Spark and Gusto

I've always loved getting parcels in the post. Even if it is just something bought myself it feels like a surprise gift; like flowers delivered to the office, or an unexpected card from a friend. A few years ago I was really into the idea of monthly boxes- I used to get Birchbox and the odd Graze snack box as a special treat. I eventually stopped Birchbox because I never use beauty products anymore, but I still pick up the occasional Graze box. 

Spark and Gusto is a new box targeted at the active, nature-loving market. It aims to provide ideas and encouragement for healthy living (the spark). The idea is that you then take the products forward and go enjoy the great outdoors (the gusto). Spark and Gusto kindly sent boxes out to bloggers this April, myself included. I wasn't sure how exciting the contents would be, as the description of the possibilities seemed to be very broad (they deliberately keep it mysterious). However, I actually think this works in its favour- the products inside covered a huge variety of active pursuits. 

When my Spark and Gusto box arrived at the office I was pretty excited. First note- this box will not fit through your letterbox, it's more like a shoe box. The packaging is gorgeous- orange and blue mountain print with the Spark and Gusto logo printed boldly on top. Very sturdy too, I don't see the products getting damaged. Before you get to your surprises, you have a challenge sticker. I had to do sit ups and it made me laugh- almost like an active, "You shall not pass!". I also had a pretty postcard saying hi, and thanking me for the review.

As soon as I unfolded the tissue paper my eyes were drawn to the strawberry-coloured Spark and Gusto hat (officially in the red shade). It is not an exaggeration to say that it hasn't been off my head since (just ask my colleagues- they think I'm super weird for always being cold in our office). It's a great colour, well-designed, and really comfortable. Plus I'm super hipster, so I'm pretty much always wearing a hat. 

Next up was a wide variety of snacks. I started on the white chocolate and strawberry mix from Real Handful as I investigated the other contents. Good and tasty, although pretty high in sugar. I didn't love the Creative Nature Blissful Berry bar but then I often don't love dehydrated fruit bars, just not my thing. The Fit Bites are two energy balls, one for pre- (chia, banana, spirulina, guarana) and post- (cherry, almond, hemp protein) workout, which is an idea I appreciate. I haven't used them yet so I can't comment on taste. I've tried the Coco Pro coconut water with protein and pineapple before and it is the only coconut water I like. I also received some GU in Chocolate and Peanut butter that I will be using on Sunday's long run.

Then there were the other little pieces. I got KT tape with a union jack flag print. I haven't used this yet because I'm not injured, so I cannot comment on its efficacy. However, as the girl who owns 3 pairs of socks with flag prints from different nations I really appreciate the design. Additionally, the box contained test tube laces for my hiking boots! These aren't super functional (they look sturdy enough, but they are just laces), but they do brighten up my boots and did actually make me keen to go another hike ASAP. It also contained a strong resistance band, which is really handy for yoga. Last out of the box was some Songbird cooling sports rub. I have to admit that I don't love the smell of this and will likely therefore hand it on to someone else. It is refreshing on aching muscles though!

Of course the question with monthly boxes is how much do they cost?  £28 is the cost of a single box, plus £4.50 P&P (tracked). In my box, the contents are worth more that the subscription. They also do special one-off boxes like the Run Box for a higher price (£40). I can see myself buying it as an occasional gift to myself, but not regularly. 3 months is £81 (£27/box), 6 months is £156 (£26/box), and a year is £300 (£25/box). I do feel that the reductions aren't enough for buying a set and I think I would be more likely to buy this box as an occasional treat or gift than as a regular cost in my budget.

It remains to be seen what Spark and Gusto will offer in future. When buying a box or subscription the site requests gender, t-shirt size, and sock size; suggesting that either socks or clothing may feature in future. I do hope they don't go too far into gender-specific products, unless they are genuinely useful (SheeWee maybe?)- I do not want a pink hiking pole or something. For now, I genuinely really enjoyed what they had to offer, and felt that their box is pretty unique on the subscription box market. The products do make me want to get outside and there was nothing that I wouldn't use.


Do you think you'd like what Spark and Gusto are offering?

Do you like monthly subscription services in general?

Spark and Gusto provided me with a subscription box in return for an honest review. As always, I've said exactly what I think. 

Post written by Scallywag and published on Scallywag Sprints on 21/03/16


  1. Looks like a cool collection of bits and pieces. I do like these sorts of boxes but I agree it's more of a once in a while type thing than a regular thing. I'd rather just buy stuff I want rather than pay a set amount of money for stuff I haven't selected.

    1. Yeah for me it is more like an occasional lucky dip! Definitely fun though :)

  2. This looks like a really interesting box and I love the idea, unlike any other subscription box I have come across! It does seem a little pricey for a subscription box and I think that would personally put me off to be honest. I love subscription boxes but there are very few that I have subscribed to monthly and stuck with. I'd rather spend my money on things I want to try/want.

    Sarah xx

    1. Yeah I think that Spark and Gusto is truly unique. However I suspect that people would need a large monthly income to commit to such subscription boxes.

      Thanks for commenting :)