No one knew just how big the subscription box would grow when Birchbox inadvertently started the trend in 2010 with their monthly subscription box. Their specialty is beauty products for women and grooming products for men. Their subscriber base now comes in at over 800,000 members. Hundreds of other companies quickly took notice of their success and entrepreneurs are rushing to get their hand in the pot, too.
Many beauty related subscription boxes are now available. One of the largest and well known newcomers to the scene is Sephora and they seem to be giving Birchbox a run for their money. Their monthly subscription box, Play!, costs the same $10 that Birchbox does and has been getting plenty of attention from both the media and beauty bloggers.
But the subscription box service isn’t just about glam anymore. You can have a monthly box of goodies delivered for just about anything. Socks? Yep. Gamers and geek items? Of course. Beer. Why not? There are boxes for craft lovers, kids, dog owners … pretty much anything you can think of.
But the industry that’s probably doing the best and has the most offers? The food industry. Foodies, chefs, home cooks, organic food lovers, vegans, gluten-free … there’s a box for just about any type of food or snack you can think of.
Dining In with Blue Apron
One of the most popular and cheapest in the food category is Blue Apron. At about $10 per meal, subscribers are able to enjoy new, dine-out quality meals right in their own home. And since, for the first time ever, consumers are spending more money on dining out than groceries, it seems to have come at just the right time.
Blue Apron subscribers are given their choice of protein (they also have vegan options). Then each week three meals are selected depending on the preferences set by the subscriber. If they aren’t happy with those three meals they have the option of changing them out for something else offered on Blue Apron’s menu, too. The ingredients ship, along with recipe cards that include calorie information (always between 500-700 calories) and each meal can be prepared in around 30 minutes.
Subscription Box Fever
But it’s not just about the convenience or the products that come in these subscription boxes. There are lots of reasons people love subscription boxes. Much of the success of this industry is simply due to the excitement of a surprise in the mail each month. Some say it’s like it’s Christmas every month. They get to discover and try new things that may never have heard of or tried otherwise.
Many of the monthly subscription boxes offered today are appealing because customers save money on high quality items. The value of what’s inside each box is often far more than what they pay. Just a few examples of below retail box subscriptions:
- Pop Sugar – $40 per month, but the contents are guaranteed to be worth at least $100
- Glossy Box – $21 per month, but the contents are guaranteed to be somewhere between $65 and $85
- Target – No set monthly cost. You choose the products and get five percent off of everything
- The Handy Box – Starts at $25 per month (shipping included) and guaranteed to be worth at least $40
Of course, no one is saving money if they aren’t using the products they receive. Probably one the best pieces of advice for finding out if a box is worth it and a good fit is to look at what was included in previous month boxes. Then think about whether the price is justified for those boxes and if you’d be happy with the items included. If so, then it’s probably a good deal.