Hangovers are inevitable. Or at least it seems like, weirdly enough, we’ve all just accepted that they are. And if we haven’t, consumer brands sure have: Memorial Day Weekend—shortened to “MDW” in most press releases we receive in our inboxes—is presumed to be three days of drunken debauchery on the beach (or on a boat, or at a barbecue). With that consensus in mind, this new subscription box from Vita Coco attempts to help you plan your hangover recovery in advance so that Sober You doesn’t hate Drunk You as much as usual.
The Vita Coco subscription box takes the tried-and-true approach to helping cure a hangover by providing hydration, snacks, and assorted self-care items.
Jane Prior, Vita Coco’s Chief Marketing Officer, explained via email that the subscription box includes a 12-pack of Vita Coco coconut water and a free hangover recovery item (eye mask, stone face roller, or sweat towel) with the first delivery. Depending on your approach to hangovers—whether that’s lay in bed and sleep it off, pamper yourself to feel better, or sweat it out with a workout—you get to pick the recovery item that suits you. The brand is also encouraging revelers to buy supplies at its online hangover shop, featuring Bagel bites, ice cream pints, cookies, candy, Tylenol, and, of course, coconut water.
Although coconut water might not be everyone’s favorite (personally not my hydration of choice), Vita Coco has a pretty great marketing idea that I’m bummed I didn’t come up with myself.
For a friend’s 21st birthday a few years ago, I made a “care package” filled with hangover-recovery-related items like a bottle of Tylenol, makeup remover wipes, granola bars, chips, and Gatorade and all in a bucket for potential puking. Had I turned that care package into a subscription box, I could have had my moment on Shark Tank and made millions. C’est la vie, I guess.
“Not only was there a market gap for subscription services of this offering, but the delivery of most subscription services differ from what The Hangover Subscription offers, too,” Prior explains. “Conventional subscription boxes are shipped on a set cadence, like weekly or monthly, but Vita Coco’s Hangover Subscription delivers coconut water in advance of celebration-worthy events in order to make hydration accessible exactly at consumers’ moments of need.”
The whole “plan in advance of your future hangover” angle is the most intriguing part about this subscription (which is otherwise really just made up of stuff you can grab from the convenience store). Although Prior emphasizes that the box doesn’t necessarily have to be enjoyed as hangover recovery, she also notes that Vita Coco hopes to improve the subscription in the future by allowing people to customize and supplement their subscription with dates that are personally meaningful, like birthdays, anniversaries, or graduations.
However, as clever as the marketing is, a hangover box can only do so much good. Much like the teachings of the sex ed lessons I received at my private Jesuit high school, the only guaranteed way to avoid a hangover is abstinence. Other than that, there’s just no scientifically proven method to either prevent or cure a hangover completely. So, if you’re not living the abstinence-above-all lifestyle (and I’d assume many readers who clicked on this article are not), then sure, a subscription box full of snacks and hydration might be ideal for you. If you feel like paying the delivery fees.