Make plant-based living easier with these vegan subscription boxes

Make plant-based living easier with these vegan subscription boxes
Enjoy plant-based goodness delivered straight to your door with one of the best vegan subscription boxes from All Plants, Lush, Beer52 and more

Subscription boxes are surely the only direct debit you’re ever glad to forget about: there’s nothing more exciting than hearing the doorbell ring and knowing that there’s a selection of goodies waiting in your postie’s bag.

Vegans will also find themselves well-suited to this method of product discovery: we’re a section of the population with niche requirements, but who are fiercely loyal to the items that have proved reliable over the years, meaning we don’t often branch out beyond the brands we trust. Boxes present the perfect opportunity to spice things up with samples and testers, and often from businesses with values that are vegan from the ground up.

What constitutes a subscription box has morphed over the past few years, but for our round-up we took it to mean this: a recurring service that involves an element of surprise or variation, and brings us something we wouldn’t normally buy during our weekly trip to the grocers. Most of the options here are typical treat boxes – ie, curated selections of changing cosmetics or food-based items – but we’ve also included a meal kit service and a ready-meal subscription, as these can imbue even the most unenthusiastic of weeknight cooks with a sense of excitement.

What we have not included are items from brands that are available via a recurring payment option – many of these are very good, but you’ll find excellent examples of eco-friendly cleaning companies, for instance, across other IndyBest content. Here we’ve tried to stick to things that feel like a gift, whether you’re buying one to send to a newly minted vegan, or you’re treating yourself in an attempt to spice up your shopping list.

How we tested

We tried boxes from a range of subscription services, evaluating the quality of the contents, value for money, and whether or not they gave us a jolt of excitement. We were looking to receive a mixture of items; ideally a few from brands we recognised, and a few from companies that were new to us. We also assessed the eco-friendliness of the packaging and the company’s ethics.

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The best vegan subscription boxes for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Lush Kitchen subscription box: £37, Lush.com
  • Best for those with a sweet tooth – Vegan Town vegan treat box: £20, Vegantown.co.uk
  • Best meal-kit service – Grubby: From £34.50, Grubby.co.uk
  • Best for beauty nerds – Pipbox: £25.99, Thepipbox.co.uk
  • Best for variety – The Vegan Kind lifestyle box: £13.95, Thevegankind.com
  • Best for self-care – The Natural Wellness Box: £38, Naturalwellnessbox.co.uk
  • Best for healthy snacks – Lifebox: £22.95, Lifeboxfood.com
  • Best ready-meal subscription – All plants: From £40.50, Allplants.com
  • Best for booze – Beer52 light beer subscription: £24, Beer52.com

Lush Kitchen subscription box

Best: Overall

Rating: 9.5/10

  • Frequency: Monthly

Here she is: the big mama of cruelty-free shopping, Lush. Ironically for a brand that famously ignores your nasal consent on the local high street, it’s always had ethical practices at the heart of the business, and is increasing its range of vegan items all the time.

It’s also the kind of shop that is perfect for a subscription service. Items are all from the beauty/bath sphere, but the combination of colours and scents is seemingly endless, and getting a curated box through your door is the perfect way to ensure you don’t get stuck in a vanilla (or strawberry, or yuzu, or cacao) rutt. We found this combination of predictability and surprise made us go wild for our delivery, which arrived with corn-starch packing peanuts and in cardboard printed with funky designs. There was a perfume, bubble bar, body scrub and two bath bombs in our kit, and aside from the normal Lush obstacles (yes, you will have a sparkly bathtub), it brought us considerable amounts of joy. You can even lend your vote to decide the contents of the next box you’ll receive.

The long nights are simply the perfect excuse to treat yourself or someone else to a scent sensation. Be careful to sign up for the Lush kitchen service and not its fresh and flowers box, however – only the former is guaranteed vegan.

Vegan Town vegan treat box

Best: For those with a sweet tooth

Rating: 8/10

  • Frequency: Every 21 days, 1 month or 6 weeks

Sometimes, you don’t want a healthy snack. Sometimes, you just want a goddamn Mars bar that doesn’t exploit cows. Is that too much to ask?

