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Kencko Review: Trying All Their Smoothie Flavors + FREEBIE!

opened box of kencko smoothies
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This updated Kencko review details my personal experience with their instant smoothie packets over the last few years I’ve been a subscriber. Read this to learn everything you need to know about kencko: the good, the bad, and everything in between!

Well guys, I’ve done it. It took me a few months and a LOT of smoothies, but as of today, I have officially tried ALL the kencko smoothies flavors available to date! And now I live to tell the tale with this updated kencko review.

A lot of you who follow me on socials have sent questions along the line of: “is kencko worth it?”.

The short answer is… that depends. Whether or not kencko is worth it to you will vary based on your lifestyle factors.

This in-depth review of kencko will outline everything you need to know to decide on whether or not you should try kencko’s smoothies.

2023 update: kencko now sells gumdrops too! It’s like fruit snacks, but made with cleaner ingredients.

Kencko Review Summary: Is It Worth It?

Pros:

  • Healthy AND delicious: Each smoothie packet delivers 2.5 servings of fruits.
    • 100% gluten-free, non-GMO, organic ingredients, no artificial additives, and no added sugar.
    • Most of the smoothie flavors are actually delicious!
    • Their freeze-dried smoothie powders preserve most of the nutrients of the fruits and vegetables (compared to regular juicing).
  • It actually takes less than 1 minute: no marketing gimmick, it really does what it says!
    • a super convenient way maintain a healthy lifestyle. Just add water/milk, shake, and go!
  • Value-packed: Affordable cost for all of their smoothie plans at approx. $2.49-$2.99 per serving.
  • Incredibly convenient: I’ve saved SO much time during the workweek by having these on hand for mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon pick-me-ups (when I don’t have a long break time).
  • Environmentally Friendly: compostable packets and carbon-neutral shipping
  • Expanded flavor selection: Kencko offers different flavors depending on the season (in addition to their core flavor offerings)

Cons:

  • It’s not meant to be a meal replacement – something to note if you’re looking for that.
  • No a la carte options. You can’t buy individual smoothies. The minimum order is 20 smoothies.
  • I did not like the Scarlets and the Spicy Tomatoes flavor packets. I generally don’t like tomatoes in my smoothies, so these were not my favorites.

What is kencko?

kencko is the first company (and still one of the few!) to offer healthy and delicious instant smoothies subscription. In fact, kencko prides itself as being “real nourishment for busy people.” Each box of kencko smoothies come with this promise: “add organic fruits and veggies to your daily routine in under one minute. No added sugars or sweeteners. All the vitamins and fiber.”

According to the kencko website:

We transform fresh, organic fruits and veggies into handy single-serving instant smoothies. Each one contains about 80 calories, and gives the same nutritional benefits as 2.5 cups of fresh produce. Simply mix the powder into water or your favorite milk for a quick, healthy boost – wherever you are.

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How Does Kencko Work?

  1. To get started, pick a plan that works for you (see below). If this is your first order, you’ll also received a FREE shaker bottle!
  2. Once your box arrives, choose a smoothie packet. Add in your choice of liquid (I recommend oat milk!), then shake for 30-60 seconds!
  3. optional: when you subscribe to kencko, you also have access to their in-house dietitians. You can call, text, or email them for free nutrition advice!
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How Much Does Kencko Smoothies Cost?

Currently, kencko offers flexible monthly plans on all their smoothies.

As a subscriber, you have the option to cancel after one box or let it run on a monthly recurring subscription.

Kencko will notify you before your subscription renews, so you have time to make changes (mix up smoothie flavors, change the delivery date, or stop your subscription) before your next refill shipment.

At the time of this kencko review, there are three plans subscribers can choose from:

kencko review 2021 honest reviews instant smoothie subscription box

Kencko’s Philosophy

According to Kencko’s website:

In Japan, where people live longer than anywhere else, ‘kencko’ means health. We know that people who eat healthy diets have longer lifespans, with lower risk of chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and obesity. However, just 1 in 10 US adults reach the five-a-day federal recommended cups of fruits and vegetables.

