Specialty Food Gift Subscription for Every Type of Eater

food subscriptions
John Samels/Thrillist
John Samels/Thrillist

Giving out food for the holidays should be more commonplace. It’s delicious, it’s thoughtful, and it’s something every single living being needs for survival. So yes, your trays of cookies and baskets of crackers and jam are appreciated each time the holidays roll around.

But what about gifting a food subscription -- a gift that keeps on giving, thanks to monthly deliveries full of fun surprises? Buying a food subscription is the perfect way to introduce new snacks, foods, cheese, etc. to friends and family and keep the holiday spirit alive throughout the rest of the year, especially the grueling winter months of January and February. 

Not all food subscription services are created equal, but all have specific specialties for every type of food person in your life. Here are the best food subscription services to gift this holiday season.

For the world traveler
I can’t say enough good things about Universal Yums. Each month, they take their subscribers on a journey to a different part of the world with a box full of snacks to match. Boxes have been inspired by Korea, Thailand, Turkey, and more -- and every month holds a different assortment of thoughtfully assembled snacks. There are savory chips, cookies, and surprising candies always included, with a booklet explaining all of the assorted goodies you’ll find in your box (which becomes increasingly helpful when the snacks, and listed ingredients, arrive in a different language). What’s even more fun is that Universal Yums does specialty boxes during the holidays, so you can purchase a box specifically for passing out Halloween candy or one that compiles assorted holiday cookies from around the world into a single, neat shipment. 
Universal Yum boxes begin at $13.75/box for a year-long monthly subscription.

For the candy lover
Know someone who has always wanted to try every Kit-Kat flavor imaginable? Or would indulge in persimmon-flavored Hi-Chews? Or would be delighted by milk tea-flavored candy? Then Japan Crate is your go-to subscription service. Japan Crate loads up each box with cartoonish boxes of candy, as well as the occasional package of chips and a full-sized drink (ranging from milk tea, to Japanese soda, and even coffee). The Japan-focused box’s bread and butter, however, is candy. There are gummies, chocolates, biscuits coated in cream, and tons of other whimsical treats. A box also includes a guide to all the different candies you’ll be eating, as well as trivia and additional information about Japan. It’s like jetsetting to the island country and filling up on candy without having to leave your home.
Crates start at $12/month with free shipping all over the world.

For the hot sauce enthusiast
The magical and often intolerably spicy world of hot sauce can arrive on your best pal’s doorstep monthly thanks to Fuego Box. The tongue-singeing subscription service sources hot sauces from around the world so you’ll never be stuck with repetitive Tabasco or Sriracha, as much as those beloved classics deserve some shine. Instead, expect unique craft hot sauces -- some made with peaches, others with habaneros, and even tear-inducing scorpion peppers. You can opt for the “Pain Seeker” subscription if -- for whatever reason -- the hot sauce subscription is for someone with a tongue that’s become completely numb to the burn of a million scoville units. 
Spicy subscriptions begin at $12.95/month.

For the bake sale organizer
For some of us, baking is a fun tradition participate in for the holidays before hiding the bundt pans for the remainder of the year. But for others, baking is a lifestyle; there is always an excuse for baking something, whether it’s scones for a bake sale, cupcakes for a birthday party, or quiche for a brunch among friends. Foodstir is the subscription box for that friend who goes stir crazy if they’re not baking. Each month, Foodstir delivers a new and extremely cute baking kit with detailed recipes for brownies, donuts, and cake pops. All the decorations, and even some of the supplies, are included too. Foodstir would also be an excellent gift for those with kids who are interested in getting into baking; the recipes are very kid-friendly and the boxes make for a perfect occasion to get the entire family’s hands covered in flour.
Get baked every month at $25.34/kit.

For the person who appreciates seasonal fruits
Moving to New York made me realize how lucky I had it in California when it comes to produce, specifically fruit. In sunny Los Angeles, I could get my hands on berries and citrus year round. But in New York, timing and weather dictates which fruits I’ll have access too, no matter how much I crave fresh strawberries in the middle of winter. Not all of us are so lucky to have an abundance of fruit available to us at all times, which is why the Fruit-of-the-Month club by Harry and David is optimal for anyone who loves fruit. This subscription services sends a box fresh, seasonal fruits every month to enjoy, with a calendar showing which fruits will arrive when. Expect crisp pears in January, tropical honey mangoes in June, and plump peaches in August. If anyone in my family is reading this, please send fruit.
A full years’ membership to the Fruit-of-the-month club is $349.99, which comes out to $29.17 per box. Otherwise expect to pay a bit over $30 each individual box.

For the cheese board assemblist 
We all have that one friend who, for every get-together, assembles the most gorgeous cheese plate. There’s always a small pot of fig jam, exceptionally buttery crackers, and the highlight of every cheese plate: extraordinary cheese. And we, the unworthy and less design-minded friends, demolish the cheese plate with reckless abandon. So here’s exactly how you can help the cheese plate friend with their cheese assemblage, no literal cheese plate required: by sending them monthly boxes from the Gourmet Cheese of the Month Club. It is exactly what it sounds like -- a box full of domestic and imported handcrafted cheeses arrive monthly on their doorstep. With roughly a pound and a half of cheese per box, you can probably also expect an invitation to drop in for the occasional cheese plate, too. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. 
Get a pound and a half of cheese each month beginning at $35.95/month, plus shipping and handling.

For the health nut
With the new year approaching, it’s time to reevaluate our wellness resolutions -- but there’s always that one friend who has been running marathons, doing pilates four times a day, and eating nuts as snacks all year ‘round. This box is for that friend. The Urthbox is crammed full of organic, natural, and non-GMO snacks that will keep anyone’s snacking habits satisfied while remaining nourishing. This is also the box for that friend who doesn’t always opt for the healthiest option but wants to take steps towards better snacking. You can even customize the orders to be vegan or gluten-free--there’s a subscription suitable for different diets.
Urthboxes and the journey to healthy snacking begins at $14.99/month.

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Kat Thompson is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @katthompsonn