Summary of our market study

The French market is estimated at over 160 million euros,

The global subscription box market, created by Birchbox, has grown rapidly with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 58.1%, reaching a market size of $7.5 billion.

The French market is also expanding, with around 450 boxes on offer in a variety of categories such as beauty, food and lifestyle, and a strong presence of both small startups and large companies.

In 2020, only 26% of the French population knew about subscription boxes. E-commerce is the predominant distribution channel.

In France, subscription boxes are popular with women and young people, although the average subscription duration is short (around four months). The sector in France includes both international giants like HelloFresh and national players like Le Petit Ballon.

The market is competitive, with low barriers to entry, and companies must strive for innovation and brand positioning to succeed.

The upward trend in subscription gift sets in France:

In recent years, France has embraced the global phenomenon of subscription boxes, with a market driven by an estimated 450 different options to choose from. The most popular are surprise boxes, which offer a monthly gift of unexpected assortments, as well as practical boxes designed to provide consumers with essentials ranging from beauty products to gourmet fare.

First galvanized by the launch of Birchbox and the subsequent introduction of Beauty Box (JolieBox) in France, the market has experienced extraordinary growth... With just over a quarter of the French population aware of subscription boxes, the market is ripe for continued expansion.

Fueled by online marketing and social media, the French subscription box industry is built on the appeal of exclusive products, convenience and the pleasure of novelty.

A 2018 report revealed that the subscription box set sector had accumulated a global market size of between $12 and $15 billion, with a significant share of revenues concentrated in the United States and Western Europe, the second-largest market.

The French market is estimated at around 165.6 million euros, with some 600,000 monthly subscribers contributing to this figure. In France, demand trends articulate a consumer base particularly keen on beauty boxes, accounting for over 50% of the market. Subscription boxes for food and alcohol occupy an important place.

Women make up the majority, accounting for around three-quarters of totalpurchases in the sector.

Despite this positive trajectory, subscription services face the challenge of keeping consumers engaged beyond the average life of a subscription, which hovers around four months.

Originally favoring small niche players, the French market is now booming, with a mix of national and international players.

The global heavyweights:

  • HelloFresh: A pioneer of the kit-meal delivery concept, HelloFresh has carved out a significant market share by adapting its offering to the gastronomic preferences and nomadic lifestyle of the modern consumer.
  • Birchbox: A true pioneer in the field of beauty product subscription boxes, Birchbox has redefined the personalized consumption of beauty products by entering the French market.
  • Dollar Shave Club: Dollar Shave Club, which originally set out to disrupt the men's grooming sector by offering easy access to shaving products, has broadened its scope to include a whole range of grooming products.

National champions:

  • Au Feminin: This local flagship stands out in the French subscription box market for its connection with women's interests and lifestyles. Au Feminin draws on its understanding of local culture and consumer behavior.
  • Le Petit Ballon: Le Petit Ballon, toasting France's eternal love affair with wine, elevates the oenophile experience with carefully crafted wine subscription boxes.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market summary

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

Touteslesbox.fr 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 ...

1.4 L'impact du Covid-19

Vue d'ensemble

Dans l'ensemble, le marché des box a été peu touché par la crise mondiale liée à la pandémie. Selon certaines sources, comme Digitalmediasolutions, cette industrie est même favorisée par le contexte actuel. Cette source indique ainsi que "tout au long de cette période très ...

1.5 Entretien avec Michael Maarek, fondateur de Grenadia

Cantiane : Bonjour et bienvenue dans Vue d'Ensemble, le podcast qui vous permet de décrypter en ** minutes les enjeux d'un marché. Je m'appelle Cantiane et je suis analyste chez Businesscoot, une startup spécialisée dans les études de marché Pour ce nouvel épisode, on s'intéresse au marché des box ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Profile Analysis: The French Consumer

Preferences

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 Les habitudes d'abonnement des Français

Sur le marché des box, fidéliser ses consommateurs est compliqué pour les marques : près des deux tiers des consommateurs restent abonnés moins de * mois, et ils sont moins de **% à le rester plus d'* an. La durée moyenne d'abonnement serait de *** jours. 

Durée moyenne d'abonnement sur le ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Market Overview

The market for subscription boxes in France traditionally includes small niched players. Indeed, when examining toutelesboxes.fr'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. ...

3.4 Les principales box par catégorie

Une étude réalisée par le site "Toutes les box" en **** nous indique les marques de box ayant généré le plus de trafic sur le site agrégateur d'offres de box. Ces acteurs sont encore en **** des acteurs très présents sur le marché français :  

Source: ...

