How experts predict the UK subscription box market to grow in 2019/2020

Posted by Emily Tyler on May 7, 2019

Unless you have been living under a rock, it’s likely you have heard someone talking about a subscription box they have seen or purchased. Whether it is food, beauty or even dog subscription boxes, they have been extremely popular in recent years; and it seems like there is no sign of this market slowing down. So, what are the experts saying about the growth of the UK market when it comes to subscription boxes? Well, it looks like the growth rate is going to continue to rise into 2019 and 2020. This is fantastic news for companies wanting to start their own box. Let’s have a look at what the experts are saying about the UK subscription box market and why this continues to be a very popular industry right now.

Expert predictions on the UK Subscription Box market

As we have mentioned already, everyone knows that the popularity of subscription boxes is growing. It has grown over 100 percent in the past five years, according to McKinsey and Company. It seems like everyone is having one delivered to their homes and this certainly seems to be the case. So, let’s have a look at what the experts say to see if the statistics also tell the same story. Right now, according to the Royal Mail, there are 27 percent of people in the UK already receive a subscription box to their door. This was a study they carried out by speaking to Cornerstone, GlobalData and Zuora. This is a good amount of people, considering the different ways you can shop. But the even better thing is that this number is predicted to grow in the coming years. There is also a huge increase in what the market is going to be worth in the next few years. In 2017, the subscription box market was worth £583 million. By 2022, this is set to grow by 72 percent to £1 billion according to the Royal Mail study in 2018. This is an amazing increase and shows that this is not a gimmick that is going to stop anytime soon.

Who are the big names in the sub box market?

Of course, there are the big names that everyone recognises when it comes to subscription boxes. This includes beauty giants such as BirchBox, who deliver new skincare and makeup to your front door. They give the opportunity to try out new products and also receive your favourites on a regular basis. Degustabox is another growing subscription box where people love to receive a monthly box of foods and beverages to try. There are also exciting products and flavours that make people keep coming back for more. For pet lovers there is  This is another company that is offering personalised and custom-made dog food for your pet to enjoy and to make sure they have a healthy and suitable diet. However, the great thing is that the market seems to be open to everyone. This means that subscription boxes in general will enjoy growth and not just certain categories and big names like the ones mentioned. There is definitely room for more companies to join and start their own UK subscription box.

Who is buying Subscription Boxes?

There are definitely some trends in the kinds of people that are interested in subscription boxes. In particular, the younger generation is interested in what they can receive every month in a subscription box. For example, it is estimated by Royal Mail that around half of 25-35 years already subscribed to a box and this going to continue to grow. Typically, the 25 to 44-year olds are most exciting by this kind of service. There is even around 7.6 percent of over 65s signed up to these services because of how convenient and simple they are.

Women are the largest market overall

Typically, the statistics have found that women seem to be the main target and interested audience for subscription boxes. But the experts predict other markets will soon follow closely behind. In particular, shaving and male grooming subscriptions are on the rise and they are set to see the biggest growth in the coming years. It is estimated that around two million more men will sign up to receive subscription boxes say Royal Mail. Already, there has been an amazing rise of 125% being male shoppers in the 45+ category, according to Hitwise. There are also boxes emerging that now target teens and children too.

Beauty is the most popular of the product ranges

Beauty subscription boxes have always been one of the most popular choices on the market, as people love to receive makeup and skincare. The good news is that this is going to continue to grow. In particular, women love receiving new products every month and trying out new beauty styles and items. It is predicted that there is still growth to be seen in the coming years. It is estimated that this kind of subscription box will grow by 229.8 percent between 2017 and 2022 according to Royal Mail. Again, this is a fantastic growth that cannot be seen in a lot of other industries.

But people also really love food!

But this is not to rule out the niche boxes that you can find. In particular, food and drink boxes are doing very good right now and this will grow as the interest in them increases and more people are looking to cook at home. For example, vegan subscription boxes are becoming more popular as more people turn to a meat-free and animal-free diet and lifestyle. These products are also harder to find in the supermarket, so people are guaranteed to receive them every month through a subscription. There are also more people that live abroad or want to try other foods from different countries. This makes ones like Japanese subscription boxes popular, as people want home comforts or to enjoy different types of food than what can be purchased in the local supermarket. Gaming is also doing well as more people want to receive merch and other goodies from their favourite games.

Why is there such a huge growth in the industry?

The natural question is why is there such amazing growth in the UK subscription market? Of course, there are a number of reasons why this can be happening. A lot of experts put it down to the growth of technology and the changes this is having to retail. They are advertised on social media and they are online, which is the way a lot of people shop nowadays. This means they are reaching a wide audience and appealing across the market. But it may not just be technology that is causing this growth alone. In fact, people are changing the way they shop entirely. They can get whatever they want at the click of a button. Whether it is groceries, fashion or children’s toys. But subscription boxes are getting people excited about shopping again. People like surprises and in a world where you are always busy and have a lot of stress, this can be a way to relieve some of that hardship and enjoy something new.

The gift market has evolved

Subscription boxes are also a way to receive personalised gifts every month such as with chocolate or clothing. A lot of companies do not just send out generic products; they personalise them to the subscriber. This means that the person feels more enjoyment from the experience and again, looks forward to being sent gifts to their door every month. It means trying new products and experimenting with new items that you may not buy on your own. A lot of subscription boxes also claim that they offer big savings than if you bought those items in a store. This all adds to the fun and satisfaction of a subscription box. It should be remembered that the subscription box market is booming right now because it is a novelty. It is something that is new at the moment and totally different from what we have seen in the past. There are going to be new trends within this market and no doubt an expansion in the way subscription boxes are going to be enjoyed.

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