Most popular subscription box services

September 2019

What are the most popular subscription boxes today?

Following on from the Subscription service industry research undertaken by Whistl in 2018 the company has commissioned further information focusing on the physical delivery of subscription boxes. What is the public opinion of subscription boxes and how many UK consumers regularly purchase and enrol in subscription schemes?

Of the 1000 people surveyed this research found that 38% of the UK population has used a subscription service, and services are more likely to be used by females (45%) than males (30%). Also, the demographic most likely to pay for a subscription service is the younger 18-31 bracket (58%) of them using, compared with only 17% of those aged over 65.

Unsurprisingly, the use of subscription services rises with household income, with the highest rate of users coming from London 45%, and the lowest rate from Northern Ireland at 19%.

The regularity of subscriptions delivered to customers also varies, from 58% sent monthly, 23% weekly, 8% bi-monthly and 11% less frequently.

Of all the participants surveyed, 53% use, or have used, food subscription boxes, making it the most popular category. However, food only accounts for 25.6% of subscriptions purchased. The beauty category, which is the second most popular subscription service, with 31% of those surveyed using beauty boxes, has an overall 14.8% share of all subscription box categories used.

The least popular categories are Gaming (6%), Flowers & Plants (5%) and Household or Domestic items (3%).

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The UK’s most popular subscription brands are Graze; Birchbox; Hello Fresh; Glossybox and Gousto.

The price of subscriptions varies with categories such as ‘drink’ and ‘flowers’ typically being priced over £25 per subscription. The categories that appear on average to be cheaper are Arts and Crafts (£7.49), Food (£7.99), and Beauty (£10.99).


Subscription box use is growing in the UK and is expected to be worth £1bn by 2022. Online retailers who currently use or are thinking of using subscription boxes to get their product to consumers need to work closely with their fulfilment and delivery partners to ensure that the quality of delivery matches the quality of their product. From product production through to delivery the experience of the consumer is critical to the reputation of their brand.

Melanie Darvall, Director Marketing & Communications, Whistl

Looking for support for your subscription service

If you would like to know more about our Fulfilment and Parcel delivery service and how we can support your subscription service, get in touch with our delivery experts today. 

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