Kencko Review: Are these powder-based smoothies any good?

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Getting in your daily recommended fruits and veggies might be optimal for your health, but realistically, it can feel like a chore. When you’re already juggling myriad deadlines and obligations, healthy eating might be the last thing on your mind. It makes the mere idea of meal prepping a morning smoothie—and having to wash the blender afterwards—sound like a nightmare.

Enter Kencko smoothies
(available at Kencko)

: A brand of powder packets made only of organic, flash-frozen and slow-dried fruits and vegetables. All they require is a quick shake with water or milk of your choice before being ready to enjoy. Which means that even on your busiest day, you have time to squeeze in some essential vitamins and minerals.

What is Kencko?

On left, Kencko founder Tomás Froes, smiling. On right, person pouring milk into Kencko bottle with smoothie mix inside.

Credit:
Kencko

Founder Tomàs Froes started Kencko as an easy way to get in essential daily nutrients.

With a title translating to “health” in Japanese, Kencko was designed to help more Americans meet their fruit, vegetable, and dietary fiber goals. Founder Tomás Froes stumbled upon the idea after making smoothies with freeze-dried fruit to help treat his acute gastritis. When he realized how convenient this technique made it to get in his five-a-day servings of fruit and veggies, he decided to share it with others.

Kencko offers subscriptions based on smoothie quantity. You can choose to opt for anywhere from a 7-pack to a 60-pack that gets delivered every four weeks. Once you select your box size, you decide which smoothies you want delivered.

There are over 20 different varieties—most are titled based on the color themes of the ingredients (“Crimsons,” “Yellows,” and “Ultra Greens,” for example), and others focus on flavors (enter “Spicy Tomatoes”).

Each smoothie packet highlights its standout health benefits; some are labeled “Power Up” or “Performance” for high protein, iron, and anti-inflammatory properties, while others are touted for “Repair” or “Skin Health” thanks to omega–3s, vitamin A, vitamin C, and immune-boosting ingredients.

How we tested

On left, assorted smoothie packets inside of box packaging. On right, person pouring smoothie powder packet into bottle.

Credit:
Reviewed / Monica Petrucci

Kencko offers a wide variety of smoothie flavors to suit every craving.

I ordered a mixed pack of Kencko smoothie flavors to get a feel for the wide variety of offerings. I tested all the flavors by shaking them in the branded Kencko bottle (which features a patented filter for optimal mixing and de-clumping).

I chose whether to mix each packet with milk or water depending on the particular flavor (each one gives a recommendation on using water, milk, or your choice of either).

What we like about Kencko smoothies

Person holding smoothie bottle in front of box packaging.

Credit:
Reviewed / Monica Petrucci

Preparing a Kencko smoothie took just seconds—and required no cleanup.

They make nutrition easy

Kencko’s smoothies might be the easiest way to squeeze more organic fruits and veggies into your diet—with almost zero effort.

Similar easy-to-prepare healthy products we’ve tried, like a subscription to Daily Harvest for example, still requires a separate blender, plus the time it takes to clean it (and any accompanying glasses or tumblers).

Kencko’s smoothie subscription comes with a branded dishwasher-safe bottle, which means all you need to prep your breakfast is that bottle, a compostable Kencko smoothie packet, and your choice of either water or milk. Once you’re done, just toss the bottle in the top rack of your dishwasher—no scrubbing required.

And you don’t have to worry about maintaining a varied diet with these smoothies, either. Kencko’s offerings feature a wide range of fruits and veggies—from typical apples and berries to not-so-typical red dragon fruit and green peas. This way, you can ensure you’re getting a variety of vitamins and minerals—even from foods you might not think to add to your cart at the grocery store.

Plus, with a helpful QR code on each individual packet, you can dive deeper into the nutritional benefits behind each smoothie and nerd out about which health benefits you’re consuming with every sip.

The packaging is eco-friendly

As with any food delivery service, extraneous packaging can be a major con for eco-conscious consumers.

Luckily, Kencko kept this in mind when designing its brand. All of its packaging—including individual smoothie packets—are fully compostable, which eliminates landfill-contributing plastic. The brand is also committed to carbon neutral shipping, which means offsetting all freight emissions used to ship its products.

And since the smoothie packets are made from a plant-based film, you can toss it in your compost bin along with all of your other fruit and vegetable scraps.

A subscription includes free nutrition coaching

Person using laptop computer to look up nutrition tips.

Credit:
Kencko

Kencko subscribers can choose to take advantage of on-staff nutritionist expertise to make a lasting change in their diets.

Kencko wants to make healthy dietary habits easily accessible to everyone.

Beyond the zero-effort smoothies that can help you reach your five-a-day in no time, a Kencko subscription also includes access to a 60-day coaching program with a nutritionist on staff.

The program starts with a one-on-one phone or video call consultation with one of the professionals on staff to discuss goals and a personalized course of action. Then, subscribers will have access to an additional four consultations, personalized recipe suggestions, and unlimited virtual support.

What we don’t like

On left, person pouring powdered smoothie packet into bottle. On right, person holding bottle with green liquid inside.

Credit:
Reviewed / Monica Petrucci

Kencko smoothies’ taste and textures often fell short of expectations.

The taste doesn’t always deliver

Unfortunately, flavor isn’t on par with function here.

I’m a big smoothie lover, so I was initially skeptical about the idea of making them with fruits and veggies in a powdered form—sans blender. Still, I was optimistic about consuming my favorite breakfast with a fraction of the usual required effort.

But I was disappointed. These drinks might be filled with organic plants and brimming with nutritional benefits, but they taste almost nothing like fresh smoothies. Many of the flavor profiles were pretty bland.

Labels with ingredients like pineapple, mango, and berries had me excited to enjoy bright and tangy flavors, but each time I was met with dull, watery drinks that often left clumps of powder in my mouth.

The recommendation to shake each batch for 10-15 seconds isn’t nearly enough to dissolve the packets of powder. Most times, the powder would sink down to the bottom of the bottle after a few minutes and seep through the bottle’s “filter,” leaving an unpleasant residue in my mouth.

Mixing the packets with milk proved to be a little better, providing a more smoothie-like consistency, but the cons of lacking flavor and clumps of powder were still an issue.

That said, some flavors were definitely better than others (I drank much more of the berry-based “Purples” than the veggie-heavy “Ultra Greens”).

Should you subscribe to Kencko?

Magnifying glass hovering over smoothie packet that reveals strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

Credit:
Kencko

They may not taste like fresh smoothies, but Kencko packets offer a quick, convenient, and accessible way to stay healthy.

Yes, if you’re serious about nutrition (and short on time)

Let me start by saying this: If tasty smoothies are your number one priority, Kencko’s probably won’t scratch your itch. For that, we recommend putting in a little extra work (ahead of time!) with our money-saving smoothie hack, or by investing in a Daily Harvest subscription.

But if you’re more concerned with having low maintenance, highly nutritional drinks in seconds, Kencko is a great option. It makes having a wide variety of fruits and veggies—and, therefore, a wide variety of vitamins and minerals—in your diet a breeze. Cleanup is easy, prep is nonexistent, and the peace of mind from a low carbon footprint is priceless. (And pro tip: If you’re looking for a tastier smoothie, try a sweetened almond milk or fruit juice as a base instead of water.)

Sign up for Kencko

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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