World Bites: the Monthly Snack box that takes you around the world
For all the travel and snack lovers, World Bites might be the thing you’ve always waited for! The World Bites Monthly Snack Subscription Box is a box full of snack surprises from all over the world with one new country each month. I’ve tested the very first box, Japan, and also interviewed Kelly, founder of World Bites, to know more about her passion for travelling and her box.
Interview with Kelly Teng, Founder of World Bites
Kelly is a true citizen of the world. She was born in China, grew up in New Zealand and then moved to Australia when she was 18. By day she works in Marketing, and she just launched a really fun monthly snack box: World Bites.
How did you come up with the world bites box idea?
I love to travel, and I think that the foods you try in different cities can give you such a sense of place. As a child, my friendship circle was quite multicultural so someone would always bring snacks back from a different country, and through that we managed to discover bits and pieces of their culture - whether it was Korea, Malaysia, the US, or Japan. I wanted to share that feeling and experience with people, and transport them to a new country, even if it’s just for a bite!
One thing that was really important to me when coming up with the idea was to provide more than just snacks. That’s why every month there’s a booklet with information on all the snacks, and some bite-sized facts on every country, so you can really get a glimpse into what each country is all about.
How do you come up with the countries and how do you choose the snacks?
I’m fortunate enough to travel a lot for my job, and as such I base the countries on the locations I am travelling to, or have travelled to previously. I always try to alternate the regions that the snacks come from too - so you never get two consecutive boxes from Asia, or two consecutive boxes from Europe.
When it comes to picking the snacks, it takes countless hours of research (including taste tests!). I try to find snacks that people most likely haven’t tried before, but are also very iconic to a country - for example, in Japan the wasabi kaki no tane senbei (rice crackers) are popular in Japan, but not many people in Australia would have tried that flavour.
Are there any countries you would love to do snacks from?
I’m really excited for January’s box, which is from China. I spent a lot of time there as a child and have the fondest memories of running from my grandparent’s house down to the local convenience store where I picked out a different treat to try every day. I can’t wait to share a little bit of my heritage and my childhood with everyone!
What are your favourite snacks?
Is it any surprise that they mostly come from Asia? I love Want Want Shelly Senbei Crackers from Taiwan! These are salty rice crackers but have sugar glaze, and there is something so incredibly more-ish about them. They’re an absolute staple for every kid in China (and probably the reason my jeans get tighter when I go back!).
I also love Pocky and Pretz - any flavour will do -, 7D dried mango, biltong, Daim chocolate, and birthday flavour Oreos.
What do you love about travelling each month to a new location?
When I start delving into a country’s snacks, I always have a surface-level appreciation for the taste and texture of the foods, but what I truly love is understanding how different snacks are ingrained in culture and history in different ways. For example, I loved learning that Kit Kats are popular in Japan because they sound like the phrase “good luck” (“kitto katsu”), or that the French madeleine cake was included in Marcel Proust’s ‘In Search of Lost Time’.
I try to include some of these facts in the booklet, so everyone can embark on a journey of discovery while they’re trying new delicious flavours.
For the Japan box, what was your favourite snack?
The DIY toilet candy kit, purely because it was so weird! It’s a snack that I think represents everyone’s idea of Japanese pop culture: quirky, crazy, but just awesome in every way.
What can we expect from World Bites for the next year?
Of course, there will be 12 great countries to explore through snacks, and we’ll also be launching our gift function soon. My ultimate dream would be to take this even further and create ‘discovery boxes’ from each country, where we bring together snacks with books and souvenirs (and possibly wine!). The sky’s the limit, really! I’m excited for the next year and can’t wait to share more delicious discoveries with everyone who wants to come on the journey :)
My review of the Japan Box
To be honest, I know nothing about Japanese snacks. I went to Japan for the first time at 13 years old and still have a wonderful memory of Tokyo and Kyoto. However, I don’t remember much about the snack culture there although I’m sure I tried a few Kit Kats.
Discovering the Japan Box from World Bites was super amusing and surprising. The little booklet provided really helped me understand the different snacks and what they represent. It’s great to also discover more information about the country as you go.
I tried all the snacks and there’s not many that I didn’t like! All of them were a good mix between candies, chocolates, sweet and savoury. I really loved freezing Pocky and while eating them try to play the “musical” game on the back of the packet. The Easter Kit Kat was also surprisingly delicious with a pancake flavour. YES, pancake flavour!! To my surprise, I also survived the Wasabi snack, being a real chicken when to eat a bit spicy. It was actually pretty good and I got even more.
But my favourite snack from far was… the DIY toilet candy kit! I’ve never seen or heard about such a candy like this one before and this was a true experience! After mounting the toilet, you have to pour some water in it and then it will foam magically and all you have to do is drink from the toilet! The toilet can also be re-used for practical thing such as planting a mini-cactus.
Overall I was deeply satisfied by the end of the box and not so hungry anymore (I made sure to not eat too much at lunch haha!). Whether you are a foodie or not, this cute snack box will make you want to travel even more to discover all kind of snacks around the world!
You can subscribe to Kelly’s box at https://www.worldbites.com.au/, the next box coming in France (yay!) and the one after that will be China, orders are open! Shipping is available only in Australia for now.