During the Covid-19 pandemic, ordering items online to be delivered to the door has become more popular than ever. With people shielding or being restricted from leaving their homes in the strictest parts of lockdown, it became the norm to have food, drinks and other essentials delivered. Even as the UK starts to emerge from lockdown, this shopping behaviour is likely here to stay, with items such as the snack subscription boxes that become popular when we couldn’t leave home, predicted to remain on the regular delivery menu.
Why then is this the case? Even though we can’t accurately predict which way society will go once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, or even say with confidence when these restrictions will be eased, we can take note of the latest statistics and what they are telling us, to get an insight into future consumer behaviour.
Subscription services spend
According to the latest data, the average adult in the UK spends around £60 per year on subscription services. With the average price of a subscription box being just £14, it is easy to see why this model can easily fit into most people’s monthly budgets, particularly as subscription boxes tend to deliver better value for money than when buying items individually or from elsewhere.
Recent statistics from Royal Mail have suggested that the subscription box market is expected to be worth a whopping £1 billion in 2022, representing a 77% increase in just five years.
Popularity of food and snack subscription boxes
It is not surprising, given that we have been forced to strip our shopping down to a more basic level, that the subscription services most in demand recently have been food and snack subscription boxes. With pubs and restaurants remaining closed for much of 2020 and the early part of 2021, it was necessary to bring the snacks and foods we would normally enjoy outside the home to the doorstep instead.
Also, it has been a time of reflection, upon our lifestyles and diet, with the circulation of Coronavirus making us think about healthier alternatives to give us the best chance of fighting the virus. Almost 500,000 people in the UK gave up meat in 2020 and around 14% of adults are currently following a meat-free diet. This means, demand for vegan snack subscription boxes and plant based foods is going to continue increasing, as those following a healthier path look for snacks and treats to complement their lifestyle choices.
Demand driven by the young
When it comes to subscription boxes, demand is being driven by the younger generations, with one in four 18-34 year olds signed up to at least one subscription service. Perhaps then as this and subsequent age groups grow up, it will be with the subscription box as part of a normal monthly spend, with tailored boxes of food, drinks and cosmetic products being delivered to the door, saving trips to the shops.
Working from home
In March 2020, many people switched to home working following government advice in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. This advice continued for most of the following year, with around 60% of people working from home. This change in routine definitely impacted purchasing behaviour, with people looking for food and snack deliveries to satisfy their appetites whilst working from home. This was further impacted by the introduction of homeschooling, when it was deemed unsafe for all children to be physically taught in the classroom.
With families spending most of their time at home, there were no school canteen lunches or pre-packed sandwiches at the office desk required. This money that was being saved could instead be spent on other luxuries, such as subscription boxes delivered to the door at regular intervals – after all there has been little else exciting to look forward to!
As businesses have made huge investments in infrastructure to allow home working, it is likely that many organisations will continue to operate with at least some of their teams working remotely even after the government guidance changes. This is likely to see the continued success of subscription boxes, as people get used to the convenience and cost-savings of having their favourite things delivered regularly to their doorsteps.
GoodiBox is a provider of snack and treat boxes for one-off or regular deliveries. During periods of lockdown they have found there has been a lot of interest particularly in their vegan and customisable snack boxes, suggesting that consumers are increasingly looking for plant-based treats and bespoke snack subscription boxes that meet the needs of all the family. To find out more about GoodiBox please visit their website www.goodibox.shop.
Sources: https://www.finder.com/uk/subscription-service-statistics, https://www.finder.com/uk/uk-diet-trends and https://www.finder.com/uk/working-from-home-statistics