Ricardo Vice Santos and Tomás Froes founded kencko with a simple mission: to help people eat more organic fruits and vegetables. We transform fresh, organic fruits and veggies into handy single-serving instant smoothies. Each one contains about 80 calories, and gives the same nutritional benefits as 2 cups of fresh produce. Simply mix the powder into water or your favorite milk for a quick, healthy boost – wherever you are.

The only ingredients you’ll ever find in kencko are organic fruits, vegetables and spices. Nothing added, nothing taken out except water – and that’s a promise. We collect evidence for the health benefits of our ingredients here.

Some people are skeptical – we get it. But it happens to be true: the only ingredients we use are organic plants. No colors, flavor enhancers, preservatives or fillers. No added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Just the world’s best produce, with the water taken out so that the nutrients stay in.”

PROMO DEAL: Get a free shaker bottle (dishwasher safe!) worth $10 with the code: FREEBOTTLE and a FREE dietitian consultation ($300 value)!

Kencko Review: The Science Behind Each Blend

If you head on over to kencko’s website, you may notice that the brand places great emphasis on nutritional research (which is why they offer free dietitian service with your subscription).

So it comes as no surprise that with each of kencko’s flavor variety, comes also massive research on how your body benefits from that exact blend.

Once you choose a plan, you’ll select the smoothie flavors to go in your box. Each of the flavors of targets different health benefits, such as skin health, mental focus, immune support, and more!

For example, my favorite flavor (purples) is shown to be anti-inflammatory, whereas my husband’s favorite flavor (mocha) touts mental focus benefits.

This is why I recommend choosing the flavors of your box based on your taste preference, but also on the health benefit(s) you’d like to get out of the smoothies.

2022 Update: New Tropical Trio Flavor Release

In October 2022, kencko released its new tropical trio smoothie flavors.

These limited-run smoothies combine refreshing exotic flavors (like dragon fruit, guava, and blue spirulina) with more familiar fruity flavors (like mango, pineapple, and papaya) for smoothies that taste like summertime!

Personally, I thought these flavors are some of the best kencko has created to date! You’ll see that all 3 flavors are in my top 10 best kencko smoothies.

PROMO: use the code TROPICALTRIO15 to take 15% off the new smoothie flavors. 

Best Kencko Smoothies Flavors: Ranked In Order for Best to Worst

Having tried all the kencko smoothies flavors to date, here are some of my personal recommendations for what I think are the BEST kencko smoothies flavors – and which to avoid.

These recommendations are based on my personal preference and experience. So take it with a grain of salt.

Also, keep in mind that because I’ve subscribed since they first started, some of the flavors mentioned below may no longer be available and some of these kencko flavors were from their seasonal offerings.

Top 10 Best Kencko Smoothies Flavors

  1. Purples: a berry-rich mix of blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, cranberry, banana, strawberry, and dates
    • My all-time favorite flavor. I always get a few of the Purples kencko smoothies in my box.
  2. Mochas: coffee, cacao beans, maqui berries, dates, strawberry, shiitake mushroom, chaga mushroom, baobab powder, cinnamon
    • A great morning pick-me-up. I recommend blending it with milk.
  3. Peaches: peach, carrot, rhubarb, strawberry, sweet potato, coconut water, baobab powder, flax seeds, apple
  4. Tropical Blues: banana, pineapple, apple, lucuma, orange, kiwi, coconut water, baobab
  5. Reds: strawberry, raspberry, banana, apple, dates, ginger, and chia seeds
  6. Blushes: mango, papaya, strawberry, passionfruit, orange, lucuma powder, , carrot, beet, apple, and cayenne pepper
  7. Pitaya Pinks: raspberry, red dragon fruit, passionfruit, strawberry, banana, lucuma, date, and apple
  8. Crimsons: açai, banana, strawberry, apple, mango, cinnamon, and chia seeds
  9. Golden Plums: plum, papaya, pineapple, carrot, rhubarb, coconut water, thai lime leaf, coriander seed, and apple
  10. Sunny Guava: guava, mango, papaya, banana, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, and date
kencko review

