With subscription snackboxes becoming an ever-more lucrative industry, Elizabeth Gibson checks out two major players.
I recently cancelled my EarlyBird subscription, gritting my teeth as I clicked through screen after screen of them wheedling me to stay, to take such an offer, they would miss me so much. But it’s done. Back to Graze. But why? you may well ask if you know anything about these services. Graze is for yummy mummies! EarlyBird is for students! I know. The packaging makes that pretty clear.
I’ll start at the beginning. I had seen Graze advertised but wasn’t that bothered until my mother got an offer on a box. Impressed with its contents, I snapped up the offer myself. I had had recently arrived at Uni and thought it would make a nice little midweek treat, just for a while. Now here I am in fourth year, still receiving a box a week. What is it that’s so magical about a box of healthy snacks?
Whereas I had envisaged them being all nuts and raisins, there is plenty of variety. There are dips, croutons, flapjacks, little cakes with sauce to pour over them… Healthy snacking never seemed so delicious. The snacks come in handy little packets and you have some influence over what you get: you can “bin” snacks online in order to never receive them. By now I know what my dream box is: My Thai, Coco Paradise, Banoffee Dippers, Pomodoro Rustichella. If you’re reading, Graze people…
Then EarlyBird came along. My eyes were continually assaulted by their psychedelic ads and I just wasn’t interested—I had Graze. Then I got an offer and took it, and my first EarlyBird Box arrived. Accustomed to the lovely naturalness of the brown cardboard cuboid that is a Graze Box, I was now greeted by a glaring hexagon of clashing colours.
Inside I found two teas, some decent artwork and five snacks. The snacks are pretty repetitive and very similar to Graze ones but with less pizazz. Additionally, getting into their individual plastic packaging is difficult, though apparently they are planning to change that. The tone of EarlyBird’s e-mails and general branding is very matey and can get annoying rather quickly.
I never intended to be subscribed for any length of time to one snackbox, yet alone two, and Graze won. However, EarlyBird is a new company so with time and space they may develop and find their identity. Hopefully they’ll mellow out a little where colours and voice are concerned. Some of their snacks do show promise and I like their idea of incorporating art and music.
Subscription boxes are taking off in so many industries—fashion, beauty, books, music. Maybe it’s due to our increasing laziness; we don’t want to prepare these snacks ourselves. Or maybe in an age where, thanks to the Internet, we almost always know what’s going to happen, we just like being surprised once a week or month. Maybe one day I’ll receive that dream Graze combination and that is a day you will see me smile.