The business of Subscription Boxes

The subscription box business has already been booming and this development is going to continue, it seems like. But what’s actually in store in the upcoming year for subscription boxes?

Subscription providers have flourished every year by almost 100 percent. In 2016, revenues were $2.6 billion, which was an immense raise from $57 million in 2011.

There were about 7,000 subscription box providers worldwide as of February 2018, with about 70 percent of them in the United States.

Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company, estimated that some form of subscription-based service would be provided by 75 percent of all companies that sell directly to customers by 2023.

Entertainment, with streaming subscriptions at an all-time peak, is among the most major determinants of subscription services, with 55 percent of U.S. homes spending $2.1 billion per month on subscription services.

The subscription box industry started to attract recognition from 2010 to 2011, with firms such as Birchbox, Ipsy and Dollar Shave Club topping the list. They were then joined on the subscription box train by those who leapt and wanted a slice of the subscription box pie.

Customers prefer quality over quantity

It might turn some consumers off if subscription boxes are filled with so many items. The decision can confuse them, and then instead of deciding what they want, they’ll probably feel like getting rid of the entire subscription box.

Although Subscription boxes are good enough for indecisive people, too many items can have a negative impact. This is where it falls into personalization.

Subscription firms, such as Dollar Shave Club, are perfect with quality over quantity. At decent prices, they have a limited range of high-quality choices, so that the customer can customize according to their preferences easily.

Dollar Shave Club is an internet-first brand and a subscription service provider of grooming products for men.

Niche products would rule the market in future

Niche products such as chocolate, milk kits, tea, etc are leading the subscription box market. Some 20 percent of the consumer market is made up of these specialty products. People are often attracted to boxes that appeal to their hobbies by subscription. Around 15 percent of the industry accounts for these hobby-based subscription packages.

A greater market share than clothes and fashion is compensated for by specialty items for women, such as hosiery, lingerie and period boxes. Boxes that refer to toys and books for kids are actually more popular than fashion and clothing. A continuing trend for 2020 is that subscription boxes for specialized services would do best compared to generic products such as clothes and apparel.

Men are expected to take out more subscriptions

The McKinsey study found that subscribers are typically between 25 and 44 years of age with salaries of between $50,000 and $100,000.  They further found that women make up more than 60 percent of subscribers and males make up 42 percent of subscribers.

However, 42 percent of male subscribers are more likely to have three or more active subscriptions compared to 28 percent of female subscribers.

The most common boxes of male subscribers include:

BarkBox is an online subscription platform for dog supplies.
Dollar Shave Club logo
Harry's is an online subscription-based internet first brand of grooming products for men.

As this comes with less liability, it might mean men prefer the ease of automated recurring payments. To pursue this 2020 trend, both male and female customers should be attracted to your subscription box.

This practice of more than two or three subscriptions for male subscribers is not only limited for the U.S. market.

There’s really great opportunities for growth in the male grooming delivery box market, according to a report by the UK’s Royal Mail. They predict that by the year 2022, male grooming delivery boxes in the UK will rise to around 2 million subscribers. They also noted that, compared to just 24.3 percent of women, 30.6 percent of men subscribed to subscription box services.

Traditional retailers will continue to venture into subscription boxes

The boom in delivery boxes from major retailers hasn’t gone unnoticed. With beauty package delivery packages, Walmart and Target have agreed to plunge into the subscription box trend.

Amazon has now got in on the act and has over 18 different kinds of boxes for subscription. Before they sink their toes in the sea, other big brick-and-mortar stores are likely to try out the delivery box scene.

A successful subscription box service offers a lifeline for brick-and-mortar retail businesses who are struggling. Large retailers can become major players in this market.

Although giving big discounts, they have the purchasing power to curate a larger variety of items. They will also leverage their market share to acquire already popular subscription box firms, such as the $1 billion takeover by Unilever of Dollar Shave Club.

