This morning I received my eagerly anticipated Graze box. I'd taken advantage of an offer in this Sunday's Observer and ordered myself one free box, to be followed next week by a second for £1.
Graze is a brilliantly conceived scheme which delivers healthy snacks to hungry office workers. Subscribers register and are asked to rate a long list of foods including seeds, nuts, dried fruit, flapjacks, olives, focaccia etc. They then choose a date to have their box delivered directly to their desk. Each cardboard box contains four snacks in individual plastic containers. There is a paper napkin and a pick for the olives. There is also a tiny personally addressed booklet detailing the nutrional details of each snack and another with more general information about the company. Genius!
My first box contained a West country cheddar, red onion and chutney focaccia, green olives in a citrus marinade, a bento mix and an americas nut mix. The focaccia was slightly stodgy but the bento mix was spicy and the americas nut mix crunchy. I haven't tried the olives yet.
Graze boxes are normally priced at £3.29, which is probably not unreasonable given the quality of the products and the impeccable service, but they're too expensive for my budget, so I don't think I'll be ordering any more, or at least not on a regular basis.
There is inevitably packaging involved - a cardboard box secured with two plastic bands, four plastic punnets, a paper napkin, a wooden pick and two booklets - but the claim is that these are either biodegradable, recyclable or recycled. I'll certainly be be able to recycle everything except the plastic bands and the plastic seals on the punnets.
It would, of course, be much cheaper and more environmentally friendly to buy larger quantities of these snacks and carry portions of them in to work in reuseable containers but, given that there will always be a significant proportion of the population who will not do so, and who would otherwise be opting for a chocolate bar or a packet of crisps, I reckon it's a welcome alternative.