If you’re looking to save on groceries and do your part to limit food waste, you may have heard of Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods.
These produce delivery services promise to deliver fresh, quality foods while helping to reduce food waste and create a more sustainable food system.
This article provides a comprehensive review of Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods to help you decide which service is best for you.
Misfits Market basics
Misfits Market is an online produce delivery service that carries fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as other specialty items, at reduced prices of up to 40% off retail.
The service helps reduce food waste by working directly with farmers and producers, purchasing items that may otherwise be wasted.
Misfits Market sells mostly organic produce, including common staples such as onions, broccoli, and apples, as well as in-season produce and some difficult-to-find items, like garlic scapes and heirloom tomatoes.
You can also select a limited number of pantry items, meats, seafood, wine, and other miscellaneous food items referred to as “odds and ends,” which include things like coffee, trail mix, and nuts.
Orders are delivered using third-party delivery services, often accompanied by tracking numbers, and you can select any day of the week that you’d like your groceries delivered.
Imperfect Foods basics
Imperfect Foods is a produce delivery company that’s dedicated to improving access to sustainable and affordable foods.
Similar to Misfits Market, Imperfect Foods aims to help reduce food waste by sourcing fruits and vegetables that are oversized, have cosmetic defects, or are surplus.
In addition to produce, the company offers a variety of wellness products, pantry items, snacks, eggs, dairy products, meats, fish, and plant-based meat and dairy alternatives — many of which are sustainably sourced.
What’s more, you can purchase Imperfect Foods-exclusive snacks that are made using foods and resources that suppliers or producers otherwise would have thrown away.
According to its website, Imperfect Foods is committed to becoming a net-zero carbon company by 2030. Some of its eco-friendly initiatives include converting fulfillment centers to solar power, using fully electric vehicles, and using more sustainable packaging materials.
Imperfect Foods requires a weekly or biweekly subscription and currently delivers to many zip codes in the Northeast, the Midwest, and the West South Central region and along the West Coast.
However, delivery areas are spotty, so you’ll want to check the company’s website to see if it’s available in your location.
Misfits Market carries several hundred products that change weekly and seasonally. You may not be able to get everything on your grocery list, but the selection is large and may cover most of your food needs for the week.
Most of the fruit and vegetables are organic and seasonal, with some popular out-of-season varieties also available. The company also states that the meat and seafood is sustainably sourced and ethically raised.
Here is an example of the types of products you can get through Misfits Market:
- Produce: a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as organic blueberries, organic Hass avocados, organic zucchini, and organic russet potatoes
- Meat and seafood: chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef, pork, fish, and shellfish
- Deli: deli meat, smoked fish, and sliced cheese
- Dairy and eggs: cage-free eggs, milk, cheese, and other dairy products
- Pantry items: snacks, crackers, baking needs, nut butter, oils, and spices
- Beverages: coffee, plant-based milk, juice, and carbonated drinks
- Bakery: bread, wraps, and sweet treats
- Pet: dog and cat treats
- Refrigerated items: dips and soups
- Plant-based alternatives: tofu and plant-based meat alternatives
- Wine: organic, vegan, low sulfite, and/or sustainably produced wines
Imperfect Foods offers a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as other food items to make grocery shopping more streamlined. However, the selection is more limited than those of many other grocery delivery services.
Imperfect Foods sources its fruits and vegetables from local farms when possible, though not all the items are organic. Most of the produce has slight cosmetic imperfections, such as being oddly shaped.
The company’s meat and seafood are sourced from producers that use sustainable land practices and ethical treatment of animals. For example, Imperfect Foods sources beef only from cows that were grass-fed and not given antibiotics or added hormones.
Imperfect Foods also offers “imperfect” pantry items that companies otherwise would have thrown away due to a surplus of inventory or outdated package design.
In addition to brand-name items, you can purchase Imperfect Foods-branded snacks that are made from upcycled or rescued foods.
Here are examples of the types of items Imperfect Foods offers:
- Produce: a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, and salad kits
- Pantry items: pasta, rice, beans, sauces, baking supplies, cereal, condiments, and nuts
- Snacks: granola, trail mix, chocolate, sweets, fruit snacks, cookies, crackers, and chips
- Eggs and dairy: cage-free and pasture-raised eggs and milk, cheese, and butter
- Plant-based alternatives: plant-based meat and dairy alternatives
- Refrigerated items: soups, pasta, hummus, salsa, and dips
- Meat and fish: chicken, deli meats, beef, salmon, mahi-mahi, pork, and bison
- Wellness: soaps, body oil, lotion, sunscreen, and hygiene products
To order from Misfits Market, you’ll first need to create a free account.
