Huggg is the perfect app for student gift-giving this Christmas


By Patrick Sullivan, Film & TV Editor

The Bristol based start-up offers new users five free coffees from local businesses to give out to their friends.

All students can relate to the fear of considering how much Christmas will cost if they were to be kind enough to buy all of their closest Bristol friends a present. You hope the idea of Secret Santa will tighten the pursestrings, but then you remember that your coursemates don’t know your accommodation friends and they don’t know your sesh friends. Suddenly, you’ve got three rounds of Secret Santa, all with a £5 or £10 limit, and while that means you receive three gifts, you never really need three sets of funky colouring pencils from Flying Tiger.

Huggg, however, is a Bristol start-up, launched in 2015 by C.E.O. Paul Wickers and his sister-in-law, Alice Cox, to replace the redundant paper wasteage of greetings cards. Wickers originally worked in banks and his company, now 11 people strong, is worlds away from the banking environment - its key mantra is spreading kindness.

The product of Huggg is an app linked to local businesses through which users can easily send their friends redeemable gifts such as a coffee from Pinkmans or Friska, ice cream from Swoon, or a cocktail from Browns or All Bar One. Other vendors include Mrs Potts Chocolate House, Society Café, The Juice Box, and Odeon or Vue cinemas.

The company are also using their service to give a leg-up to other Bristol start-ups. is a digital service cementing your wishes for when you pass away. Albeit a distant thought for our student population, by answering five short questions via their online form before Monday December 17, students can bag a free coffee! Ka-ching!

Upon completing the form and downloading the app, you receive your free coffee to redeem at one of the participating cafés and then you have 36 hours to give five free coffees out to your friends - who also have to download to accept your gift, of course. It’s a commonly used method to stimulate growth and app downloads, but when it includes free coffee, students everywhere should rejoice and take advantage.

Beyond freebies and offerings to friends, Huggg is really living up to their mantra. On December 1, they launched their ‘Human of the Year’ competition. The idea is that people nominate the kindest, most compassionate people they know and the winner will win the following:

  • A box of Pinkmans doughnuts
  • 500 hot drink hugggs to hand out to humans as amazing as them
  • Two tickets for a night at the movies
  • A box of Right Good Kitchen brownies

The overarching message of the app is an important one: we don’t need to splash out on unnecessary crap to celebrate our friend this Christmas. We just need to buy each other a coffee and have a good chinwag.

Featured image credit: huggg

What are you getting your pals for Christmas? Epigram wants to know - get in touch!

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Patrick Sullivan

Epigram co-Editor-in-Chief 2019-20, now digital puzzles connoisseur. EngD student researching sustainable composites, entering my sixth year at UoB (somehow).