Online subscription businesses certainly boomed during the lockdowns that took over 2020 and the first part of this year. Whether it was people seeking regular entertainment from Netflix, dining experiences through meal kits, or little luxuries such as chocolate, coffee tea – it is one area that thrived under Covid.
One London-based entrepreneur saw huge growth in two of his online subscription businesses during the lockdowns. Both ILoveGin.com and TasteCocktails.com were started by entrepreneur Toby Vacher more than five years ago, but it wasn’t until the Covid pandemic until things really started to take off.
The Oxford graduate was able to use his passion for gin and exotic drinks through his subscription website, which either allows you to purchase gin and tonic sets and receive new flavours each month, or send them as gifts to loved ones. With TasteCocktails, customers can buy their kits for their favourite cocktails including Mojitos, Margaritas and espresso martinis from just £22.
The business had already received popular reviews from the BBC, The Metro and Esquire magazine, but little did the entrepreneur know that lockdown would create such a huge demand.
“When the lockdown started, all the bars and restaurants were pretty much closed and people were looking for alternative ways to share a drink with their loved ones. People often used our cocktail kits as a fun evening activity, mixing the mojitos and enjoying them with their housemates, partners or families.”
“Our gin subscriptions became extremely popular, with the arrival of a new gin and tonic mix arriving at your door every month. For us, it is all about the flavours and tastes and sampling a mix of old, classic, contemporary and flavoured gins too, from your classic apple gin to Jaffa cake flavour too!”
“Our gin subscriptions can be purchased for one, three, six or 12 months at a time, starting from just £14 per month and serving four gin and tonics at a time.”
Both of Vacher’s websites also saw enquiries from corporates and businesses looking to incentivise their staff and arrange drinks evenings through zooms – especially around the December Christmas period which was still very much under lockdown from the Covid pandemic.
With subscriptions boxes from all industries seeing a rise in the past 18 months, Forbes in fact reported a 40% increase in subscription box businesses year-on-year for four years running, suggesting it is part of a much wider trend.
Other popular subscriptions involve beauty and wellness, including makeups, self-care products and moisturisers. As a nation, we hope that covid will soon disappear, but with an established business model and continued popularity, we think subscription boxes are certainly here to stay.