If you are a serious sweet fiend, then Treatbox is definitely for you. Blow-out decadence is the name of the game here, from junk food dupes to boujie indie chocs. Our favourite was a bag of Crunchie-style honeycomb chocolates from Guppy’s of York. Do you know how long it’s been since we’ve had a Crunchie? Honestly, it was like tasting our childhoods – if we hadn’t been high off the sugar rush, we might have gotten weepy. For us, the box was worth this feeling alone. We also liked how low risk it was: if there’s anything you don’t fancy, it’s incredibly easy to share among friends, and brings a bit of “ooooo, what are you trying?” to any hangout. There’s also a gluten-free option, for the celiacs among us.

Grubby: From £34.50

Best: Meal-kit service

Rating: 9/10

  • Frequency: Weekly

When it comes to vegan meal kits, there are an increasing number on the market, as big brands realise there’s more cash to be made by appealing to us plant-powered folk. But Grubby was founded as a vegan company from the ground up, and we got this vibe from every single aspect of our delivery.

The test kits we were sent featuring a mushroom stroganoff with roasted roots, and a harissa-spiced courgette with Moroccan giant couscous and a garlic tahini dressing – both recipes that are very similar to what we’d normally eat on a weeknight, but with a bit of extra pizazz. Not only were they delicious (really, really delicious), they were a breeze to make – the whole process was kind of like having a sous chef around to measure out ingredients for you and provide encouragement. Said chef even has great taste in music – yes, Grubby provides a Spotify playlist for you to chop along to. It all goes into creating the kind of no-rush ambience that makes cooking a pleasure.

We assumed the veg would be leftover from the foodservice industry and would arrive a little, well, grubby. But instead, the courgettes were fresh and bulbous, while the mushrooms were insanely flavourful – eat your heart out, Taste the Difference. The quality, coupled with the considerable leftovers we had after one of the meals, contributed to a feeling of generosity that we loved. Top marks.

Pipbox

Best: For beauty nerds

Rating: 9/10

  • Frequency: Monthly

If you are a beauty obsessive, Pipbox is the perfect way to bring yourself a slice of monthly cheer. The brand sent us a really fabulous selection of skincare and cosmetics in its “on the go” and “heatwave” edits. Between them there were products from companies even this not-in-the-know person recognised: a BeautyPro sheet mask, a Dr PawPaw tinted balm and a This Works muscle therapy roll-on. On the slightly more risky end, we also received a Phase Zero blush, a bellapierre highlighter and a sock mask for moisturising our tootsies. We found this to be a great mix of recognisable names and things we wouldn’t buy ourselves: in our books, that’s exactly on brief for a subscription service. You can tell that the clever clogs behind the selections are proper cosmetics nerds too, fostering a sense of trust that will have you looking forward to the next delivery time after time.

The Vegan Kind lifestyle box

Best: For variety

Rating: 8/10

  • Frequency: Monthly

The Vegan Kind is an online supermarket for plant-based shoppers, so it’s not surprising that the shop’s subscription boxes are full of a range of treats that span savoury, sweet and even sponge-based. That’s right, biodegradable kitchen sponges made an appearance in our test box, and to be honest, a household product was a really welcome element. We also loved the H!p salted pretzel oat milk chocolate (it tasted like Pump Street’s sourdough and seasalt, but we were pleased to discover it’s much cheaper), the mini white chocolate and macadamia nut Clif bar, and the tikka masala-flavoured corn chips. This would be a fabulous gift for a new vegan who is looking to be inspired beyond bourbon biscuits and salt and vinegar Walkers. There’s also a free recipe card (tofu “halloumi” for us) and money off shopping on the main site – handy, since we’re now addicted to the pretzel chocolate. It’s also, happily, the cheapest box here (and it doesn’t feel stingy).

The Natural Wellness Box

Best: For self-care

Rating: 7/10

  • Frequency: Bimonthly

Our sample box was from the “Nurture” collection, and was geared towards providing an autumn boost. We liked the spread of products; a protein bar, turmeric curcumin supplements, some tea, a day cream, an apple cider vinegar shot, a facial steam and even a full-size tub of magnesium bath salts arrived, the latter of which we particularly enjoyed luxuriating in to welcome back bath season. The priciest thing we got to try was the Naya day cream – normally £56, we enjoyed its light texture and lovely smell.

