Subscription boxes have experienced a rise in popularity during the pandemic. They have become the go-to gift for someone you can’t physically see due to restrictions. Giving a subscription box is an easy and convenient way to let people know that you are thinking of them during any occasion or milestone, such as a birthday, anniversary, graduation or even for back-to-school.
Subscription boxes work in various ways. Usually, the customer will subscribe to a recurring service. The customer will then receive their subscription package on a regular basis according to their chosen delivery frequency. Sometimes, companies also offer the possibility to purchase a one-time subscription. They are a great way to discover new products and to continue supporting a business.
This article will highlight seven Canadian-owned companies that offer different subscription-based packages with products made from organic ingredients. While they are all different, they all have one thing in common — they give customers a taste of an organic lifestyle!
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
A unique type of subscription service is an organic CSA box, a farm-runned program that connects farmers to consumers. Through a CSA program, customers purchase, in advance, a portion of a farmer’s crops. The customers then receive a box on a weekly basis, which will often include a variety of vegetables (and sometimes fruit, herbs, eggs, bread or other additions). While the types of vegetables and quantity received varies depending on the season and weather conditions, it is always guaranteed that the produce will be fresh, organic, and local.
Many Canadian organic farms run their own CSA program. Some of these farms are also part of COG’s Growing Eastern Ontario Organically initiative and include Dream Small Farm, Lune du Miel, Hedgeview Farm and Crowded Table Farm. The best way to find if an organic farm offers a CSA box program is to visit their website or farmers’ market location, or to contact them directly.
Another emerging trend during the pandemic are meal kits. While they’ve been around for a while, many meal kit companies have experienced an increase in demand over the last year. Most meal kit companies will send their customers a weekly or monthly package which includes pre-portioned and pre-cut ingredients, as well as the respective recipe. Some meal kit companies also simplify the cooking process by offering customers the option to have pre-made meals delivered straight to their door.
Some reputable Canadian organic meal kit companies include Spud (Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Thompson Okanagan, Calgary, and Edmonton), Eat Real Meals (Vancouver area) and Green Zebra Kitchen (Toronto). All of these companies create pre-made meals from organic and mostly local ingredients. They make a great alternative to dining out or making a recipe from scratch.
Some companies and organizations also offer the option to buy a one-time care package filled with organic produce and/or household items. The not-for-profit organization, SaskOrganics, hopped on this trend by selling their own box of local goodies. They partnered with many local organic producers and companies in Saskatchewan to create the Abundance Box.
In previous years, SaskOrganics’ box featured items from Mumm’s Sprouting Seeds, Splendor Garden, Pure T Organics, Zak Organics, CanMar and One Organic Farm. All of which are organic! The Abundance magazine is also included in the Abundance Box and a subscription can be purchased for non-members. While the box is not currently available for purchase, interested customers should keep their eyes peeled as it might be available, once again, in the future.
Coast to Coast Coffee
Roasted in Toronto, Coast to Coast Coffee is the perfect gift to give to any coffee enthusiast! The Canadian coffee company roasts and delivers organic, fair-trade coffee anywhere in Canada. Unlike the subscription boxes mentioned above, Coast to Coast allows customers to personalize their own kits. Customers have a choice in their order frequency and quantity, and can choose between 12 coffee types and 8 grind types. Some of the coffee flavours that they offer are Columbian, Ethiopian, Peruvian, Honduran, and Mexican. Huge coffee drinkers might also prefer to purchase a 5 lbs bag of coffee called “The Dam Big Bag.”
Not everyone is an avid coffee drinker. Tea lovers might enjoy a subscription to one of TeaSparrow’s boxes. The Canadian tea company has partnered with Canadian and international organic tea producers to provide customers with an assortment of loose leaf tea, made from organic ingredients.
Tea Sparrow offers four different types of subscription boxes according to the tea type. The original box caters to those who are looking for a variety of loose leaf tea — it includes four pouches of black, green, rooibos and herbal tea. The herbal tea box and caffeinated tea box are great for tea lovers that want something a bit more specific. Regardless of the subscription, TeaSparrow is a great option for exploring new tea brews.
Overnight oats are a growing trend among the online community. It is a healthy, quick and easy way to enjoy, what is considered, the most important meal of the day. Instead of preparing oatmeal the old fashioned way, overnight oats are prepared the night before. A typical recipe includes rolled oats topped with additional ingredients (e.g., dried fruits, chocolate, nuts, seeds, etc.), and is covered with milk.
Yumi Organics simplifies the process by providing customers with pre-made organic rolled oats packages. Yumi Organics’ overnight oats are easy to make and only require a few steps — add the package of oats and milk to a jar, refrigerate overnight and enjoy! Customers have the opportunity to customize their own Yumi Kits depending on their individual needs and preferences. They can choose between the single, double, and family plan, which changes the quantity that they will receive. They also have an option of five different flavours — apple cinnamon, blueberry vanilla, dark chocolate, maple cranberry, and matcha green apple. This subscription-based package makes the mornings a bit more enjoyable and healthy.
The Maple Box
The Maple Box is a Canadian-owned subscription box that was launched in 2018 with the intention of providing subscribers with luxury organic and natural goods from Canadian businesses. They curate a new box on a quarterly basis and include items inspired by the season. A Maple Box subscription typically includes “organic and natural body and skin care, natural and organic edible or drinkable items, organic lifestyle accessories and tools, and a copy of the Maple magazine.”
The company offers subscribers with two different price models. Customers can subscribe to a quarterly plan for $119 (retail value at $230) or to an annual plan for $472. The latter plan is more cost-effective in the long run as it will ultimately cost $112 per box. All Maple Box subscriptions also include free shipping in Canada.
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