4 Analysis of the offer

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 toutelesboxes.fr, 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 touteslesbox.fr, 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 Rules and regulations

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 Positioning of the actors

6.1 Segmentation

6.2 Etude des sites internet des entreprises

Trafic web des principaux sites de box livrées à domicile en France France, ****-****, en milliers de visites Source: ****

    Trafic web des autres principaux sites de box livrées à domicile en France France, ****-****, en milliers de visites Source: SEMRUSH   

  • HelloFresh
  • Blissim
  • Dollar Shave Club
  • Unify Groupe (Au Feminin)
  • Le Petit Ballon
  • Seazon - FoodChéri
  • Glossybox France (The Hut Box)
  • My Little Paris (Au Feminin.com)
  • Gourmibox
  • DandyBox
  • My Captain Box
  • Made In France Box
  • Rutabago
  • Trois Fois Vin
  • Genadia
  • The Magic Box
  • La KUBE
  • Reworld Media
  • Nuoo (Haco)
  • Little Cigogne
  • QuiToque
  • Foodette
  • Les Commis
  • Cook Angels
  • La Boite du Fromager
  • La Box Fromage
  • Permacool
  • My little Box
  • Emma et Chloé
  • Envouthé
  • Touteslesbox.fr

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Marché des box livrées à domicile
  • Répartition par type de produit
  • French box market by category
  • Répartition des box selon le prix
  • Platforms used by box brands
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Latest news

HelloFresh opens its first French distribution center in Essonne | HelloFresh opens a center in Essonne - 08/11/2023
  • HelloFresh is a German company that has strengthened its presence in France by opening its first assembly and order-picking site
  • The company has been present in France for three years
  • It has a customer base of 7.1 million and has forecast sales of 7.6 billion by 2022
  • In France, Ile-de-France accounts for a third of its orders
  • It has opened a 23,000-square-meter warehouse in Essonne 600 jobs for home meal delivery in France
Quitoque about to be sold by Carrefour - 11/09/2023
  • Quitoque is a French recipe basket startup founded in 2015.
  • The startup is to be sold by Carrefour to Terence Capital, a fund owned by businessman Thierry Le Guénic.
  • In 2017, Quitoque had raised four million euros from Isai, 360 Capital and NCI.
  • Carrefour bought Quitoque in 2018, valuing the startup at around 60 million euros.
  • Quitoque recorded sales of 44.2 million euros in 2021 for a loss of over 8 million euros.
  • Terence Capital also has stakes in companies in the food, fashion, cosmetics and sports sectors.
In the fine dining market, Les Commis is growing thanks to acquisitions. - 23/05/2023
  • Les Commis was founded in 2012 by Cyril Francin and Clément Chanéac.
  • The company pivoted its model in 2017 to focus on everyday meals and offer home delivery.
  • Les Commis has grown by around 20% in recent years.
  • The company has 25 employees.
  • Les Commis aims to achieve sales of 7 million euros by 2022.
  • Les Commis acquired Rutabago in August 2022.
  • Rutabago employees were integrated into the 1,300 m² offices and warehouse in Gennevilliers.
  • Les Commis acquired Le Campanier in May 2023.
  • Le Campanier has sales of one million euros and a network of 250 relay points for the delivery of organic fruit and vegetable baskets.
  • Les Commis has forged nearly thirty partnerships with direct producers to ensure the quality of its products.
  • They also signed a partnership with Thermomix a year and a half ago to increase their visibility.
Little Cigogne, leader in children's fashion by box - 18/04/2023
  • International: represents between 35 and 40% of Little Cigogne's business.
  • Growth: +50% in the first quarter of 2023 compared with the first three months of 2022.
  • Number of employees: around one hundred.
  • Number of customers: 800,000.
  • Year Little Cigogne was founded: 2013 (10 years in 2023).
Magazines: Reworld Media aims to expand internationally - 23/03/2023
  • The group controls "Marie-France", "Grazia", "Science & Vie" and "Top Santé" and has grown through acquisitions
  • Magazine leader in France with the acquisition of Mondadori in 2019
  • Acquisition of Unify (Marmiton, Aufeminin etc.) from TF1 last summer
  • - Sales of 500 million euros by 2022
  • - 25% of group revenues come from abroad
  • - Revenue breakdown: 256 million for B-to-B and 244 million for B-to-C
  • - Around 1,200 employees, including 800 journalists
  • - Over 20% growth in digital activities
TF1 sells aufeminin and Marmiton to Reworld Media - 28/06/2022
  • Aufeminin and Marmiton, two of France's best-known digital media brands, to be sold to Reworld Media
  • This should enable TF1 to focus on its core audiovisual business.
  • TF1 has written down the value of Unify by 75 million for 2020
  • Bouygues announced Tuesday evening the sale of its online media division
  • Reworld Media has agreed to take over 300 employees of TF1's Unify Publishers division, which also includes an advertising network and social media brands

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

HelloFresh
Blissim
Dollar Shave Club
Unify Groupe (Au Feminin)
Le Petit Ballon
Seazon - FoodChéri
Glossybox France (The Hut Box)
My Little Paris (Au Feminin.com)
Gourmibox
DandyBox
My Captain Box
Made In France Box

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