Paper boxes. Photo by Leone Venter on Unsplash

Sinead Kennedy, Dusseldorf Office, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board

With the onset of digitalisation, the options for market research and marketing have grown exponentially, to the point where it can be difficult to know where to start. One option which is gaining traction in recent years is the option of partnering with a “subscription box” company. The core offering here is that producers supply their ambient product for placement in the “boxes” for free or for a small fee. These boxes are then sent out to subscribers on a monthly basis with a questionnaire and marketing materials enclosed. In return for providing the product/ fee, the companies receive market insights such as reports gathered from the feedback in the questionnaire and marketing efforts such as Facebook posts on the company page, Instagram competitions and brand awareness from the posts of the influencers to whom the boxes are also sent.

Two such options available in the German market are Degustabox and Foodist:

1. Degustabox

Headquartered in Spain, Germany is their strongest market with 10,000 monthly subscribers. The focus is on snack products and beverages with the majority of customers being young families. Degustabox comes out in terms of cost-effectiveness as there is no fee for producers.

Marketing benefits: 100 influencers (Instagrammers, bloggers etc) are included in the list of Degustabox subscribers. The producer also benefits post on Degustabox Facebook page (108,000 followers) and Instagram page. You can also include your flyer in the box. The analytics of the online campaign are relayed back to the company in report form.

Research benefits: Producer can choose 6 questions from the Degustabox list. These can relate to pricing, positioning, packaging etc. The company boasts a 20% response rate to the questionnaire with detailed market insights being relayed back to the company in report-form.

2. Foodist

Headquartered in Hamburg, Foodist has built a consumer-base of 12,000 monthly subscribers in Germany. This particular option can prove a very effective route to market as Foodist also offer off-shelf displays in some of Germany’s larger retailers, where selected products (“Foodist Favourites”) are given space in-store.

Marketing Benefits: Depending on the fee paid, producers can be featured in the Recipe/ Interview section in Foodist magazine which is sent out with each box, posts on Facebook (45,000 likes) or the option to be included in Facebook/ Instagram competitions etc. A number of Influencers also included in the list of Foodist subscribers.

Research Benefits: Tailored feedback form sent out to subscribers in each box. Customers also have the option to give feedback online with the results of both being reported to the company.

If you are looking for a cost-effective, efficient way to conduct research into your chosen market or boost brand awareness by getting your product in front of influencers and consumers via social and print media, subscription box offerings such as Degustabox and Foodist are definitely worth looking into!

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