Content of the study

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1.1 Definition and Introduction

The concept of a subscription box consists of paying a fee to have a selection of products delivered within the framework of a certain theme. There are two types of boxes: surprise boxes (where the customer chooses product category but the product itself is unknown) and practical boxes (products related to gastronomy, shaving, beauty etc.) They are usually received on a monthly basis, however products can also be delivered weekly, monthly, and bi-monthly. 

In 2010, the subscription box was officially born through Birchbox. In 2011, the Beauty Box (JolieBox) arrives in France, launched by Mathilde Lacombe, Quentin Reygrobellet, Martin Ballas, François Morrier and Quentin Vacher. Fast forward to today, and the French subscription box market offers around 450 different boxes, a market which continues to grow at rapid pace. [boxraiser]

Today, the market in France is highly competitive, with different players ranging from micro-startups to large brands such as Unilever, and constantly evolving since new actors appear and disappear regularly. Nevertheless, the market potential for growth is immense; today, the number of people who know about subscription boxes in France is only 26% of the population as estimated by boxraiser.

The industry is increasingly subject to aggressive marketing strategies. Many brands include flagship products in their boxes to obtain feedback from consumers. Moreover, since distribution is almost exclusively through e-commerce, the industry is also heavily reliant on social media for exposure purposes. [consoglobe]

1.2 The global market's rapid growth

Source: ****
In ****, the market size for subscription boxes was $*.* billion. Most of this value is concentrated in the United States. Indeed, in ****, there were *,*** subscription box publishers worldwide; of these, nearly **% were based in the United States. [***] Western Europe is the second largest market.
The market size figure represents an incredibly ...

1.3 A domestic market in early stages is a website which gathers all subscription box offers in France. Although it does not count as an official site of statistics, it provides a reliable proxy to the growth of the supply of boxes. Indeed, from this we can see that France is encompassed in the global market's ...


2.1 Profile Analysis: The French Consumer


Source: ****
In France in ****, the distribution share measured through annual sales was devoted **% to subscription boxes which included beauty products, **.*% to food, and *.*% to alcohol. In other words, consumers in France look to products which they believe will enhance their physicl appearance, such as make up or shaving kits.
According ...

2.2 Demand Trends

Demand cyclicality is high

Source: ****
The graph above represents the proportion of searches for a given term in a given region during a specified amount of time, compared to when it was the most searched (***). Thus, a value of ** means that the keyword has been used less often in the region ...

2.3 COVID-19's impact on the industry

Overall, the subscription box industry has not been damaged by the global pandemic. Digitalmediasolutions even argues the contrary, that this industry is booming amid the global pandemic. The website states that "Throughout what has been a very uncertain time for consumers, subscriptions have been able to offer predictability and convenience". ...

2.4 Interview with industry leader (

The interview below was conducted with industry leader Michaël Maarek in June ****, founder of which owns
To what extent do you think the COVID-** crisis will impact the growth of your sector? 
There are both positive and negative factors. First, and positively, traffic doubled in the ...

2.5 Interview with industry leader (Label Box)

To what extent do you think the COVID crisis will impact the growth of your sector?On the rise because there are no competitors in the stores, rather growth in particular box food. Good for all e-commerce
The economic institutes foresee a brake on international trade and a return to local ...


3.1 Market Overview

The market for subscription boxes in France traditionally includes small niched players. Indeed, when examining's supply of boxes we find that smaller brands are in top of demand. Apart from the internationally renowned BirchBox, we find that the most popular boxes often include smaller players such as AuFeminin, Le ...

3.2 Production

The production of subsription boxes are subject to ever-increasing consumer requirements on innovation and product differentiation. Due to the relatively short lifespan of a subscription box consumer (***), it is important for firms to ensure that their products ignite an urge for long-term subscriptions amongst consumers. 
Globally and in France, one way ...

3.3 Distribution

Today, companies in the subscription box industry have a wide array of customer bases; for instance, these can range between **,*** to ***,***, but also between ** and **. Meanwhile, the majority of producers have a customer base of around **,***. [***]
The intrinsic feature with subscription boxes is that they are delivered to the consumer's home. ...


4.1 Product Analysis

There are around *** boxes available in France today, a number which is rapidly increasing. If we use the classification of the page, the following product categories can be included in the product offering:
Gastronomy: grocery products, handicrafts, meal kits to be prepared, vegetarian products etc.); Lifestyle: accessories, jewellery, design, ...

4.2 Price Analysis

In ****, the average price per box was €**. The cheapest box today costs around €* and the most expensive can amount to €***. [***]
According to Le Figaro price is an integral aspect when launching a box on the market. The price must be competitive and allow the customer to have access to products at ...

4.3 Supply Trends

Innovative marketing strategies
Michaël Maarek, founder of, states that beauty related subscription boxes distinguish themselves from the rest because these boxes often offer products for free. In this way, companies can engage in aggressive marketing and brand exposure. Moreover, such items often belong to new product lines which, ...


5.1 Regulation

The subscription box industry encompasses a large amount of products, which makes it difficult to boil regulation down to one coherent legislative framework. For instance, literature products are affected by copy right legislation, whilst food products need to adhere to strict rules around food safety and packaging. 
Nevertheless, the size of ...


6.1 Segmentation

  • HelloFresh
  • Birchbox
  • Dollar Shave Club
  • AuFeminin
  • Le Petit Ballon

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