Kencko Smoothie Review: Is the Delivery Service Worth It?

kencko smoothie review

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It’s a Tuesday afternoon and my toddler is begging for an after-school smoothie. “Perfect,” I think. I’m testing Kencko’s newest smoothie box lineup and I know from past smoothie testing experience that its options are toddler-approved. I shake a packet of freeze-dried fruits and veggies into a bottle of milk and hand it over. Fruit and veggie intake, complete.

Kencko

  • Delivery options: 20, 30 or 60 smoothie pack (monthly subscription)
  • Cost: $2.49 for each smoothie
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The Evidence Test Score: Healthy

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kencko
Pros
  • Budget-friendly smoothie option
  • Clear nutrition info
  • Delicious taste
Cons
  • Doesn’t contain as many vegetables as other smoothies

What Is Kencko?

kencko smoothie review | left: pancakes and orange kencko smoothie right: box containing kencko glow getter smoothie mix
Kencko

Kencko is a smoothie delivery company with a mission to help people get more fruits and vegetables. It was founded by entrepreneur Tomas Froes, who started eating a plant-based diet after being diagnosed with acute gastritis. But he was incredibly busy, so he started to freeze-dry fruits and vegetables, which he’d use to make instant smoothies. Eventually, his idea became Kencko. And, according to the brand, over the course of three years, it’s shipped 12 million smoothie starters.

The brand’s strategy is based on Froes’ original idea: freeze-drying produce, which keeps it from going bad, and “captures” the nutrients in a shelf-stable form. Kencko also sells gumdrops and savory bowls based on this freeze-dried produce technology, but we haven’t tried them yet.

Kencko Smoothies: The Pros

Wendy McMillan

Unlike many of the other smoothie delivery services we’ve tried, Kencko smoothies arrive in a deceptively small box. Each smoothie is contained in a small compostable packet of powdered, freeze-dried fruit and veggies. The brand advertises that each smoothie packet contains up to 2.5 cups of organic fruits and vegetables, with no thickeners or added sugars. Kencko also offers clear nutrition info. Whether you’re looking at the label or online, you know exactly what’s in the sachet.

When you place an order, Kencko lets you create your own box of 20, 40, or 60 smoothie packets of your choice. Options are labeled by color: “Tropical blues,” for example, contains bananas, pineapple, apples, lucuma, oranges, kiwis, coconut water, baobab, Thai lime leaf, and blue spirulina. “Blushes” contains a mix of mango, papaya, strawberries, passion fruit, orange, lucuma, carrot, beet, apple, and cayenne pepper.

Kencko’s pricing varies depending on the box you pick, but the time of this writing, the smoothie packets were $2.49 each. With shipping, that came out to about $50 for my 20-pack. The more you buy, the less expensive each individual smoothie is.

Kencko provided samples for this round of testing. I ordered the 20-smoothie package, which includes 20 smoothie packets; I got to choose the flavors. All orders automatically opt into a monthly subscription service. This means you’ll need to cancel after one box if you don’t want to keep getting smoothies. For what it’s worth, I found that a box of 20 lasted my family for a few months, so I didn’t need that monthly shipment. But if you’re drinking a smoothie each day, you might welcome it.

Another plus: Shipping is quick. My order arrived in just under a week.

Are Kencko Smoothies Good?

kencko smoothie review
Wendy McMillan

Taste-wise, Kencko smoothies are fairly good. They can taste a bit “thin” because they’re made from a powder, so I found them most enjoyable when blended up with a frozen banana, nut butter, and a bit of yogurt. But in a pinch, drinking the smoothies shaken with oat milk is still tasty. (Plus, my toddler liked them; and let’s be honest, toddlers are the ultimate picky eaters!) We recommend adding the powder to oat or almond milk, not water, especially because they don’t have any sweetener. If you don’t have time to blend the smoothie, drinking it over ice makes it feel a bit more luxe.

My family’s favorite flavors were the Crimsons (which contains açaí berries, banana, strawberries, apple, mango, chia seeds, and cinnamon) and the Reds (which contains strawberries, raspberries, banana, apple, dates, chia seeds, and ginger). We didn’t love the green smoothies, which tasted more vegetal.

Kencko Smoothies: The Cons

There are a few downsides to this smoothie option: First, because Kencko smoothies come in powder form, they don’t feel super robust compared to what you might be used to. The experience is a lot like adding protein powder into water. The flavor can be a bit thin, although the freeze-dried powder expands a bit as it sits. (Kencko recommends letting the mixture settle for a minute if you prefer a thicker smoothie.)

Second, Kencko’s basic directions suggest shaking the powder with a liquid of your choice in a water bottle. The brand sells its own shaker bottle with markings to indicate how much liquid to add with each packet. This means that if you choose to use your own bottle, it can be tough to figure out the “right” amount of liquid. And if your bottle isn’t big enough, you’ll end up with a lot of clumps, which just don’t taste delicious. To avoid clumps, we suggest stirring the mix into about 10 ounces of liquid using a whisk or frother.

Finally, note that the powder is not cold. This might sound obvious, but when you make a smoothie at home, you’re usually dealing with frozen fruits and veggies. Because there’s no frozen element in Kencko’s packets, we found that the smoothies tasted best served over ice (unless we had time to blend it up with a frozen banana). They also don’t age well; as they sit, the fruit expands. That’s great after five minutes, but not so yummy after an hour.

Are Kencko Smoothies Actually Healthy?

Overall, smoothies are a healthy addition to your daily diet. Research has found that fruit and vegetable smoothies improve health, with notable findings that include making people look observably healthier icon-trusted-source ScienceDirect “Impact of fresh fruit smoothie consumption on apparent health of Asian faces” View Source , especially when it comes to their skin and faces, and preventing some chronic conditions, or even reversing the negative side effects icon-trusted-source PDXScholar “The Effects of Green Smoothie Consumption on Blood Pressure and Health-Related Quality of Life: A Randomized Controlled Trial” View Source of those conditions!

Fresh fruits and vegetables are preferable whenever you can get them. Still, while research is sparse, it appears that eating freeze-dried produce is equally icon-trusted-source International Journal of Molecular Sciences “Effect of Freeze-Drying on the Antioxidant Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Selected Tropical Fruits” View Source or almost as beneficial as eating fresh produce. The process of freeze-drying fruit and vegetables also preserves their fiber, which is an essential nutrient icon-trusted-source Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health “Fiber” View Source that most Americans lack.

Kencko doesn’t add sugar—or anything else, really—to its smoothies, which basically makes it a vehicle for freeze-dried fruits and veggies. To us, that’s healthy.

Are Kencko Smoothies Worth It?

We’ll always advocate for fresh fruits and veggies. But the convenience and price of Kencko’s smoothies makes it a totally worthwhile option to explore, especially if you aren’t quite eating as many fruits and vegetables as you’d like. That Kencko is kid-approved is simply a bonus.

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