When signing up, be sure to keep an eye out for new customer discounts to help you save money on your first order.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll need to select your preferred delivery day. You’ll have a 3-day shopping window to place your order. The day after your cart closes, your card is charged for your order, and you can expect your shipment to arrive 4 days later.
For example, if Friday is your preferred delivery day, you’ll have Saturday through Monday to fill or adjust your cart. Your card will be charged on Tuesday, and you’ll receive your items on Friday.
You can also skip or cancel you delivery during your 3-day shopping window.
Keep in mind that in order to ship, you have to purchase at least $30 of food.
Furthermore, cold pack items require their own separate $30 minimum (which can be applied to the total $30 cart minimum). Cold pack items include tofu, seafood, meat, lunch meat, hummus, eggs, cheese, other dairy items, and refrigerated beverages.
As with Misfits Market, you’ll first need to create a free Imperfect Foods account. Once you’ve signed up, you can schedule your weekly or biweekly subscription.
However, unlike Misfits Market, Imperfect Foods auto-fills your shopping cart with foods that have been tailored to your preferences.
While you can swap out items from your cart during a 4-day shopping window, if you forget to adjust your order, you’ll receive (and be charged for) the items that were selected for you.
Another difference is that Imperfect Foods doesn’t have a minimum order requirement.
Instead, you’ll select the box type and size that best fits your grocery needs. Sizes range from small (7–9 pounds or 3–4 kg of produce) to extra-large (23–25 pounds or 10.4–11.3 kg).
You also have the option to add extra grocery items, such as meat, seafood, pantry items, and dairy products, to your order.
Once your cart is closed, the order is packed and shipped. You’ll receive your box on the designated delivery day for your area.
Misfits Market sources mostly organic and seasonal produce. Occasionally, the company obtains foods that are conventionally grown or shipped internationally to increase variety and help prevent food waste.
For other grocery items, Misfits Market states that it works with suppliers to reduce food waste by buying items that are surplus, have outdated packaging, or have a best-by date less than 6 weeks out.
For meat and seafood, the brand works with farmers who use more eco-friendly practices, though Misfits Market doesn’t provide additional details on its sourcing standards.
Misfits Market deliveries are packaged and shipped using compostable materials that protect and insulate your items.
According to its website, Imperfect Foods has stringent sourcing standards and attempts to reduce food waste by saving ugly produce and “imperfect” packaged foods that would otherwise end up in landfills.
Additionally, Imperfect Foods tries to reduce its carbon footprint by having designated delivery days for each zip code. The company is also investing in responsible energy sources, such as solar, for its largest facilities.
All of Imperfect Foods’ packaging is recyclable, reusable, or returnable. For example, you can return the insulated liners, gel packs, and bubble liners by leaving them out for a delivery driver to take back when they drop off your next Imperfect Foods shipment.
Misfits Market advertises that its prices are up to 40% less than grocery store prices.
This is debatable depending on where you live, as the cost of living and of food is higher in some areas than in others. I live in an area with a low cost of living, and I’ve found most of Misfits Market’s prices to be comparable with discounted items at my local grocery store.
Here are examples of current prices of items from Misfits Market:
- Organic Honeycrisp apples (2 pounds or 1 kg): $5.99
- Blueberries (6 ounces or 170 grams): $2.89
- Small organic Hass avocados (2 count): $2.99
- White mushrooms (8 ounces or 226 grams): $1.89
- Pasture-raised heirloom whole chicken (4–4.5 pounds or 1.8–2 kg): $13.99
- Ancient Harvest Red Lentil Pasta (8 ounces or 226 grams): $2.49
As mentioned earlier, Misfits Market has a $30 minimum, with shipping costs starting at $6.99.
Imperfect Foods requires a subscription, with the option to sign up for weekly or biweekly orders that are auto-filled based on preselected preferences, including box size and price range.
There is no minimum order requirement. However, there is a shipping fee of $4.99–$8.99, depending on your location.
As with Misfits Market, the prices of produce and other items may or may not be lower than those you could find at your local grocery store, depending on where you live and how much access you have to fresh local produce.
