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5 Food Subscriptions That Make Great Gifts (and 4 That Don’t)

Paige Bennett
ByPaige BennettDec 2, 2021 | 0 comments

Image via Goldbelly.

Subscription boxes make for great gifts, whether you’re shopping for yourself or for family and friends. When the holiday season rolls around, shopping for food subscriptions can help you check off just about everyone on your list. Best of all, there are subscriptions for every level of foodie, from beginner home chefs to experts who love to experiment in the kitchen.

At MSA, we review hundreds of subscription boxes, and food subscriptions are some of the most common boxes we come across. Just in time for holiday gifting, we’ve rounded up the best food subscriptions for everyone on your list this year, plus a few options that may not make great holiday gifts for others, but could work as a treat for yourself.

5 Food Subscriptions That Make Great Gifts (and 4 That Don't)

1. HelloFresh - The Best Food Subscription Overall

HelloFresh is one of our top food subscriptions sitewide, so it makes sense that it is also the top food subscription to gift to loved ones this season. HelloFresh has one of the largest menus available, so there are meals for everyone to enjoy.

Price and Frequency

HelloFresh offers gift cards, so you can send those to the recipient and let them choose their meals. While there are suggestions for how many people each gift card amount can feed with how many meals, the recipient is free to choose any meal plan with their gift card.

  • $70 gift card: Feeds 2 people, 3 meals for one week
  • $85 gift card: Feeds 4 people, 2 meals for one week
  • $110 gift card: Feeds 4 people, 3 meals for one week
  • $135 gift card: Feeds 4 people, 4 meals for one week

What Comes In the Box

The gift card option lets the recipient choose from over 25 recipes each week plus select the delivery that works best for them. In the box, they’ll receive pre-measured ingredients, and ingredients are packaged together for each meal. The box also includes recipe cards.

Why We Love HelloFresh

HelloFresh makes it easy to prepare high-quality, fresh meals quickly. There’s hardly a better gift than something practical like this, especially for people who love to cook but don’t always have the time to dream up a delicious meal.

What Makes HelloFresh Stand Out?

Many of the gifts we included on this list are pre-made meals or snacks, but HelloFresh delivers all of the ingredients and instructions for making homemade meals.

What Readers Are Saying

Many MSA readers love HelloFresh. Here are what a couple readers have to say about this food subscription box.

“I got HelloFresh for my parents, who live in a rural area, for Christmas and they love it so much, they get it every week now! It allows them to try new and different dishes and also keeps them safe by limiting how many trips they make to the grocery store. They raved about it so much, I decided to try it for myself and I love it too! It keeps me out of the grocery store where I always tend to overbuy and the box for 2 is enough for dinners for me for the whole week! I really enjoy all the options, no-waste ingredients and it's so easy to skip weeks. My mother had to contact customer service for something and they were very helpful!” - Amy R.

“My wife and I are vegetarians and we've been getting this box for about six months now. Overall we are satisfied with the recipes and ingredients sent to us every week, and for the weeks where we are less than enthused about the upcoming meals, we can easily skip the delivery. Their customer support is excellent and responds quickly to issues with the box, etc. Highly recommended.” - Jason

Check out our HelloFresh details and reviews to learn more!

2. Goldbelly Best Of - The Best Food Subscription for Foodies

Goldbelly is a hub for unique gourmand gifts. While you can find a variety of food gifts, meal kits, and even live classes to give loved ones this holiday season, we recommend the Goldbelly Best Of subscriptions, which deliver handcrafted foods from around the U.S. to your recipient each month.

Price & Frequency

The Goldbelly Best Of subscriptions are available in two frequencies. Each new box is announced on the 15th of the month and shipped out a few days later, so keep this schedule in mind for holiday delivery.

  • 3-month subscription: This box is currently $229 paid at once, or about $76.33 per month.
  • 6-month subscription: This box is currently $399 paid at once, or about $66.50 per month.

What Comes In the Box

Each box contains handcrafted, popular items made by food artisans around the U.S. The box will contain enough food to feed about four people. You could receive pies, artisanal ice cream, lobster rolls, barbecue ribs, or other delectable items.

