Busymillennials thrive on subscription treats
EVERYTHING from curated brownies to bamboo toothbrushes is winging its way to doorsteps across the country.
The subscription business model in New Zealand is exploding, mirroring its popularity in the US, where an estimated 5.7 million subscription businesses have customers receiving even cannabis products by delivery.
New Zealand offerings include wine, cheese, underwear, beauty products, brownies, and unique toothbrushes.
Lashings owner Jackie Lee has been offering a monthly singleorigin brownie drop since February, a natural progression from the weekend market circuit.
‘‘We live lives where we expect everything to be instantaneous, where Instagram photos drive ‘want’ and ‘need’ and create a sense of FOMO [fear of missing out], so a well-crafted subscription box targeted at the right audience can be very appealing,’’ Lee says.
‘‘It’s very much a millennial luxury, or a loweffort gift for others. We don’t have time to put as much effort into purchasing gifts or treats traditionally: subscription boxes fulfil this.’’
Massey University senior marketing tutor Simon Cope says the secret to subscription service success is offering mass customisation – something traditional retailers have ‘‘struggled to do for a long time’’.
‘‘The most important reason for subscription companies’ growth is that retail tastes have changed,’’ Cope said. ‘‘To get a consumer excited, you have to offer something they’re not expecting and subscriptions are an ideal instrument for a surprise.’’
Cromwell-based Rosie Graystone of MyTreat.co.nz offers monthly subscription boxes which include underwear, ecoconscious beauty products and tools for ‘‘busy women’’.
Luke Owen Smith, the owner of Wellington-based business The Chocolate Bar, planned all along to grow his business into the subscription model when he started it three years ago.
Each month Owen Smith curates a collection of artisanal chocolate bars from across the globe – products typically not available in New Zealand – and sends them out to subscribers. He has done this for 15 months, and it continues to grow in popularity.
‘‘We knew that we wanted to launch a subscription service, but we knew it would be difficult to launch it on a small scale,’’ he said.
‘‘So we waited until the business had a solid base of customers before adding the subscription service to our offerings.’’
Luke Owen Smith provides artisanal chocolate his subscribers wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere.