By Lisa Freedman
Quick: What’s the most thoughtful and practical gift you could possibly give someone this year? If you guessed food, you’d be correct! More than eight months after the coronavirus hit stateside, many Americans are still doing their best to avoid the grocery store, or at the very least, space out their trips so that they’re few and far between. That’s where these food subscriptions come in: Each of these will help your loved ones keep a stocked pantry/fridge/freezer/stomach.
Honestly, we love food as a gift any year, but this year, it feels like an especially luxurious and sweet way to tell someone you care.
1. Misfits Market Madness Box, $35
If there’s one thing that cautious shoppers seem to have to run out for, it’s produce. Fruits and veggies are hard to stock up on because they can go bad before you have the chance to use them all up. Misfits Market can help with that: The company sends wonkily-shaped (but still delicious!) produce right to customers’ doorsteps every week. The Madness Box is the larger of the two options — a week’s worth of produce for three to five people — and it typically comes with 14 different types of fruits and veggies. Not only does Misfits Market help reduce food waste, it also might introduce your loved one to some new vegetables. Win!
2. Home Chef Gift Card, $65
There are lots of meal kits out there, but few are as customizable as Home Chef. This service has all sorts of options based on your individual dietary preferences. It also allows shoppers to upgrade, swap, or double up on protein with select recipes. Give the gift of Home Chef’s most popular box, which includes three meals for two people.
3. Freshly 4-Meal Gift Box, $52
Shopping for someone who is more of an eater than a cook? Freshly meals require no extra work: just heat and eat. (And yes, they arrive fresh and not frozen!) Each dish is made with smart swaps and lots of veggies to make sure every bite is as nutritious as it is delicious.
4. Atlas Coffee Club Starter Pack, from $50
The perfect gift for anyone on your list who loves coffee and is missing out on travel these days, Atlas Coffee Club features some of the world’s best single-origin coffee and every cup feels like a little trip. You can choose between whole beans or grounds, the roast type (dark or light or both), and how many bags you want to send.
5. Hungryroot Gift Card, from $75
Hungryroot is sort of like a cross between a meal kit and a grocery delivery service: Customers fill out a survey (picking which sorts of meals look good to them, explaining what sorts of meals they need, etc!) and then Hungryroot sends groceries, which can be used in specific meal ideas or on their own. The focus? Whole, nutrient-dense ingredients and meals that are easy to make. Tell whoever you send this to that the Black Bean Brownie Batter is a must-try!
6. Thrive Market 1-Year Membership, $60
This is the annual membership that everyone should have. Sign a loved one up for a year and they’ll be able to shop pantry staples, meat and seafood, cleaning supplies, and more. They can even sort groceries based on dietary preferences. The best part, though, is that everything listed on Thrive Market has been carefully vetted to create a better market with better-for-everyone items.
7. Daily Harvest Custom Gift Box, $75
For the person on your list who wants to eat healthier but has little to no time to cook, Daily Harvest specializes in ready-to-blend smoothies, heat-and-eat soups and grain bowls, energy bites, and more. Send this Custom Gift Box and let the recipient pick out nine treats that speak to her the most. But maybe heavily suggest the Chocolate + Blueberry Smoothie. Just saying.
This isn’t exactly a subscription, but it is a gift that keeps on giving (as long as it’s fed and cared for). Get this for anyone who was feeling left out during The Great Sourdough Surge of 2020. (It’s bound to strike again in 2021.) The hard part has already been done for them and, if there’s anyone we trust to make a great starter, it’s the folks at King Arthur Baking Co.
9. ButcherBox, from $149
Yes, this is the splurgiest option on our list (maybe get someone else to go in on it with you?), but it’s a beefy gift. Pun intended! The Custom Classic Box lets the recipient choose six different cuts from a long list of 100 percent grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, and wild-caught seafood. The whole thing ends up being about 9 to 14 pounds of protein. See? Beefy!