The Rise of Subscription Services

The Rise of Subscription Services: How does this affect Packaging?

In 2017, a Zuora commissioned YouGov survey revealed that the average UK adult spends £56 per month on subscription services, with 9 in 10 consumers now being subscribers, the meal kit subscription service alone is now worth £3-5 billion worldwide. (Review Chatter)

For busy people, instant availability and personalisation is a huge draw to subscription services. The pay-as-you-go model has expanded outside of more traditional media and utility services, with everything from beauty kits and ingredients through to socks being available via monthly payments.

For many, the draw for personalised subscription boxes is value for money. Whilst some meal kits aren’t necessarily less expensive than a supermarket shop- the hassle-free delivery service, plus recipes and the measuring out of ingredients leads to less food waste and saves the most important thing in the digital age- time. Many beauty subscription boxes highlight their value for money, Birchbox, for example offer approx. £70*worth of beauty products in their £10 monthly box (*based on the August box, Google Shopping RRP at other outlets)

What does this mean for the packaging industry?

One thing that stands out with the rise of subscription boxes- standalone products will no longer suffice for some. Businesses are becoming more creative with their packaging by including pops of colour, personalisation and establishing a brand identity through their secondary packaging. The rise of subscribers plus the influx of influencers across social media means that, as a business, if your packaging isn’t as ‘instagrammable’ there is less visibility and appeal, and in turn less brand awareness.

New packaging types and more personalised variables on secondary packaging such as printing itemised lists and home delivery details necessitates the need for reliable and efficient label printing solutions that can adapt to the subscription economy.

The ICE Vulcan Print and Apply Labelling machine offers fast, reliable printing and application for secondary packaging without missing a pack. The unique technology is ideal for dynamic application, printing variable data in real time and in one continuous action at the point of directly applying the label, avoiding labelling errors.

For more details on how the ICE Vulcan can help improve your factory efficiency, download our secondary labelling guide here, or contact our coding experts directly on

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