Monthly Subscription Boxes – Which Ones are Best?

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They’re the gift that keeps on giving. For years, subscription boxes had worked well as a memorable gift for friends/family.

But recently, they’ve moved beyond being a novelty. These products are convenient, they break up the routine in our lives, and have offered comfort amid a global pandemic. But which are best to give to friends/yourself?

In today’s post, we’ll explore the wonderful world of monthly subscription boxes – won’t you join us?

What are Subscription Boxes?

Monthly subscription boxes are a product-as-a-service that’s delivered to your door (or a friend’s) every month. Since 2004, they have exposed us to specialty goods in a variety of niches. Simply put, there’s a monthly subscription box for every season and reason.

Of all the subscription boxes out there, here are the most common.

Fashion & Wellness

From jewellery to makeup to clothes, beauty boxes have thrived over the past year. For instance, Rebecca Allison, a university student in Liverpool, UK, launched The Indy Box during quarantine. Meant to support local beauty brands, her subscription slots sold out shortly after launch.    

Books

With little else to do, quarantined readers have been ripping through books at an unprecedented pace. After depleting their shelves, many have turned to book subscription boxes. From OwlCrate to Unplugged, there’s a box for every bookworm out there.  

Food & Drink

As we waited for COVID to blow over (hello, we’re still waiting…), many of us reached for the snacks. Soon after, we grew tired of our old standbys and went searching for inspiration. A lot of people found it by subscribing to snack-based food subscription boxes

Out in the subscription box world, you’ll find F&B crates dedicated to jerky, candy, and even Japanese snacks. Condiments are covered as well – spice and hot sauce food subscription boxes are just a few that you’ll find in this category.     

Meal Kits

However, there’s no dispute – food subscription boxes are the hottest form of subscription box right now.  Since the start of the pandemic, revenue and orders for these food boxes (daily or bi-weekly subscription) have exploded.

International market research firm IBISWorld expects revenues for meal kit delivery service firms to rise 20.6% YoY from 2019. And in November 2020, food kit giant HelloFresh revealed that international orders and revenues shot up 102.1% and 103.5% YTD, respectively. 

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock lately, here’s what food subscription boxes do. First of all, meal kits do not contain samples – they have EVERYTHING needed to make a specific dish. When you subscribe to a meal kit service, you pick the meals you want for the next delivery period. Then, they ship the dishes you chose to your doorstep.

Mainstream meal kit companies tailor food subscription boxes to meet common dietary/budgetary needs. But smaller food box firms cater to tastes that are even more niche. From keto-compliant meals to athlete-friendly dishes, these options are multiplying by the month. 

There’s a Subscription Box for Everything

Want to jump into the addictive world of monthly subscription boxes, but have no idea where to start? We don’t blame you – the selection out there is just overwhelming. So, if you’re going to get into crates, you may as well get a memorable one.

Below, we’ve listed eight unique subscription boxes we’ve come across on the web. Enjoy!

1) The Intoxicated Intellectual

After the year we just had, most of us could use a drink. But what if your current beer or spirit selection  is boring you to tears? Well, that’s where The Intoxicated Intellectual comes in. For $45 a month, recipients will get all the ingredients needed (minus the hard stuff) to make a new cocktail.

And that’s not all – you’ll also get a book that pairs perfectly with your new tipple. Sadly, this offer is only available within the US – here’s hoping they go international soon.  

2) MATTER

Got an insatiably scientific mind? If so, stop what you’re doing and pay attention – you need to give the MATTER subscription box a shot. This crate ships monthly with a collection of interesting objects. Computer chips, meteorite fragments, and fossils are just a few items that have shipped to members.

Membership fees start at around $25 per month, and it ships worldwide from the US. Worried about the environmental impact of subscription box services? Don’t be – MATTER’s shipping is carbon neutral, as they plant a tree for every order they ship.  

3) Louisville Vegan Jerky Of The Month Club

So, you gave up meat for ethical reasons. But you won’t lie – you kinda miss the taste of animal flesh. Thankfully, veganologists (that’s a word, right?) have been getting better at mimicking these flavours. If you used to tear into jerky like a starving T-Rex, get a membership with the Louisville Vegan Jerky Of The Month Club.

From Smoky Carolina BBQ to Maple Bacon, you’ll find a lot to like about this jerky that is absolutely 100% not meat. Secure your own supply from $19 per month. 

4) The Classic Vintage Teatime Box

In the UK, teatime is a time-honoured ritual. No, seriously – work comes to a screeching halt mid-afternoon so Brits everywhere can enjoy a moment of calm. So, it was only a matter of time before tea lovers got a subscription box of their own.

The Classic Vintage Teatime Box doesn’t just ship the hottest flavour of the moment to its members. Each month, they also get tea biscuits, a new book, and actual china (a teacup plus saucer). Fortunately, tea lovers around the world can also get in on the action. Boxes start from 29.99 GBP per month.  

5) Finders Seekers

Missing your favourite escape room? We feel you – they make for an exciting night out with family & friends. While you can’t replace the whole experience, the Finders Seekers subscription box will do in a pinch. Every month, they send a new puzzle inspired by escape rooms.

On average, they take 2-4 hours to solve. For $25 per month, that’s not a bad price to pay for an engaging and stimulating games night.

6) Bespoke Post

Are you an unrepentant hipster that’s always on the lookout for the next cool thing? Or perhaps you know someone who is? In either case, check out Bespoke Post. Every month, this subscription box service handpicks items based on the recipient’s tastes. Better yet, every item is sourced from small businesses, so your money stays in the wider economy. 

From quality carryall bags to gourmet foodstuffs to Japanese-grade knives, each month’s shipment will feel like Christmas morning. Get Bespoke Post from $45 per month.

7) Henry Mask

Yes, the vaccine is here. However, the Coronavirus that started COVID-19 may be with us for some time to come. If you want to mix up your mask game, sign up for Henry Mask. Every month, this subscription box sends four uber-stylish woven masks to your address. Not bad for $19.99 per month.

8)  Star Trek T-Shirt Club

Admit it – part of you knew this would eventually happen. No TV show/movie franchise in history has more passionate fans than Star Trek. So, it totally makes sense that a Star Trek T-Shirt subscription box exists.

Every month, this club will send you a new shirt based on a Trekkie show or movie. And for $17.99 per month, you’ll have plenty of cash left over to live long and prosper. 

It’s 2021 – Treat Yourself (or a Friend)

This past year has eroded our souls. So, as vaccines get into arms, it’s time to spoil yourself and your friends. COVID didn’t get you, so live out loud. Get one of the monthly subscription boxes in this post, and you’ll have something to look forward to every month.

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