic (Feb-April of 2017): approximately 153K visitors

Random YouTube Video
YouTuber Sharmander: JAPAN CANDY BOX ☆ Monthly Surprise Japanese Snack Subscription Review | April 2016 Box


2. Japan Crate

about-tokyo-crate.png
Hank Rao and the team including Mango and Truffles
  • Who: Established in 2014, Hank Rao is the founder, and they are based out of the SF Bay Area. He and his team not only run Japan Crate, but several sub-brands which include Doki Doki (kawaii care package), Umai Crate (udon, yakisoba, spaghetti, soba, ramen, and more), and Sugoi Crate (cool stuff like Gundam figures to a Link hoodie).
  • Their Pitch: Get crazy & exclusive Japanese candy monthly. Experience the excitement of Japan every month through fun candy and snacks.
  • How Much Does it Cost:
    • $12 a month for the mini
    • $25 a month for the original
    • $30 a month for the premium (best value!)
  • How I See It: Probably one of my favorite sites out of the bunch because it’s one of the easiest to use and to get to know the product. Beyond their website, their digital footprint seems to be everywhere on YouTube with their use of brand influencers which isn’t a bad thing. If you’re an anime fan and subscriber to Crunchyroll, they recently had a partnership with them which involved giving away 250 crates at the Crunchyroll Anime Expo stage and booth.
  • Instagram: 85k followers, @japancrate #japancrate #dokidokicrate #umaicrate
  • Website: http://japancrate.com/
  • Web Traffic (Feb-April of 2017): approximately 1.5 million…wuhhhh!?!?

Random YouTube Video
YouTuber Evan TubeRAW: “Japanese Candy Taste Test!!! Japan Crate Snack Box Surprise!”


3. Skoshbox

img-grid-3-5fef8d9251ebff96a352921553143a12
Some of the items carried by Skoshbox
  • Who: Not a whole lot on the group, the team, or the person behind this business other than that they’re owned and operated by a Japanese team running out of Tokyo and LA.
  • Their Pitch: Japanese snacks delivered monthly. Skoshbox is the original monthly box service for candy from Japan!
  • How Much Does it Cost:
    • $12 to $120 (blue box), the skoshbox (4-5 snacks)
    • $24 to $240 (yellow box), the dekabox (8-10 snacks +optional mystery item)
    • $35 to $385 (red box), the Japan box (1-14 items with 2 mystery toys!)
  • How I See It: The UX (User Experience) on their website seems a little more refined, but I’m not big on the visual design although that, of course is a personal preference. The things that do matter for all is that they are probably one of the few sites to provide a relatively comprehensive listing of many of the items they may include in their boxes from candies, characters, chocolate, cookies, snacks, and accessories. One other highlight is their Instagram account which has some amusing captions.
  • Instagram: 14.9k followers, @skoshbox, #skoshbox
  • Website: https://www.skoshbox.com/
  • Web Traffic (Feb-April of 2017): approximately 106K visitors

Random YouTube Video
YouTuber Juss.Erin: “Americans Try Japanese Snacks! | Skoshbox”


4. Snakku

compressed3
The coolest part about Snakku? Is that they wrap each box in a furoshiki.
  • Who: Shigeki is the founder of Snakku, and he was born in Tokyo, Japan although he grew up in NYC.
  • Their Pitch: Snakku is the only Japanese snack subscription box that gets its products directly from local snack makers in Japan. You’re also purchasing authentic Japanese items that are only available in Japan from some vendors who have been around for 100+ years.
  • How Much Does it Cost:
    • 1 month starts at $38.95
    • 3 months for $115.50 (sale, originally $116.85)
    • 6 months for $227.70 (sale, originally $233.70).
  • How I See It: This site looks more sophisticated compared with all the others, so it definitely seems like it’s geared towards a more discerning or higher-end crowd. The type of customer not seeking Pocky and Shrimp Flavored Chips because their focus is looking to be more like traditional (wagashi) confectionaries from senbei, real gold covered hand-made ginger crackers from Kanazawa and regional snacks from Hokkaido. They seem to be one of the few that are offering up this level of product, and the only downside is that they only offer free shipping to subscriptions within the USA.
  • Instagram: 12.7k followers, @snakku
  • Website: http://www.snakku.com/
  • Web Traffic (Feb-April of 2017): approximately 69K visitors

Random YouTube Video
YouTuber Reina Scully: “What are Japanese Traditional Candies? Mukbang Snakku Time!”


5. Tokyo Treat

story5.png
Ayumi in the middle with a couple of her multi-lingual staff of 15 (and “yes” they employ a horse).
  • Who: Ayumi is the founder of the website/business, and she is operating out of Tokyo with her crew in Japan.
  • Their Pitch: Headquartered in Tokyo, they offer up full-sized candies (not sample sized) and limited edition and seasonal snacks with free shipping worldwide. When it comes to their non-Japanese competitors, since they are not physically in Japan, they have to go through their local importers which can only procure the overseas or outdated editions of the snacks.
  • How Much Does it Cost:
    • $14.99, small
    • $24.99 regular
    • $34.99, premium
  • How I See It: This seems like one of the top box companies because of their expansive shipping capabilities (“free shipping globally,” wuuhh?!) and distribution channel management. This company doesn’t appear to be slacking when it comes to community involvement either, and any company that is that actively communicating all these facets is probably making a concerted effort on all fronts. Such as from customer service to staying connected to their markets globally even if they are located in Japan (plus, how cool is that their office is next to Tokyo Tower, ’nuff said).
  • Instagram: 45k followers, @tokyotreat
  • Website: https://tokyotreat.com
  • Web Traffic (Feb-April of 2017): approximately 1.3 million…not too shabby.

Random YouTube Video
YouTuber Karina Garcia: “TRYING JAPANESE CANDY! Tokyo Treat Taste Test!”.

—–

So that’s the list, and I hope it helps, but if you have a suggestion or are wondering how a company you’re interested in stacks up (but isn’t listed), drop me a message and let me know. I just might be able to add them to a future list.

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