Top 10 subscription boxes
Everyone likes getting something in the mail (provided it’s not a bill or junk mail). Even better when a package filled with goodies arrives on your doorstep. This is the driving force behind subscription boxes — a phenomenon that ballooned to nearly 7,000 services with 18.5 million customers in the US in 2018.
Hobbyists can find boxes that complement their interests and help collections grow with every new delivery while the curious can find subscriptions that will open them up to something new each month. With the holidays in sight, giving the right subscription box to family and friends can be a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. To help you decide which service is best for you or the recipient of your gift, BOSS has assembled a list of the top 10 subscription boxes available in the US.
Whiskey (or whisky) lovers get a box every two months that contains a full bottle of craft whiskey along with “expertly paired food delicacies.” The club features takeovers by craft distilleries, such as Maryland’s Sagamore Spirit, which recently included a bottle of its Barrel Select Rye, a tumbler, and blackberry simple syrup to be used to make its signature Black-eyed Rye cocktail.
Craft Whisky Club is also pairing with UK and European distilleries such as Raasay for “Caskshares,” which allows customers to pre-order “shares” from the distillery and receive bottles of aged whiskey when it is ready. Caskshares is currently only available in the UK and EU but is yet another example of how Craft Whisky Club provides subscribers with the opportunity to taste hard-to-find whisky.
For men who want a stylish look without spending hours at the store, The Tie Bar allows subscribers to update their wardrobe every three months without thinking about it. Subscription options include skinny ties, bow ties, neck ties, extra-long ties, or socks and are available for a year or for six months. Every three months subscribers receive three of the company’s best-selling ties or three new pairs of socks.
Realizing that you might want more than quarterly updates of socks and ties, The Tie Bar also sells pants, shirts, cuff links, tie bars, belts, and other accessories. There’s something for everyone from the high-powered businessman to the guy hoping to impress on a first date.
Discovering and sharing new wine is part of the beverage’s appeal. Firstleaf makes this easier not only by delivering high quality bottles of wine to your door, but by using an algorithm based on “hundreds of wines and billions of data points” to create a user’s palate profile. New members take an initial quiz that both determines which wines might appeal to the subscriber and refines the company’s patent-pending algorithms.
Every month, Firstleaf sends tens of thousands of orders of six bottles of wine to members all over the country. The high-quality offerings have won more than 1,000 awards at international competitions.
BREO BOX sends subscribers quarterly boxes filled with fascinating products “that you never knew you needed.” Boxes filled with everything from Fujifilm Instax cameras to OXO Cold Brew Coffee Makers and TRX home gyms. Boxes contain 5-8 items of lifestyle, tech, home goods, and fitness products, and can be delivered to any address the subscriber chooses — making it easy to make a box a one-time gift.
The fall box includes a Dr. Save Vaccuum Travel Kit, a TeaHaus Tea tasting set, a LAVE shoe care set, a Click&Grow Smart Garden, and more. Every three months a box arrives filled with gadgets and goodies meant to surprise subscribers and make their lives easier in ways they hadn’t imagined.
In 2019, vinyl is set to outsell CDs for the first time since 1986. There’s no longer any doubt that records are more than a niche market for collectors, and Vinyl Me Please offers the chance for newbies and long-time vinyl aficionados to grow their record collection.
Members choose one of three “Tracks”— Classics, Essentials, or Rap & Hip Hop — when subscribing, and receive exclusive, deluxe editions of records once a month. Before the record is sent, subscribers receive an email that says which record will be sent. If for some reason the customer doesn’t want the assigned records, all he or she has to do is swap it out for a preferred record.
Flaviar is a quarterly spirits subscription service that offers tequilas, rums, whiskeys, gins, and more to its subscribers. Its goal is to encourage members to try more drinks, more often. Subscribers receive one 750 ml bottle of their choosing each quarter, along with three different samples of the spirit of their choosing. Members can also buy additional bottles from such renowned distilleries as Dictador, Buffalo Trace, Casa Noble, and more.
In addition to shipments, subscribers get access to Flaviar’s annual Craft Spirits Celebration in New York and red carpet treatment at participating distilleries around the country at no additional cost.
From longtime green thumbs to those looking to explore gardening, My Garden Box appeals to anyone looking to add beauty to the inside or outside of their home. Monthly kits include live plants, growing media, containers, and other items to accent the garden. Seasonal boxes are sure to grow successfully with a little care, no matter what time of year the box arrives.
Boxes from My Garden Box provide a fun solo or family activity that results in plants to be enjoyed at home or used as a living gift for a loved one. Last month’s box featured a kit to make kokedama, a Japanese style of growing a plant in a ball of soil and living moss wrapped around its roots.
Bespoke is a subscription box service that uses subscribers’ pre-stated preferences combined with purchase history, location, and other factors to assign boxes tailored to their interests. Boxes are themed for everything from travel to bar, grooming, kitchen, and more.
After being assigned their monthly box, subscribers have five days to decide whether they want the box — there is no requirement for members to purchase a box. A few of last month’s box options were: the “Hecho” box which contained ingredients for homemade hot sauce, a mocajete (mortar and pestle), a taco rack, and more; the “Aged” box which included Black Swan Cooperage oak barrel staves for aging liquor at home, a bottle in which to age your favorite liquor, and tumblers; and the “Lather” which contained a shaving brush, stand, and bowl, along with cream and balm for shaving.
Similar to a meal delivery kit, Cocktail Courier provides subscribers with all the ingredients they need to become a mixologist in their own home. Classic kits include alcohol for the cocktails as well as the mixers while Just the Mix kits contain only the non-alcoholic ingredients (mixers, garnishes, bitters, etc.). Each kit makes 6-8 drinks and can be delivered as frequently or infrequently as desired. Last month’s cocktail kit was The Guatemalan, which included Bacardi Gold, Bittered Sling Malagasy Chocolate Bitters, Morita Chile Syrup, pineapple juice, and Ghirardelli chocolate bars.
A la carte kits are also available and allow customers to purchase Mini Size kits that make two cocktails and can be used as gifts or for further sampling, or Party Size kits. Party Size comes in Variety, which lets buyers make four different types of classic cocktails such as a margarita, or the Punch Kit which makes a punch bowl batch of cocktails for parties.
Craft Beer Club sets itself apart from other beer clubs by featuring two different independent breweries for each shipment and choosing to include two styles of their beer that are their most popular or award-winning beers. Each box contains 12 beers along with a full-color newsletter that includes information on the beers and brewery, tasting notes for the beers, pairing recipes from the brewery, and even beer trivia.
The club focuses on covering beers from diverse areas and will not feature the same brewery twice within two years. Recent featured breweries have included Sierra Blanca Brewing Company, Mason Ale Works, and Millstream Brewing Company. Beer lovers can choose to order just one shipment or can subscribe with savings and free gifts included for those who chose three-, six-, or 12-month plans.
Check the Mail
After signing up for any of the above subscription services, the hardest part will likely be waiting in anticipation for the box to arrive. Subscription box services have made it easier than ever to buy birthday and holiday gifts or try new food, drinks, and gadgets that might otherwise be unavailable in your region.