The In-Between Flavors

  1. Beet Reds: apple, strawberry, beetroot, banana, raspberry, carrot, cranberry, and lucuma
  2. Mint Greens: apple, mango, banana, orange, cucumber, sweet potato, parsnip, spearmint, wheatgrass, and ginger
  3. Aquamarines: pineapple, peach, zucchini, parsnip, dates, lime, blue spirulina, fennel seed.
  4. Yellows: carrot, pineapple, banana, mango, cinnamon, and apple
  5. Pumpkins: pumpkin, mango, dates, pea protein, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, vanilla
  6. Rubies: raspberries, sweet potato, apple, goji berries, orange, dates, pumpkin, red pepper, and maca
  7. Golds: cacao, banana, strawberry, pea protein, dates, baobab powder, and flax seeds
  8. Greens: spinach leaves, kale leaves, kiwi, pineapple, apple, banana, and ginger
  9. Corals: beetroot, apple, carrot, orange, mango, ginger
  10. Ambers: passion fruit, banana, dates, apple, baobab powder, yellow beetroot, chia seeds, turmeric
  11. Jades: lime, apple, matcha, zucchini, banana, kombucha, spirulina, dates, and chia seeds.

3 Worst Kencko Smoothies Flavors

  1. Spicy Tomatoes: tomato, celery root, red bell pepper, strawberry, carrot, cranberry, onion, rhubarb, cayenne pepper, garlic, white pepper, salt
    • This kencko flavor literally tasted like drinking marinara water. Definitely not for me!
  2. Scarlets: tomato, apple, banana, spinach, dates, chia seeds, cayenne pepper, and kombucha.
  3. Ultra Greens: apple, green peas, broccoli, sweet potato, alfalfa, kale, spinach, green spirulina, yellow beet, and wheatgrass
    • This tasted too much like “hardcore” green smoothie for me.

Kencko Gumdrops

The new kencko gumdrops are made out of pure fruit and vegetables.

And let me tell you – it tastes JUST like fruit snacks!

Just like the kencko smoothies, each kencko gumdrop packets contain no refined sugars and are such a fun treat to have. These are great healthy snacks especially if you have kids or just want something sweet and healthy.

Currently, there are 4 gumdrop flavors: Berrylicious, Passionista, Gingerella, and Bananarama!

My favorite is the berrylicious, but the gingerella is a close second!

My Honest Review of Kencko (Updated!)

Kencko Delivery

I thought it was neat that kencko uses carbon-neutral shipping and compostable packaging on all their deliveries.

Most subscription box companies neglect the amount of carbon footprint their shipments produce, so it’s refreshing to know that kencko aims to be environmentally friendly!

But this doesn’t mean slow shipping, either!

In fact, for each of my orders, my box arrived on my doorstep within 3 days of order placement and I’ve not received a dented box to date. This is because they put the actual smoothie box (along with your free bottle) inside another sturdier shipping box, which takes most of the hit.

P.S: kencko ships to the 50 U.S. states, District of Columbia, EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden); and Singapore.

Kencko Unboxing

My Kencko box came quickly and I was glad to see that the box was thick, sturdy, and compostable.

Inside the box, I realized the package had my name on it, which was a very nice customized touch and I thought that made it very giftable.

My box also included a sheet of (super cute) stickers, my kencko smoothie packets, info card, and a dishwasher-safe shaker bottle with instructions and measurements marked out.

P.S: for my box, I always include 10 purples, 10 mochas, and mix up the rest!

P.P.S: I use the stickers to seal the envelopes for letters I send to my friends (yes, I still send handwritten letters!)

How Do You Make Kencko Smoothies?

  1. Massage the kencko smoothie packet to break up any lumps.
  2. Liquid goes in first (water or your favorite milk).
  3. Add contents of one packet and close the shaker bottle tightly.
  4. Shake well for 30 seconds and let it sit for 15 seconds.
  5. ENJOY!

NOTE: Personally, I love the smoothies mixed with some oat milk (vs regular water), as it gives it a creamier texture. However, if you like your smoothies to be thinner and more “juice-like”, then cold water works well!

My kencko Smoothie Clumped. What Should I Do?

Here’s what I do to get smooth, clump-free kencko smoothies.

I add in half the liquid, then add in my smoothie pack (which I massage beforehand to break up any clumps in the package from storage).

I shake it, then add the rest of the liquid. 90% of the time, this works great – and only takes 2-3 minutes!

If that doesn’t work, I use a shaker ball to shake my smoothies, and that seems to solve any possible clumping!

Kencko Review: Final Thoughts

I ordered my first kencko 7-smoothie box in September 2020 (back when that was available). Flash forward 4 months later, I started their 60-smoothie plan. Personally, that says something.

If you know me in real life, you’d know that: 1) I’m not a frivolous spender, 2) I believe in quality > quantity.

Personally, my Kencko experience for the last 4 months has been incredibly positive. While it’s true that I can certainly make my own smoothies with similar ingredients, I’ve really appreciated how convenient kencko smoothies are.

After all, 60 seconds of pour and shake is hands down easier than having to blend it on my own (though there’s nothing wrong with that!).

I love Kencko’s sustainability efforts and commitment to simple ingredients, but the biggest draw for me to stick with this brand has been the way I save SO much time during the workweek.

Plus, I love not having to clean my blender after making each smoothie!

Now that I’m on the 60 smoothie plan, I find this to be an incredibly affordable way to drink delicious and healthy smoothies, and save time!

COUPON: Click here to get a free shaker bottle worth $10 with the code: FREEBOTTLE !

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Kencko Smoothies Alternatives

What did you think of this comprehensive kencko review? Feel free to leave a comment below!

Kencko Smoothies FAQ

Is kencko vegan?

kencko smoothies are made exclusively with fruits and veggies, and is 100% vegan-friendly.

Is kencko sweetened? Does it contain added sugars?

None of kencko’s products have added sugars or sweeteners or any kind.

How does kencko turn fruits and veggies into powder?

kencko vacuum freeze-dries their fresh fruits and vegetables. The organically-sourced produce gets super-chilled, super-fast to lock in the good stuff: vitamins, minerals, fiber, carbohydrates and protein. Gentle heating dries out all the water, then everything gets blitzed to a fine powder.

This process preserves the produce and its nutrients without the need for refrigeration, additives or preservatives. Because the powder is shelf-stable and around 10x lighter and more compact than fresh fruits and veggies, it also minimize the freight footprint and all but eliminate food waste in transit.

How much kencko should I drink, and when?

Most people drink kencko at least once a day, either in the morning or as a quick and healthy pick-me-up later in the day.

Can I prepare kencko in advance?

Yes, but make sure you store your smoothie in the fridge and drink it within 24 hours. Our smoothies are best enjoyed soon after preparation. Once mixed with liquid, they behave just like fresh fruit: over time, room-temperature smoothies will begin to oxidize and ferment in the bottle.

Is kencko safe during pregnancy?

kencko is safe if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding as it only contains fruits, vegetables, seeds and spices. Toddlers can have them too! However, we wouldn’t recommend the flavors jades, scarlets and mochas as they contain natural caffeine (from matcha green tea in jades, trace amounts from kombucha in scarlets and from coffee in mochas).

Is kencko better with water or milk?

That depends on the flavor and your preference. Adding milk will make it taste more like a smoothie, while adding water will make it taste more like a juice.

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Which one of these kencko flavors are your favorite? Please leave a comment below – I’d love to hear!!

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8 Comments

  1. I add water to all of them and a **suskoshi dake** of vanilla creamer or vanilla plant milk to ultra greens and mochas. **Japanese for “only a little”

    1. Hey Celeste! I’m also super particular to the chalky taste typical of lots of powder mixes. I personally have not found Kencko to be chalky or artificial-tasting at all – it’s by far my favorite dehydrated drink mix to date!

  2. My first Kencko box just came last week and I’ve tried out 3 of the flavors! I’ve been drinking it as an after-work snack and you were right, it’s so easy! cause lets be real, i have no desire to pull out my blender after a long day lol. So far, I loved the three flavors I tried! Out of curiosity, what was your favorite flavor?

  3. HOLY FREAKING COW. I found out about Kencko through your blog and started with the 20 smoothie plan back in October. I love Kencko and probably drink more fruits and veggies now than ever. I’m now on their 60 smoothie plan and it’s honestly way more affordable than even making my own here in NYC. Just thought I’d let you know!! 🙂