We think the Natural Wellness Box would be a great option for gifting especially: it’s a lot lower-risk than a full-blown beauty box, as there’s unlikely to be a shade that doesn’t suit your recipient, but it still feels like a big treat, and is a lovely way to find new, vegan-friendly brands. It made us feel super special.

Lifebox

Best: For healthy snacks

Rating: 8/10

  • Frequency: Monthly

Lifebox felt the most generous of all the food-based boxes we received – there were 18 products, and aside from a hemp moisturiser, everything else was full size. The brand pitches itself as for those interested in healthy living, which isn’t all vegans, but does encompass plenty of plant-based folk. If you’re always experimenting with nutrition, you’ll find a host of lovely bits in this delivery: a can of magnesium water is a good example of the kind of product we never would have tried if it weren’t for Lifebox. We liked the full-size jar of jam and the dragon fruit chips best, and lost our minds at the Bounce salted peanut butter protein ball – it was deeply delicious and perfect for reinvigorating us after a workout. The gluten-free muffin mix was… well, it was really horrible. But when you’re getting this many products, we can forgive one dud.

All plants: From £40.50

Best: Ready-meal subscription

Rating: 7/10

  • Frequency: Every 1-4 or 6 weeks

When you first become a vegan, you go through the process of mourning the frozen pizza. Yes, you can get some vegan ones. But they just aren’t that great. And then, when you’ve been vegan for a while, you realise that the stuff that made your brain happy before (Sugar! Salt! Cheese!), doesn’t give you quite the same jolt of pleasure. So what are you meant to do when you need something you can eat before you pop to the pub, but when your tastebuds have been trolled by your new diet?

Enter: All plants. The fact it’s one of the biggest vegan frozen meal delivery services out there is reflected in the excellent array of dishes available, and the brand’s laudable foray into breakfasts and desserts. We loved the protein power bowl (aka miso tofu) and cauli tikka masala best, and were surprised by the tastiness of a mushroom and “pancetta” filo pie from the brand’s Christmas roast range. They don’t match up to a home-prepared meal, but they are a fabulous option for those looking to eat something warm and tasty, quickly, who also like vegetables. They are considerably more well-balanced than the closest point of comparison we can think of, which would be some of M&S’s Plant Kitchen range.

Our only issue? If you don’t have a microwave, a couple of the meals need defrosting first. Just be sure to read the back of the box before you plan dinner.

Beer52 light beer subscription

Best: For booze

Rating: 7/10

  • Frequency: Monthly

Vegan booze subscriptions are hard to come by – the only British company we’ve found that can guarantee an animal-free box is Beer52. Its light beer option features a monthly mix of lagers, pale ales, IPAs and more (basically anything that isn’t a stout), providing a regular dose of crisp refreshment. From our selection we woolfed down the TwoTribes mariachi Mexican lager and a Seven Brothers sabro IPA, complemented by a Czech ale, a kellerbier, an American pale ale and more. The six cans and two bottles also came with a salty hit in the form of a pack of pretzels and some olive snack crackers. We were impressed by the variety of types of beer and size of breweries, and found that the box kept us well lubricated for a couple of nights.

The only thing to watch out for? Beer52 is infamous for its very polite but nonetheless “leaving a phone contract” style spiel when you try to cancel: don’t take out this subscription if you’re not willing to speak to someone on the phone to stop it.

The verdict: Vegan subscription boxes

We loved the Lush kitchen box: we’d argue this is actually the optimum way to shop at the store. Aside from that, it depends entirely on what kind of vegan you are: none of the options here are duds. From the Vegan Town treat box for chocoholics to Beer52 for booze-hounds and beyond, each of these options will bring a smile to the face of your animal-free friends and family.

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For savings on gifts, try the links below:

We’ve also reviewed the best vegetarian recipe boxes and vegetable boxes that deliver fresh produce to your door

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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