As Christmas approaches, a new report commissioned by Royal Mail reveals that food and drink are the most popular subscription boxes.
The food and drink subscription market was worth an estimated £129.2 million in the UK in 2017. Whilst the most popular type of food is the snacks and sweets category, with 7 % of the UK population signed up to these services, this is closely followed by recipe box subscriptions with 6.5 % of the UK population signed up to these boxes. These offer a week’s supply of curated ingredients and instructions on how to make a range of dishes. The recipe box and meal kit market is a strong example of the rise in popularity of subscription box schemes.
Consumers stay signed up to food and drink subscription services for on average seven months at a time, higher than the overall average of six months for all subscription boxes.
Alessandro Savelli, Founder of Pasta Evangelists said: “We are entering a renaissance in food and drink. More and more, consumers are looking for high quality products whose provenance is clear. At the same time, though, consumers have less time than ever before to seek out high quality products. And as our lives have changed, so has the British high street: quality, local butchers have gone out of business and we plan our lives around “the weekly shop”, conducted in sprawling supermarkets, which seem a more efficient way of conducting our eating lives. Although this need for convenience means that quality can sometimes take second place”.
“Food and drink subscription boxes restore equilibrium, giving consumers across the country the option to consistently eat and drink better products without inconveniencing them. After the rise of the ready meal, food subscription boxes have also allowed a nation that had fallen out of love with cooking to begin interacting with food more intimately again, experimenting with new and exotic ingredients and preparing meals from scratch… or, in our case, with a little bit of help from top Italian chefs.”
A spokesperson from Royal Mail said: “Food and drink boxes are very popular in the subscription box economy. In particular, boxes which cater to particular dietary requirements or simply help customers plan healthier meals offer further growth opportunities. Leading players in the market are also extending their offers to include fine dining with gourmet ingredients and other meals, such as breakfast.”
This is the fifth instalment of Royal Mail’s subscription box series, with a full report set to launch in the coming months.