The Larder Box is a new artisan food subscription service courtesy of the good people at Love Your Larder, a UK online gourmet marketplace.

The Larder Box delivers a selection of carefully chosen artisan food direct to members’ desks and doorsteps each month, and the concept behind the service is simple: it’s for people who want to eat better in 2012 but lack the time to scour farmers’ markets.

Each box contains five full-sized products, which can be anything from fruit-infused vinegars to gourmet cocoa powders. The boxes are accompanied by the stories behind the products and ideas for meals to use them in.

LarderBox1 The Larder Box: A subscription service for UK foodies

Founder Tristan Watson says that he realised that discovering new products and tastes was a key selling point to sites such as Love Your Larder:

“With well over a thousand different product-lines in the marketplace, we wanted to help people find new ones that they would love and help them understand how they can use them in their everyday cooking.”

The Larder Box promises to source its food from some of the UK and Europe’s top producers, and Tristan says that each box offers instant gratification too, as it includes an indulgent snack that can be enjoyed immediately – so you may get some creamy handmade fudge one month, or some gourmet popcorn the next.

Whilst the overall aim of The Larder Box is to make it easier to discover new foods, feeding into this (pardon the pun) is a desire to help support the small businesses that make the food.

“We have seen an explosion in the number of small independent food producers setting up in the UK, with many people opting to leave jobs in the city for a return to the good life,” says Tristan. “This is great news but it’s important for them to find new ways of getting in front of potential customers and we think that services like Love Your Larder and The Larder Box are going to be essential in helping these small businesses increase their sales. In the run up to Christmas, we saw some of our newest producers each sell over £8,000 of products through the marketplace which is in addition to their usual channels and this makes a big difference to their business.”

The Larder Box opened its virtual doors on 2012′s inaugural day, with the first boxes due to be sent out at the beginning of February, and we’re told it will include some special Valentine’s meal ideas.

LB2 The Larder Box: A subscription service for UK foodiesIn terms of costs, it will set you back £99 (up front) for a six month package, which works out at £16.50 a box. Or, you can sign up for a monthly rolling subscription for £19.95 a month – all prices include P&P.

You’ll receive your box on the first Thursday of each month by Royal Mail 1st class delivery, and it can be delivered direct to your door, or to your desk. Also, it probably goes without saying that each box will only contain products that do not require refrigeration – this means no fresh meat or vegetables.

The service is currently UK-only and Tristan says there is a huge amount off growth potential there before they start looking abroad. “However, we’d love to start featuring more European and Scandinavian products, along with starting to ship boxes out to the continent,” he says.

➤ The Larder Box