Most consumers’ first experience with the modern subscription box economy was Birchbox, a monthly service bringing makeup, skin-care, and hair products to the doors of countless millennial woman.
Now, there’s an online subscription box retailer for every niche. They arrive monthly for a small—or not so small—subscription fee. What is it about this model that so captives consumers, especially young consumers? Is it marketing that relies heavily on social media ads, high-profile blogger reps and podcast pushing? Or is something more primitive: The pleasure of surprise, of novelty?
Some worry subscription services will cut into the bottom line of brick and mortar retailers, but perhaps they serve different functions. While a consumer drives to the store to pick up their tried-and-true products, they open their subscription boxes eager to be surprised.
Ready to look forward to checking the mail? Here are 7 subscriptions to get you started.

Trunk Club

The poor(ish) man’s personal shopper.
Give your Trunk Club “stylist” an idea of what clothes, shoes or accessories you’re looking for (for example, maybe you have a formal event coming up, or you’re going on vacation and need something breezy, cool, and comfortable). You try on their selections in the comfort of your own home where you have the unique ability to see how they fit into your existing wardrobe. The best part? Simply send back what you don’t like.

Blue Apron

Home cooking minus the grocery store.
Arguably one of the biggest subscription box niches is the meal kit. Once a week, Blue Apron sends you everything you need to make four dinners (you choose the number of servings). Special diets are accommodated, and each week you get to choose from several meal options, so you know you’re getting meals you’ll like.


Personalize and expand your palate.
Winc sends you four bottles a wine every month. Their selections are suited to your tastes (which you provide through a quick 6-question survey), and they stock a wide variety so you can explore new, interesting or challenges varietals.

Little Passports

Bring the world to the playroom.
Take your young one to Venezuela, Ireland, Istanbul, and Mozambique—at least, in their imaginations. This monthly box gives kids ages five to 10 a look at the unique cultures and geography of our world without having to step foot on a $1k-a-ticket airbus.


A modern cure for the 3 p.m. stress eat.
If you have healthy (and delicious) snacks at the ready, can you really justify vending machine Bugles? Graze can send a box of foodie-approved snacks to your front door (or cubicle), so you can snack responsibility, tastefully.

Book of the Month

The books everyone will talk about.
Book of the Month is a very popular subscription service, especially among women, for discovering the newest “must read” novel. Every month, subscribers get a choice of several books, and they choose the one they’re most interested in.

Bark Box

Treats and toys for good boys.
Bark Box is the subscription service for dogs – and the people who love them. Every month you’ll receive a care package full of dog treats and unique toys. Your pooch will love the novelty as much as you enjoy seeing the pretzel-shaped toy hanging out of his slobbery maw.