Long before I started this blog, I was a fan of treats that came in boxes. Four years ago I discovered Graze (and then coincidentally found out one of my friends had co-founded it), and spent a good few months eating my way through the range of tasty and wholesome snacks they send you every week.
Subscription model businesses for fast moving consumer goods are now booming – everyone knows about veg box schemes, and hopefully through my blog I’ve raised more awareness of meat boxes. They make so much sense from an economical, ecological and gastronomical point of view; high quality seasonal ethical food that’s cheaper, supports UK farmers and reduces the hassle of grocery shopping. It’s not to everyone’s preferences (especially if you’re a control freak about what you eat), but I love the element of surprise when you open a box and find out what’s in it.
I’ve recently discovered a wave of 2.0 subscription-style box schemes that I’d like to share with you. So bear with me while I go off-meat topic…
Larderbox – a subscription artisan food service from the team behind loveyourlarder.com. It’s all about new food discovery and supporting small producers from around the country. My sweet boyfriend sent me a March box to try out, and it contained:
- A bottle of Cotswold Gold rosemary infused extra virgin cold pressed rapeseed oil
- A jar of toffee apple jam from The Artisan Kitchen
- A packet of ras-el-hanout spice blend from Spicymonkey
- A tub of Mr Grey tea bags from The *TeaShed
- A box of signature collection chocolates from Davenports
Price ranges from £19.95 on a one-off basis, to £16.95 per box on a six-monthly subscription basis. The unboxing experience is always an important one – you should feel like you’re receiving a present from yourself. I thought the packaging was lovely; Larderbox was presented in a huge sturdy carboard box with products nestled in shredded paper and a handwritten envelope addressed to ‘Jenny’. But I was disappointed that none of the contents really whetted my appetite. There was no ‘hero’ product to grab my attention, and for £20 I felt I was paying face value rather than getting value. Perhaps it’s because none of the products surprised me or made me think, ‘Oh, I’ve always wanted to try that!’ Do you think Larderbox is more suitable to non-adventurous food types? Of course, I am being a bit mean and really should try the product before I comment…
Glossybox – the UK’s leading luxury beauty sample box subscription service. I’m a sucker for beauty samples, and am pretty fickle when it comes to brand loyalty; I love trying anything new. I’d seen Glossybox bandied about on beauty blogs so couldn’t resist ordering one. You get five luxury samples in a beautifully packaged, ribboned box – the unboxing really is a luxurious experience. Meanwhile on your online account you get to share your preferences, helping Glossybox tailor what samples you get. Still, the contents are a surprise until you open the box.