Food subscription box

Nothing sounds cooler than getting pre-planned meals shipped directly to your door if you’re hunting for ways to escape crowded grocery stores right now. There is really no need to worry about traversing the crowds or weeknight dinner planning meals, because there are potentially unlimited options for meal delivery services.

Some companies providing food products with a subscription boxes business model (clic to access the full radar)

But you must determine what sort of meal plan is right for your needs before you commit to a weekly meal delivery box. Every delivery service for meal kits is a little bit different from the next, so startups have set out all the details to make it easier for all sorts of eaters to decide.

When you need the right treat for the foodie who has it all, you can’t go wrong by sending them anything to munch on. There is plenty for every taste and many different budget ranges, thanks to the increasing trend of meal packages and food delivery boxes for anything from wine to beer to cheese. Meal kit boxes come with everything that you need to make a delicious meal which is nutritious. These food subscription boxes are especially for busy people who work great and finding difficult to get their dinner on table after a tiring day at work. So, they look for something where the whole family will eat the meal. The very last thing you want to do is, come up with food that will be consumed by the entire family.

There are also some specialty boxes like Snack subscription boxes which will help you replace the sad desk snacks from your office vending machine with some healthier and exciting options. And there are few specialized boxes too. Snack delivery boxes can help substitute even better and more fun alternatives for sad desk treats than the office vending machine. And splurge items subscriptions such as unique wine or beer options, exotic cheeses, or special chocolates are the gift that continues to offer throughout the year and could even help the consumer find a new favorite snack. These boxes will be the best option if you are looking for something makes your every week cooking night easier, for special anniversary gifts and also for something which is new and unique to munch on. The best part about subscription services is it will get shipped directly to your doorstep if you subscribe for it on a weekly or monthly basis.

You can have about everything shipped these days, from wine to groceries and even prepackaged meals. We’re talking about super fresh products that are prepackaged and portioned and delivered straight to our doorsteps for personalized recipes. This ordering-in solution is not only more convenient and sometimes more cost-effective than taking-out, but it is often a better form of shopping of food during times of social distance and work from home

Looking for a better way without spending a lot of money to try fresh healthy recipes every month?

If so, then the best solution would be a monthly food subscription box.

Below, you’ll discover some of the most prominent, and most satisfying month food subscription boxes available on StartupLynx application which are worth to give a try this year. Candy, healthy meals, ingredients, snacks, international goodies, and more – you name it, there’s a box available for that.

Mosaic Food is an Internet first restaurant delivering pre-ordered ready-to-heat meals

Mosaic foods

Mosaic is an internet first restaurant delivering pre-ordered ready-to-heat meals. It provides vegetarian meals such as harvest beet bowl, peanut tofu bowl, tuscan pesto bowl, etc. It allows users to select meals from their menu, subscription period, and delivery frequency of their choice. Delicious, healthy frozen meals — cooked with care and delivered to your door. Mosaic is the ultimate in healthy convenience.

Daily Harvest delivers frozen smoothies that are packaged in individual, ready-to-blend cups.

Daily harvest

Daily Harvest delivers frozen smoothies that are packaged in individual, ready-to-blend cups. Each smoothie is designed by chefs and nutritionists, have organic ingredients and key superfoods. They offer subscription plans starting from $7 per smoothie for a pack of 24. Daily Harvest creates delicious and nourishing smoothies, soups, oats, lattes and more. Their food is built on organic, thoughtfully sourced fruits and vegetables. It’s delivered to you and ready to enjoy in minutes. Daily Harvest takes care of food, so food can take care of you.

Gobble's 15 minute dinner kits company icon


Gobble is headquartered in Palo Alto, California and it helps busy professionals easily cook dinner in just 10 minutes with 1 pan. Gobble designs gourmet dinners then completes all the shopping and preparations – washing, chopping, marinating, and gravy making – so all you have to do is combine the ingredients in a pan and be a dinner hero. The fresh ingredients are sourced locally from farmers in the region. The menu features six new dinner boxes each week. Each customer has complete control over their menu and schedule. Dinner kits are delivered to customers in a recyclable, refrigerated box. 

Purple carrot company icon

Purple carrot

Founded in 2014, The Purple Carrot is a company that delivers tailor-made ingredients so you can cook easily at home. The Purple Carrot’s mission is to establish a new era of dieting: more honest, healthier, more humane. The company allows you to create healthy and delicious dishes at home, every week, thanks to selected ingredients with recipes that are easy to follow and tested by specialist chefs. The company aims to help consumers understand better than ever how health, the environment and food are linked. Discover the power of a plant-based diet with purple carrot by Receiving new plant-based recipes and pre-portioned ingredients delivered to your door each week.


Freshly is a team of professional entrepreneurs, doctors and chefs, committed to providing you with healthier nutrition, so that you can achieve your health goals more easily. Freshly offers you dishes carefully prepared by our chefs, which respect your nutritional commitments. ingredients that are always fresh, protein, gluten-free, no added sugar, artificial substances. You can choose between two different programs under the advice of our coaches: Freshly Fit or Freshly Flex.

Wines subscription boxes

Here’s the listing of the some of the wine subscription services as well as monthly wine subscription boxes that you absolutely must try this month.

Startuplynx radar list of startups companies providing wine subscription boxes

And if you have missed our previous StartupLynx radar about the Wine ecosystem, here it is!

Kids subscription box

StartupLynx radar of startups companies offering subscription box products for kids and childrens

The subscription box industry has moved well beyond just clothing, razors and meals that are easy to produce. Today, it seems like with the press of a mouse, there is very little we can’t bring right to our doorsteps. But now with subscription boxes designed specifically for children, more marketers are diving into new territories, taking on a much younger audience.

It’s time to get kids to run to the mailbox for fun and take out some curated treats. After all, children’s delivery boxes do double duty: First, they keep the children amused. That’s worth the admission price itself. And secondly, the exciting activities included for kids make Mom and Dad’s tasks easier.

Where do you begin, then? all you need to do is just answer a few basic questions about the ages and interests of your kids, and you can sit back and relax after subscribing to the kids services. For clothing delivery boxes, this is particularly true: no more rushing the children to the shop and dragging them into dressing rooms, because garments are tailor-made to the size of your children, and you just put them on at your leisure.

Even if your children are not clotheshorses, if they want to play with toys that are ideal for growth, learn about global leaders, become good cooks, read new books, or experience the world in a new way, these subscriptions will give their front doors everything they need and create great gift ideas!

Of the five categories of products currently driving so much demand in subscription boxes (lifestyle, food, cosmetics, pets and kids), as of late, the number of children’s boxes has expanded the most. And it makes sense, as 90% of younger generations actively use subscription services, especially Gen Z shoppers, Millennials follow close behind at 70%.

However, the idea of children’s delivery boxes is to consider the value of approaching their parents almost as well as the children themselves. Marketers navigate the various ways in which they can draw children and their parents, whether a retailer approaches parents searching for inexpensive wardrobe choices, moms and dads wanting to be more environmentally friendly, or families who want to encourage their kids to sample new toys to see what they want before buying.

An explosion of companies in the subscription industry have developed preparing to attract the young audience with games, books, clothing and more kid-focused subscription boxes:

Monti kids logo, online stroe offering products for children

Monti kids

Monti Kids is an online store that offers educational products for children from birth to three. Using a subscription model, the company provides customers with recurring home deliveries of Montessori educational toys, tailored to the child’s stage of development. Each toy is coupled with a short guide, describing the benefits and linking to a 1-minute video demonstration of how to use the toy for maximum learning. The only at-home Montessori program for birth to age 3. Monti Kids is an award-winning program created by certified Montessori educators.

Bitsbox provides monthly projects that teach kids how to program apps


Bitsbox provides monthly projects that teach gradeschoolers how to program apps. The kids get a subscription box from which they choose an app and type out the code. Once completed they can share the app on any mobile device. Also has a website where kids as young as seven can program apps that run on real phones and tablets. Bitsbox provides monthly coding projects that teach gradeschoolers how to program apps. It’s a code academy for kids.

Rockets of Awesome is an online subscription service offering children's clothing

Rockets of Awesome

Rockets of Awesome is an online subscription service offering children’s clothing. The company features a curated and personalized box of kids apparel based on a quiz answered by parents & also on the shopping data. The cost of the clothing, offered for boys and girls from 18 months to 12 years and the site also offers an e-commerce option, so parents can order more of the product in a different size or color. Parents only pay for the items in the box they keep. We design over-the-top awesome clothes for real life with kids. Shop super cool styles you and your kids will love. Sizes 2 – 14. Free shipping & returns.

The growth in the success of children’s subscription boxes derives from the proliferation of creativity and accomplishment in the larger subscription landscape. The subscription box demand has risen more than 100% year over year (YOY) over the past five years, with analysts forecasting that the sector will maintain this upward trajectory for the near future. 

Beauty and health essential subscription boxes for women

Beauty and health essential subscription boxes for women in a StartupLynx radar

Discovering the products which are new and you haven’t tried before in a subscription beauty box is a fun  and it is also a great way to again discover the long-forgotten favorites.

And while a beauty box subscription makes a great gift for yourself, for a makeup-obsessed friend or loved one, it can also be a perfect surprise, particularly if you’re not sure exactly what they would want. Because of Covid-19, for something non-essential, we can’t get out to the malls, but a makeup shopping box shipped to your door can certainly brighten your day.

If you’re not sure where to start, StartupLynx has created a radar for beauty subscription box companies that are worth snagging. From an all-vegan beauty offering to an expert skin box, you’re bound to find a beauty subscription box to suit your needs.

Birchbox, online subscription service for beauty products


Birchbox is an online subscription service for beauty and grooming products catering to both women and men. Its catalog includes items from across categories such as makeup, haircare fragrance, skincare, etc. The products sold are from partner brands as well as of its eponymous brand. the company has a flagship store in New York. Get the original personalized monthly subscription box for men and women delivered right to your door.

Boxy Charm is a subscription box for full sized beauty products.


Boxy Charm is a subscription box for full sized beauty products. Each box contains 4-5 full-sized beauty items. Products range from nail care to skin care and cosmetics with major focus on makeup cosmetics and belong to popular, chic and upcoming brands. Subscription costs $21/month. Your customized beauty membership with five full-size products worth over $125 for only $25 per month.

Ipsy company logo


Ipsy is a start-up created in 2011, by Michelle Phan, Jennifer (Jaconetti) Goldfarb, Marcelo Camberos and Brian Garrett, which is active in the beauty market. Operating in the e-commerce sector, the young shoot offers a delivery service for beauty bags, thanks to its various offers, such as the Monthly Glam Bag, the Weekly ipsy Offers and the Generation Beauty Event. Personalized makeup and beauty products, exclusive offers, and how-to video tutorials from our IPSY Stylists. Each month subscribers receive a gorgeous Glam Bag with 5+ products starting at $ 12 / month.


analysis by McKinsey is Thinking inside The Subscription Box. It finds that customers prefer excellent end-to-end experiences and are only able to stick to subscription boxes where tangible advantages, such as decreased prices and personalization, are provided through their recurring payment.

For each brand, the precise concept of a great experience would be different. This is why it’s important for you to consider the particular expectations and needs of your customers. You should engage with your clients in real-time to do this. To ensure that they deliver long-term value, you need to make use of input and data to customize your subscription items.

Therefore as opposed to simply giving consumers more things, the better delivery boxes for 2020 will be the ones that help satisfy a particular need.

Be curious! create your account on and start today to discover startups all over the world.

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