Everyone loves to get something in the mail – particularly when that something is a big, tempting package to open and not just another bill. This is why gift subscriptions make fantastic presents: your giftee will get a new surprise every month when the next package arrives. There are some great services out there – both classic and creative – offering monthly subscription services that are tailored for food lovers of all kinds. The prices vary and you can pick out a short or long term subscription. One other bonus is that, since these gifts are delivered over a period of a couple of weeks or months, you don’t need to worry about rushing to stores and last minute gift wrapping, since your gift comes with direct delivery included – although a card letting your recipient know would be a nice touch.
- The Fruit of the Month Club from Harry and David is a class subscription service and still a favorite for many. They send out huge boxes of premium fruit every month, choosing something wonderful and in-season every time. They even offer an organic fruit of the month club now. My favorite, without question, is their famous Royal Riviera Pears, although I always enjoy their fruit. All of these boxes are hand-packed and they guarantee their products, which means that they will replace anything that isn’t quite right so that you really will always end up with perfect fruit..
- Great Food for A Great Cause Boxes from Love with Food contain a selection of up to eight different gourmet food samples each month, ranging from preserves to cookies to tea. There is a lot of variety here and, as with many subscription services, this is a great way to introduce yourself to some new brands and small producers that you might not already be familiar with. For each box shipped, Love with Food will also donate a meal to a hungry child.
- Food 25 Gift Box from Quarterly is a curated gift box for food lovers that doesn’t necessarily include food. For instance, one recent box was outdoor themed and included outdoor wine flutes and ice cube molds. Unlike some other services, this one is a gift that ships quarterly, not monthly, so you get fewer (but potentially larger) gifts throughout the year.
- Haut Chocolate Lunar Club from Vosges is pricey, but for fans of this American chocolate brand, it is a splurge well worth the price. The service sends out a selection of 9-12 premium chocolate truffles every month. You can choose the months in advance and, unlike some other services, you can see ahead of time what flavors will be available. Of course, you’re probably going to want to pick boxes that ship early in the year – not in the middle of summer – if you’re opting for this as a holiday gift.
- The Tasting Box from Gourmet Spotting is another curated gourmet box that includes hand-picked items from small and artisan food producers. This box will include large samples of four to six items, so you get a great chance to try the products. It is a little more expensive than some of the other box services, but you get a lot of product here and there is some good value in it.
- Coffee Tasting Box from Craft Coffee is a service for serious coffee lovers, sending samples of coffee from small, artisanal coffee roasters that are located all around the country. These coffees are ones that you won’t find at your local market, and probably won’t find at your local coffee shop, either. Each box includes three 4-oz samples – which is enough for 42 cups of coffee – as well as tasting notes and brewing tips. You might want to pick up a french press for your giftee with this one, if s/he doesn’t already have one.
Bonus: The Home Box from Birchbox. This one isn’t a subscription, although Birchbox is a gift subscription service that specializes in beauty products. It’s a beautiful gift box with an assortment of goodies for the kitchen that any foodie would love. Truffle sea salt and custom recipe cards? I know more than a few people who would like to see those in their stocking.