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Food and drink lead the subscriptions retail market

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Seventy-four per cent of UK shoppers who are signed up to a subscription box are signed up to some kind of food and drink service, according to new research.

The most popular deliveries are snacks and sweets, which 7% of the UK population is now receive, with recipe box services (6.5%) in second place, found the report from the Royal Mail. It says that 25% of shoppers are now considering, or likely to sign up to, a food and drink service in the future. 

The study found that while this type of service was barely on the radar five year ago, the food and drink subscription market was worth an estimated £129.2m a year in 2017. 

On average, consumers stay signed up to food and drink subscriptions for seven months at a time – higher than the overall average of six months for all subscription boxes.

One opportunity is for smaller companies catering to niche tastes and specialised diets. 

“Food and drink boxes are very popular in the subscription box economy,” said a Royal Mail spokesperson. “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.”

Pasta Evangelists founder Alessandro Savelli 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 waveless 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.”

Image: Fotolia

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