If the past couple years have been about the attack of Groupon-clones, this year is surely about the Birchbox-clone land-grab (eventhe Samwer brothers are copying it). Just like with Groupon there is an extremely simple formula to develop the business:
Step 1: Pick a single product that people currently consume or would consider consuming frequently
Step 2: Cut a hole in the box
Step 3: Put the products in the box
Step 4: Charge a monthly subscription fee and ship out your boxes
Here are the startups that are banking on putting their stuff in a box…
Food & Drink In A Box
- [Craftcoffee- hand-selected artisan coffees in a box- [Kopi-gourmet coffee in a box (UK-based)- [Candy Japan- Japanese candy snacks in an box (well, more like an envelope, but we’ll count it!)- [Delectable- artisan wine in a box- [Foodzie- delicious food in a box- [HealthySurprise - healthy snacks in a box- [GFreePantry - Gluten-free food in a box- [Tea Sparrow - premium loose - leaf tea in a box- [BlissBox - organic and eco-friendly products in a box- [Love with Food- gourmet samples of food in a box
Beauty &Hygiene In A Box
- [Birchbox - deluxe beauty samples in a box - [Manpacks - men’s underwear, socks, razors and more in a box - [UrbanCargo - men’s body care products such as shaving cream, face moisturizers, and shampoo in a box - [GetFresh - men’s grooming suplies
Clothing & Accessories In A Box
- [Wittlebee- kids clothing in a box - [Umba Box- a hand-made surprise such as jewelry, accessories, bath products, or stationary in a box - [Frank & Oak- fresh "threads" in a box for men - [TrunkClub - hand-selected outfits in a box for men - [CakeStyle - personal clothing and accessories in a box for women
Arts & Crafts In A Box
- [Lost Crates- design-inspired goods in a box - [Kiwi Crate- arts and crafts for kids in a box - [BabbaCo - enriching activities for kids in a box - [Little Passports - uniquesouvenirs and gifts from around the world for kids in a box
Other Stuff In A Box
- [Barkbox-high-quality, hand-selected goodies for your dog in a box - [EarthCell - re-chargeable batteries in a box
Why Are These Boxes So Damn Popular?!?
Is this formula truly the one that will unlock billions of dollars in value? We aren’t sure but we’ve definitely considered trying out some of these products. One aspect of box businesses is that they go after a separate consumer base than Groupon and LivingSocial who appeal to the deal seekers. Instead these companies appeal to anybody who loves being surprised by a gift. While the gift may have been paid for by you, the surprise of not knowing what will arrive is huge.
Whether or not entrepreneurs will be successful at developing their gifts in a box business is unknown but they all appear to be rushing to build a box as though Birchbox revealed the secret formula.
Ideas For Even More Things To Put In A Box
We’ve come up with a few other ideas of things to put in a box, in case you’d like to follow this formula for success: - Foreign Currency in a box - Box in a box - Shot glasses in a box - Books in a box - Movie night in a box - Games in a box - Dental supplies in a box - Night-out tickets in a box - Shoes in a box - Tchotchkes in a box - Beer in a box - Drugs in a box - Prank in a box - Bubblebath in a box
What other stuff would you like to see in a box?
Added In The Comments
- [Turntable Kitchen - music paired with food in a box (suggested by Patrice Hall) - [Graze - healthy snacks in a box for UK residents (suggested by Peter Cooper) - [The Honest Company - diapers and other baby-safe products by Jessica Alba in a box (suggested by Justin Winter) - [FoundersBox - hand-selected apps in your in-box with physical goods coming soon (suggested by Kevin Henry) - [Quarterly - a curated gift from your favorite cultural icon in a box quarterly - [The IceBreak - romantic date in a box (suggested byGiselle Gonzalez) - [Panty By Post - a woman's panty in a box.
Image via pastorkylehubor.](http://pantybypost.com/) ](http://www.theicebreak.com/datebox) ](http://quarterly.co/) ](http://foundersbox.com/) ](http://www.honest.com/) ](http://www.graze.com/) ](http://www.turntablekitchen.com/pairings-box/)
](http://littlepassports.com/) ](http://www.babbaco.com/) ](http://www.kiwicrate.com/) ](https://lostcrates.com/)
](http://cakestyleme.com/) ](https://trunkclub.com/) ](http://www.frankandoak.com/) ](http://www.umbabox.com/) ](http://wittlebee.com/)
](https://getfreshkit.com/) ](http://www.urbancargo.com/) ](http://manpacks.com/) ](https://www.birchbox.com/)
](https://lovewithfood.com/) ](http://www.blissmobox.com/) ](http://www.teasparrow.com/) ](http://www.gfreepantry.com/) ](http://healthysurprise.com/) ](http://foodzie.com/) ](http://www.delectable.com/) ](http://www.candyjapan.com/) ](http://www.kopi.co.uk/) ](http://craftcoffee.com/)