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Subscription Service Boom Predicted to Tip £1bn in Market Value by 2022

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From groceries to perfume, clothing, contact lenses, beer and even period care, the subscription lifestyle is booming and the pandemic has only increased the number of us opting for the convenience it provides.

As a result, the subscription box sector is on course to reach over £1bn in market value by 2022, a 77% lift in just five years.

An estimated 6.3m of us aged 18 or over are signed up to some form of subscription box service in the UK. The most popular include Amazon Prime, Graze and Nextunlimited although the most popular sectors are food, razors and shaving, perfume and cosmetics and clothing.

This change in consumer behaviour is being driven by the younger generation, with 3.37m 18-34-year-olds signed up to subscriptions compared to just 616,000 over 55s.

One such subscription service is Yoppie, pioneering the scheduled delivery of eco-friendly personalised menstrual care for the modern-day woman. Yoppie has continued to see demand increase since launching, with an 850% increase in subscribers since the second lockdown,  and puts this down to the convenience factor as well as the often superior offering that many subscription services offer above that seen on the high street.

Yoppie has also redefined the subscription box offering with a range of products to cover the entire menstrual cycle, not just focusing on tampons and pads. Launching their own range of PMS supplements has allowed them to expand their customer offering without compromising the benefits of the subscription model, bringing even further convenience to women across the UK.

Founder of Yoppie, Daniella Peri, commented:

“Subscription services have become incredibly popular and not just for products that are consumed digitally like Netflix. The ability to have our shopping delivered at the same time every week, for example, is incredibly convenient and saves a lot of time that we can put to other more important tasks at hand.

However many of us are also choosing to opt for subscription boxes in order to receive a better quality product than what we might find in our supermarket. These tend to be the less frequent but regularly required items such as period care, contact lenses, or razors that we know we need each month.

The biggest challenge for subscription providers is to remain relevant beyond an initial novelty purchase and these regularly required items allow us to do that, but we believe the sector can do more to evolve and expand beyond a one product solution.

For us, our impact on the environment is as important as the quality and convenience of our product and we believe that this is another area that can help differentiate the subscription sector and increase relevance in today’s world.”

The biggest sustainability win for subscription services is the reduction in waste. Food waste, in particular, can be massively reduced by using a subscription meal service but all subscription services focus on providing the consumer with just what they need.

But it’s not just waste that’s reduced but emissions as well. Research shows that emissions associated with the average supermarket visit were 32.8% higher than the equivalent subscription service.

Peri continued:

“Aside from the convenience, subscription services are a great way to improve our environmental footprint. Fewer people heading to the shops means fewer cars on the road, or fewer people using public transport, and all of these small wins can really add up.

More recently, the pandemic and resulting lockdown restrictions have really highlighted the value of subscription services. Our previous research found that more than half of UK women had been prevented from visiting their local shop for essential items due to Covid worries and quarantine measures.

While we remain some way off from a return to pre-pandemic life, the ability to have what you need delivered, when you need it, can really help overcome some of the uncertainty that continues to impact our day to day life.”

Estimated number of population signed up to a subscroption service by age group
Estimates Population Est number of subscribers
23% of 18-34 year olds 14,659,036 3,371,578
13% of 35-54 year olds 17,478,343 2,272,185
3% of 55+ year olds 20,536,054 616,082
Subscription box market value forecast
Year Market value Change
2017 583,000,000
2022 (forecast) 1,031,910,000 77%

 

Most common products within the subscription service sector
Subscription box Percentage of Subscribers
Food 37%
Razor and shaving 30%
Perfume and cosmetics 26%
Clothing 21%
Contact lenses 10%
Most subscribed services within the subscription service sector
Subscription service Percentage of Subscribers
Amazon Prime 61.4%
Graze 12.3%
Nextunlimited 9.7%
Pact Coffee 8.5%
Glossybox 7.8%