The Snacklebox Is The Internet’s Latest Food Obsession

Food Features snacklebox
The Snacklebox Is The Internet’s Latest Food Obsession

There’s no denying that charcuterie board culture continues to keep millennials in an absolute chokehold. But as grocery prices continue to gouge holes in our wallets—and as more millennials start having children—charcuterie culture is expressing itself in new ways. There was the butter board, of course, and the years-long tinned fish craze. Now, there’s the snacklebox.

What, exactly, is a snacklebox, you ask? Imagine a tacklebox: the plastic container your dad used to keep his bait in when he went fishing. But instead of it being full of bright plastic fish and shiny doodads, the snacklebox is designed to be filled with Goldfish crackers, chocolate-covered almonds, sour gummy worms… basically any small, snacky food that’s easy to eat a lot of. It’s the charcuterie board’s cheaper, admittedly uglier cousin.

It makes sense that the snacklebox is rising to prominence now. Rising food costs mean that buying a casual snack at the local gas station has gotten more expensive than ever. These one-cheap treats can now seriously impact your budget if you indulge multiple times a week. Sure, this method for packing snacks requires a bit more effort and forethought than grabbing a bag of potato chips at the gas station, but it’s a relatively easy snacking solution for those who are always on the go.

For parents of young children, it seems like an especially solid option. You may not know what your kids are going to be craving at any given time, so having small portions of several different types of treats all in one place just makes sense when catering to picky palates.

I think that we’re seeing an influx of snackleboxes on social media at this time of year because their portability makes them easy to take to the beach, to the pool, on picnics—anywhere away from home, particularly outside, when you may want something to snack on without eating an entire meal. Instead of having to haul multiple containers of your favorite (or your kids’ favorite) snacks in your bag, you can keep everything in one compact storage container. And since you’re only using one “dish,” cleanup is an easier process as well.

Although snackleboxes appear to be charcuterie-adjacent, they’re missing one factor that really underscores the appeal of the latter: the aesthetic appeal. Even the prettiest, fussiest, most Instagram-friendly snackleboxes are essentially just giant plastic pill organizers; they simply can’t visually compete with the expertly crafted charcuterie boards that have been posted all over social media for the last decade or so. But perhaps that level of visual appeal always comes with a hefty price tag—and tough economic times may not justify the extra cash just to make a snack look (but not necessarily taste) better.

I love a budget snack hack, so naturally, the affordability of the snacklebox certainly appeals to me. What it says about our culture, or many people’s broader economic realities at this time, though, is less appealing. That shouldn’t stop you from giving it a try if you consider it an easier or more enjoyable way to snack. We can choose to indulge in this food trend, like so many others, while remaining critical about what it can tell us about culture, class—about ourselves and our times.

Samantha Maxwell is a food writer and editor based in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @samseating.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin