Lunchables are a household name, and everyone is likely to have had Lunchables growing up, or now likely giving it to their kids as an easy snack during the day.
As popular as Lunchables are, they are not the only snack packs available on the market, and if you are looking for something a little different (but still convenient) then you should consider trying some off-brand Lunchables.
What are the best off-brand Lunchables? The best off-brand Lunchables to try would depend somewhat on preference, however, some of the best options include Castle Wood Reserve, Hillshire Snacking Small Plates, Gusto Snack Packs, Hormel Natural Choice Stacks, Applegate Naturals, and more.
The off-brand Lunchables that work best for you will depend on what you enjoy eating, and any dietary needs you might have. Read on to find out more about each, to discover which would be the best option for you!
What Are Lunchables?
Before diving into the best off-brand Lunchables, we thought it was worth looking at what Lunchables are exactly.
Lunchables are a brand of snacks made by Kraft.
These are small packs of bite-sized food items, which are incredibly convenient as school lunches or snacks, or for adults to enjoy as a quick bite on the go.
There are over 30 different Lunchables combinations available, from breakfast options to chicken nuggets, pizzas, wraps, small burgers, small hot dogs, subs, nachos, and more.
The original Lunchables features an equal number of crackers, small slices of meat, and slices of cheese, which can be layered onto each other for a complete snack.
The smaller sizes of Lunchables made them appealing to kids, but there are a few combinations that are available in larger sizes and which cater to adults.
Lunchables enjoy a majority of the market share when it comes to combination snacks on the go.
What Are The Benefits Of Lunchables?
Lunchables have many benefits, and solve a specific problem, especially for busy parents with fussy eaters who love to snack.
They are not considered to be the healthiest snack or lunch option available, but this isn’t what they market themselves as.
Lunchables are marketed as a time-saving snack, which is exactly what they help with. It is so much easier to pack
Lunchables in a kid’s lunch bag, rather than having to purchase, slice up, and pack the food items yourself.
Lunchables also come in a variety of combinations, which means there is the perfect combination for every fussy eater out there, which makes it that much easier for parents.
It is a homemade lunch ready to pack, and kids are definitely more likely to eat Lunchables than a home-packed lunch!
What Are The Downsides Of Lunchables?
Lunchables are great for many reasons, but this doesn’t mean that they come without faults.
Possibly, the biggest downfall of Lunchables is that they are not necessarily the healthiest lunch option around, and they do not have the recommended serving of fruit, fiber, vegetables, and dairy that kids require. These will need to be supplemented during the day.
However, as parents know, it can be so difficult to get kids to eat the recommended fruit, vegetables, and more each day, and for some, eating the contents of Lunchables is good enough, and is better than eating nothing at all.
The Best Off-Brand Lunchables
Lunchables are the classic option, but there is no reason you cannot expand your horizons a little and look for some off-brand options as well.
There are some really amazing, tasty, and even healthy, off-brand options that might soon become your favorite!
Below are the 7 best off-brand Lunchables to try, and when looking through the options, keep in mind the foods you like, your favorite combinations, as well as any dietary needs you might have.
1. Castle Wood Reserve Snacking Trio
The Castle Wood Reserve Snacking Trio is one of our favorite off-brand Lunchables, as it is quite meat-focused, and you can get a good amount of protein in one pack alone.
There are various combinations you can choose from with Castle Wood Reserve, with snacking options including slices of roast beef, chicken, salami, and turkey breast.
These are all prepared in different ways as well, such as smoked, baked, or roasted.
The meat is served with blocks or slices of cheese and often contains a sweet treat as well.
A good example of a Castle Wood Reserve Snacking Trio is a premium pack including uncured salami, provolone cheese, and chocolate-covered pretzels.
The snacks in the trio can be enjoyed as is and eaten out of the package, or they can be used to make a delicious sandwich on the go.
Some other cheese options include gouda or cheddar, and sweet treats include yogurt-covered granola clusters or dried cranberries.
Many people love the Castle Wood Reserve Snacking Trio as they contain premium food items that are suited for adults and kids alike.
2. Hillshire Snacking Small Plates
Hillshire Snacking Small Plates are as high-quality as you could want an off-brand Lunchables to be and are more suited to adults than kids, but both would happily munch away on the premium ingredients they contain.
The snacking small plates contain deli meat, crackers, and cheese.
This is very similar to the original Lunchables, but just much classier, and with better ingredients.
The deli meats, cheese, and crackers included in the small plates do vary, so you have good options for the flavors you choose.
To make them even more convenient, other than the small snacking plates available for one person, Hillshire also provides other size snacking platters that you can use for entertaining guests too.
3. Gusto Snack Packs
Gusto Snack Packs stand out from the rest because they have delicious craft meat products in their packs, which are simply a cut above the rest. The snack packs consist of the usual deli meat slices, crackers, and cheese, but Gusto is so much more than this.
Gusto Snack Packs offer quality ingredients in their packs, so you don’t get bland, boring meats and cheese with crumbly crackers.
There is also quite a good amount of deli meat and cheese included in each pack, and the artisanal crackers are just enough to enjoy the meat and cheese.
The three-ingredient combo packs are great for adults and kids alike, and you can enjoy them as is, or use them to create a charcuterie board with added fruits and nuts.
All the deli meats are made with meat that does not contain antibiotics, and the cracks are all artisanal, so you know you are getting great-quality products in each pack, with a good kick of protein.
4. Armour Lunchmakers
Armour Lunchmakers is a popular brand, although nowhere near as popular as Lunchables themselves.
You can find quite a large selection of flavors and textures in the Armour Lunchmakers packs, choosing ingredients such as pizza, turkey, bologna, ham, pepperoni, chicken, nachos, and more.
What you get in the pack varies with what it is as well. With nachos, you will get chips, salsa, and cheese, as well as a sweet treat.
A traditional pack will include ham, cheese, crackers, and a tiny chocolate bar.
The variation and combination options you get with Armour Lunchmakers is quite impressive, and you can enjoy the variety of flavors the packs have to offer, or find and stick to the one that you like best!
These are definitely a great replacement for Lunchables when it comes to kids’ snacks and lunches, but adults can enjoy them just as much too.
5. Hormel Natural Choice Stacks
Hormel Natural Choice Stacks are the best off-brand Lunchables for kids, as they are very similar to the original thing, and kids will love stacking and snacking with all the ingredients included.
There are many varieties available with Hormel Natural Choice Stacks, so you or your kids are sure to find the one that suits your taste best.
Some of the combinations include honey ham and cheddar, salami and cheddar, or turkey and cheddar, all of which come with crackers to build a delicious snack.
Hormel has many different products on the market, from deli meats to side dishes, so they are a trusted brand that you can trust will deliver good-quality ingredients that the whole family will enjoy.
Unlike some of the other more premium options on the list, Hormel Natural Choice Snacks offer good-quality ingredients in a simple form, but sometimes simple is best!
6. Applegate Naturals
Applegate Naturals Charcuterie Plates are as decadent as they come, and as the name suggests, they are ideal for all lovers of charcuterie, but who want to enjoy it on the go.
There are quite a few different combinations to choose from, but almost all packs contain savory, sweet, and crunchy items.
An example of a board is one which contains Genoa salami, cheddar cheese, roasted and salted almonds, and dark chocolate chunks.
These offer the perfect picking for a light snack, and as luxurious as the packs are, they appeal to kids as well with the sweet treat included.
Some variations of the packs include breaded chicken, bacon, breakfast sausages, grilled chicken strips, meatballs, and more.
The deli meats used in the snack plates are from humanely raised animals, which are antibiotic-free as well. Most of the charcuterie boards are gluten-free too!
7. Good & Gather Charcuterie Bites
Good & Gather Charcuterie Bites are exclusive to Target, but they are definitely worth a trip to Target to stock up on!
The Good & Gather packs contain ingredients that are free from artificial flavors, synthetic colors, sweeteners, and high-fructose corn syrup, so you can be sure you are getting quality ingredients with each pack.
The snack packs really are mini charcuterie boards. There are different combinations to choose from, but most contain deli meat, cheese, crackers, and dried fruit.
An example of a pack includes shaved smoked uncured ham, white cheddar cheese, toasted sesame-flavored rounds, and dried sweet blueberries.
The deli meat and cheese can be layered on the crackers and eaten as a built-up snack, or you can pick on the different ingredients and enjoy the flavors separately.
If you want to try to cut down on costs or avoid having to stock up on pre-packed snack packs, then you can definitely try to make your own homemade Lunchables.
The benefit of making your own Lunchables is that you can include all the ingredients and snacks that you or your kids love, so nothing is left uneaten.
You can also adjust the quantities so that you have enough, and none goes to waste.
A traditional Lunchables includes deli meat, cheese, and crackers, and this is super easy to recreate at home, and it will work out much cheaper too.
To make your own Lunchables, for either you or your kid, you should try to include two proteins, such as cheese or deli meat, a carb such as crackers, and then a fruit or vegetable, such as carrot sticks or dried mango.
You can then place these into a lunchbox or individual containers to create a Lunchables-like pack, and you can enjoy them throughout the day.
Try making your own Lunchables at home and experiment with different ingredients and flavors to find what works for you best.
Which Lunchable Products Are Most Popular?
There are many different Lunchables combinations and options, but some are definitely better than others, and are enjoyed more by kids than others!
One of the most popular Lunchables ever was the Pizza Lunchable. This included a pizza crust, pizza sauce, and mozzarella cheese, along with some sweet snacks.
Another classic Lunchables pack is the Nacho, Cheese Dip & Salsa pack, which gives you small tortilla chips, cheese dip, and salsa, all packed into one convenient pack.
A popular among many as well is the classic Turkey & American Cracker Stacker, which comes with sliced turkey, crackers, and cheese, to create your own little stacks no matter where you were!
From breakfast pancakes and bacon, to double-duo dippers, there are some great Lunchables combinations out there!
Lunchables are a huge brand and are the first name you would think of if someone had to mention combination snack packs.
However, they are not the only brand on the market, and there are some amazing off-brand Lunchables that are worth a try.
Some are great for kids, and others are made with more high-quality deli meats, cheese, and snacks, to suit an older audience.
Take a read through the above list of 7 best off-brand Lunchables to find your next option to try, and find the snack pack that suits your tastes and dietary needs best!
Is it cheaper to make your own Lunchables?
It is cheaper to make your own Lunchables, and you can save up to nearly 50% of the cost if you make Lunchables at home.
You can buy deli meat and cheese and cut these down to size to make a whole host of Lunchables packs, at a fraction of the cost.
You can then add in any other snacks you have sitting in your cupboard too.
Is there a healthy version of Lunchables?
There are healthier versions of Lunchables, you just need to prepare to go off-brand. Some off-brand options contain premium ingredients and snacks that help to contribute towards your recommended daily intake of nutrients and more.