Why We Love Goldbelly

Ordering Goldbelly is great for foodies and people who love to travel. Each box is like visiting a unique part of the U.S. Each box is different and has iconic and even Insta-famous foods that you’ve probably been dying to try, but didn’t have time to jet off and stand in line for.

What Makes Goldbelly Stand Out?

Cost-wise, Goldbelly is more of a splurge, but this subscription offers more original foods that the recipient probably hasn’t tried before.

What Readers Are Saying

Here’s what one reader had to say on one of our recent GoldBelly reviews.

“I love Goldbelly! Is it expensive? Heck yes, but it’s a fun splurge every once in awhile. In fact, I just took advantage of a sale and had some lobster rolls overnighted to me from Maine!” - Tracy

Check out our Goldbelly details and reviews to learn more!

3. Gobble - The Best Food Subscription for Busy People

Gobble Box Unpacked

Whether it’s your best friend, who is always running from work to soccer practice to a group fitness class all before dinnertime, or your sibling who has little time to prep dinner when going from working in the office to working on their passion project, food subscriptions for busy people are both practical and delicious. Gobble makes it easy for the recipient to make a flavorful, homemade meal in just 15 minutes.

Price & Frequency

You can send your recipient a gift card in preset or customizable amounts. Once they have the gift card, they can choose the following options for either the Classic plan or the Lean & Clean plan, which has under 600 calories per serving.

  • Dinner for 2, 3 nights per week: $11.99 per meal, or $71.94
  • Dinner for 2, 4 nights per week: $11.99 per meal, or $95.92
  • Dinner for 4, 3 nights per week: $11.99 per meal, or $143.88
  • Dinner for 4, 4 nights per week: $11.99 per meal, or $191.84

ACTIVE DEAL: Limited Time Only! Get 6 meals for $36. No coupon needed - just use this link.

What Comes In the Box

Each box contains everything you need to make the amount of meals selected during checkout. The subscription includes pre-measured and often pre-prepped ingredients plus recipe cards to guide you through the quick and easy cooking process.

Why We Love Gobble

We love Gobble because it really cuts down on the time it makes to cook dinner. With the prep work, like caramelizing onions or marinating meat, done, you can make dinner even after a hectic work day.

What Makes Gobble Stand Out?

Gobble is unique in that it still allows you to prepare the meal yourself, great for people who enjoy cooking, but cuts down on time-consuming prep work. You can make homemade recipes in just minutes, so it’s an excellent option for the busy people on your holiday gift list. Let’s be honest, that’s just about everyone these days.

What Readers Are Saying

Many commenters have had pleasant experiences with the Gobble subscriptions, and the minimal prep work is a top benefit.

“My favorite is Gobble! For the easiest and most consistently delicious recipes.” - Jen

“Gobble is our favorite food box, and we’ve tried most of them. The flavors are wonderful, selection is always good and cs is great.” - Sara

Check out our Gobble details and reviews to learn more!

4. Baketivity - The Best Food Subscription for Kids

baketivity duff goldman sandwich cookie kit

If you’re tired of stepping on toys that are strewn across your house or your sister is begging you to gift your nieces and nephews with anything but more toys, why not try a subscription box? Specifically, Baketivity is the best food subscription box for kids. It includes kitchen items, ingredients, and recipe cards so little ones can grow their culinary skills all while baking some yummy desserts.

Price & Frequency

Each Baketivity box comes monthly, but you can choose to pay month-to-month or pre-pay in advance, which is a great option for gifting.

  • Month-to-month price: $32.95 per month
  • 3-month price: $30.95 per month, for a total of $92.85
  • 6-month price: $29.17 per month, for a total of $175
  • 12-month price: $25.95 per month, for a total of $311.40

ACTIVE DEAL: 10% off everything site-wide!

What Comes In the Box

Each box includes several items, including pre-measured ingredients, recipes, little activity books to work on while the food bakes, a shopping list for items like butter and eggs that aren’t included in the box, plus a chef hat and apron with the first box, so your kids can feel like professionals.

Why We Love Baketivity

We love that Baketivity helps get kids away from the screens and into the kitchen learning valuable skills all while having fun. The entire experience helps keep the kids engaged, from whisking together ingredients to even doing the activity books while the dessert is in the oven.

What Makes Baketivity Stand Out?

