Today in “discretionary spend being squandered by millennials when they could be saving up for a house”, we bring you Cheese Posties, the “cheese toastie subscription box service” that (The Grocer reports) is seeking to raise £80,000 in a crowdfunding campaign that values the business at a scarcely-credible £1.5m.
The service, which originally launched as far back as 2015, is as bonkers as any Stinking Bishop-induced fever-dream: subscribers (pity them) have at their disposal a menu of 30 different cheese toasties, ingredients for which are shipped over (via First Class post, natch) at the very reasonable, in no way insane price of £4.65 PER TOASTIE.
As for those 30 different toasties — buckle up, buttercup, because not only do they span conventional combos, they also come in more outré permutations like banoffee pie (nope), chocolate cheesecake (double nope), and Jaffa Cake (I am now a semi-permanent non-dom resident in the nation state of Nope).
Since a sexy “premium” relaunch in November 2016, the business has apparently been going gangbusters, doubling monthly revenues for three consecutive months and now acquiring between 20 and 40 new subscribers a day. It expects turnover to exceed £430,000 in 2017 (fact check: this represents 1,778 people buying a toastie a week for a full calendar year); by 2019 revenues are forecast to reach the lofty heights of £7m, or TWENTY-EIGHT THOUSAND people eagerly awaiting the knock on the door that tells them their delicious combo-box of bread, cheese, marmalade and chocolate has arrived. Future plans also include the lucrative next-day personalised gifting market, so start saving now if you want to find a creative way to show an elderly relative who does not own a toaster that you hate them.
A statement from Dave Rotheroe, founder-owner and self-appointed Big Cheese (just kidding), reads like a block-caps condemnation of an entire generation, though probably isn’t intended to: “With a focus on a fun, delicious and collectable product Cheese Posties appeals to the appetites of cash rich, time poor millennials who value quality and exciting experiences.”
Notwithstanding the question of whether receiving some cheese in a box truly represents a quality, exciting experience, Rotheroe seems confident in his “fun and quirky” offering and in how he has pulled together a network of “small batch producers and local suppliers” to “create a product which simply can’t be replicated using shop bought ingredients.”
On one hand: chill, bro — it’s a cheese toastie. On the other: OK, maybe I can’t get hold of the necessary components for the Bloody Mary Toastie — message in a bottle from the island of nope: still here! — from my local Tesco Metro. But really, on both hands, this lays bare the nonsense at the heart of so many of these delivery services; they are so busy getting people totally fucking amped about the possibilities inherent in their “yes, we can!” business model that that they entirely overlook the question of “yeah, but should we..?”
In a United Kingdom where “austerity” is a very real thing, it is tone-deaf-to-the-max to be harping on about how you’ve put enough extraneous guff around a low-cost comfort-food classic to justify elevating the price point to that of a wholesome, nutritious meal; I cannot imagine a universe in which the novelty of receiving what is essentially the world’s most minimal grocery order does not wear off within (I’m high-balling here) two weeks.
We await the news about that £80K kickstarter goal — and that £7m in turnover by 2019! — with bated breath, but in the meantime, why stop at cheese and bread? How about mail-order nu-Thai from Posting Goat? Or 24/7 on-demand Sunday lunches couriered over via Roast In The Post? Pine salt fried chicken via McHale Mail? Let Cheese Posties’ boundless, irrational self-belief and ambition be a lesson to you: never say never.
- Cheese Posties campaign values cheese toastie box business at £1.5m [The Grocer/paywall]
- How Can London Fix Its Delivery Problem? [ELDN]