Baketivity is unique because it is a food subscription box made specifically for kids. It’s a great pick if you are wanting to gift more experiences this holiday season over toys.

Check out our Baketivity details and reviews to learn more.

5. VeganCuts - The Best Food Subscription for Plant-Based Eaters

While many food subscription boxes have at least a few recipe options suitable for vegans and vegetarians, VeganCuts focuses entirely on plant-based eaters. The company has subscription options for makeup and beauty products, but one of its most popular boxes is a snack subscription for completely vegan snacks, which are a great gift for everyone, even if they aren’t strictly vegan.

Price & Frequency

This box is delivered monthly for $24.95. For a gift subscription, you can also pay in advance for three, six, or 12 months.

  • Month-to-month subscription pricing: $24.95 per month
  • 3-month subscription pricing: $74.85 total
  • 6-month subscription pricing: $134.70 total
  • 12-month subscription pricing: $258.60 total

What Comes In the Box

Each box includes at least 10 vegan, cruelty-free snacks, which are a mix of sweet and savory, as well as a card that gives more details about each snack.

Why We Love VeganCuts

We love the vegan, cruelty-free snacks that come in this subscription box. There’s a perfect mix of sweet and savory snacks, and there are at least 10 items included each month. We’ve tested dozens of VeganCuts boxes and always find things we love.

What Makes VeganCuts Stand Out?

There are vegan meal kits, there are snack-only boxes, but VeganCuts stands out because it offers vegan snacks at a great value compared to the cost of these same snacks from the grocery store.

What Readers Are Saying

“I really loved it... every box I received was full or delicious and healthy snacks…” - Yeimy Quintana

“Love this box. I wish I could get it once a week.” - Marina

Check out our Vegancuts Snack Box details and reviews to learn more.

4 Food Subscriptions To Save For Yourself

Really, any gift that shows your care and thoughtfulness is sure to be warmly welcomed by the recipient, but if you’re searching for the best food gifts, you might save some of the following options for yourself.

Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market

We love both Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market, which help rescue misshapen or otherwise less-than-perfect produce from going to waste. But it might be a little weird to gift someone a box of oddly shaped fruits and veggies for the holidays. Instead, order one of these options for yourself, and gift yourself an opportunity to skip the grocery store!

Health or Wellness Boxes

There are many food subscriptions out there these days that focus on, say, keto recipes or paleo-approved snacks. But health is very individual and personal, and you could be overstepping to gift low-carb or low-sugar meals to someone.

Alcohol Subscription Boxes

Okay, so alcohol subscription boxes such as wine subscriptions or beer subscriptions aren’t technically food, but they are often included in the same category. These can make a great gift for yourself, a sibling, or maybe a significant other. But keep in mind that many people choose not to imbibe for personal reasons. Unless you know for certain that your gift recipient enjoys sipping alcohol, be wary of sending alcohol subscriptions!

FAQs About Food Subscriptions

What are food subscriptions?

Food subscriptions vary widely but include ingredients to make meals or pre-made foods. The goal is convenience, so you can cut down on grocery shopping or the time it takes to cook dinner. Food subscriptions are also great for people who love to try new or unique foods that you might not find at your local grocery store.

How do I choose the best food subscription box for my gift recipient?

Knowing what your gift recipient loves to eat is key to finding the best food subscription for them. You should also make note of any allergies or diet preferences, but if you aren’t sure, most subscription services offer gift cards.

How much does a food subscription typically cost?

Food subscriptions tend to cost about $10 to $12 per meal, per person, but the costs can range widely. Meal kits tend to fall in this range, while you can also find snack boxes that cost only $15 per month for a whole box of treats. There’s really a food subscription box for every budget.

Who should use a food subscription box?

We all need food, right? Everyone can use a food subscription box! Whether someone just needs a quick and convenient dinner option or wants to branch out and try new things, there’s a subscription for that.

Paige Bennett
Paige Bennett
Based in Los Angeles, Paige equally loves to explore her surroundings and cozy up at home. When it comes to subscription boxes, she's obsessed with all things food, fitness, fashion, beauty, and home goods (especially candles!). When she isn't writing for MSA, Paige also creates content for Insider, HomeAdvisor, EuroCheapo.com, Eat This, Not That!, and more.

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