Here are examples of current prices of items from Imperfect Foods:
- Avocados (3 count): $2.25
- Blackberries (6 ounces or 170 grams): $3.29
- Sweet potatoes (1 pound or 0.5 kg): $1.39
- Baby Bella mushrooms (8 ounces or 226 grams): $3.49
- Pasture-raised heirloom whole chicken (3.5 lbs or 1.5 kg): $15.79
- Ancient Harvest gluten-free penne (9.6 ounces or 272 grams): $2.99
The Misfits Market Facebook page is full of positive reviews about the quality and selection of the company’s food. However, not everyone is impressed.
Negative reviews focus mostly on moldy and mushy produce placed haphazardly in the shipping boxes. Unsatisfied customers also report negative interactions with the company’s customer service team.
With that said, I’ve personally had success in the past with contacting Misfits Market and getting a refund for damaged or missing items.
While some people are big fans of Imperfect foods, there’s no shortage of negative reviews about delivery, quality, and price on the company’s Facebook page and the BBB website.
Common themes include missing items and overpriced produce that arrives spoiled.
There are also several complaints about missed orders, deliveries sent to the wrong address, and ruined packaging resulting in damaged items (a box of warm milk and chicken? No, thank you).
The delivery issues likely stem from Imperfect Foods using independent delivery services to cut down on its carbon emissions. While this does help the environment, it also makes shipments difficult to track and leaves little room for quality control from the company.
While many customers say botched deliveries or spoiled food resulted in speedy and satisfactory reimbursements, others were not so lucky and were unable to get a refund for their orders.
Still, despite numerous negative reviews, plenty of subscribers are thrilled with this service, saying that it cuts down on their grocery bills and improves access to nutritious and tasty food.
Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods aren’t the only grocery delivery services trying to tackle food waste. While it’s available in only select areas, Hungry Harvest is another company worth considering.
Here’s a quick look at how these three services compare:
|Misfits Market||Imperfect Foods||Hungry Harvest|
|Minimum order cost||$30||none||$15–$42, depending on the box size you’ve selected for your subscription|
|Shipping fees||starting at $6.99||$4.99–$8.99||• $4.99 for orders under $29.99
• free for orders over $29.99
|Delivery area||all zip codes in 46 states + the District of Colombia||many areas on the West and East coast, plus some select zip codes in the Midwest||• Maryland
• District of Colombia
• greater Philadelphia area
• southern New Jersey
• northern Delaware
• south Florida
• Triangle Area & Charlotte in North Carolina
• Detroit metro area
|Products offered||• organic produce
• pantry items
• fish and seafood
• plant-based alternatives
• deli items
• pet food
• pantry items
• fish and seafood
• plant-based alternatives
• pasta dishes
• wellness and beauty
• plant-based alternatives
• pantry items
Based on research, reviews, and discussions with people who have used Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods, there isn’t a clear winner. Either service could work, depending on where you live, your budget, and your grocery needs.
Imperfect Foods costs less because it offers more conventional produce than Misfits Market. It also has a larger selection of items. In fact, browsing its products made me feel like I was looking down the aisles of my local grocery store.
Imperfect Foods also offers a much wider variety of brands than Misfits Market. Therefore, if your main priorities are budget and variety, Imperfect Foods may be the way to go, assuming the service delivers to your location.
Still, keep in mind that there are numerous customer complaints, with order accuracy and food quality appearing to be inconsistent. Additionally, because your cart is auto-filled each week, you may end up receiving items that you don’t want or need.
If you’re someone who typically forgets about deadlines, I would suggest choosing Misfits Market over Imperfect Foods to avoid being sent and charged for a box of food you may not want or need.
Misfits Market also offers a wider delivery area and is likely to be a better fit if you prefer to purchase mostly organic produce.
Are Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods actually sustainable?
Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods are unique in that they prioritize “ugly” produce to help reduce food waste.
However, some people are skeptical about whether these companies are actually saving as much produce as they claim.
Critics also point out that many farmers are already selling misshapen or cosmetically defective produce to companies to be used in canned or frozen foods.
So, while the brands’ claims about saving the world’s food supply are likely exaggerated, both companies do make it easier for people to access fresh produce.
Plus, the focus on supplying local, seasonal produce helps cut carbon emissions from shipping these foods internationally. These companies also prioritize partnerships with farmers who use sustainable farming practices.
Finally, the services use sustainable packaging that can be reused, recycled, or repurposed, which is a huge advantage over other grocery delivery services.
Are Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods a good value?
Whether these services offer a good value depends on where you’re located, as the cost of living and the cost of food differ drastically across the United States.
For example, if you live in an area with a high cost of living, you might find that the produce and grocery options from Misfits Market or Imperfect Foods are cheaper than your local stores.
On the other hand, if you live in an area with a lower cost of living, the prices may be comparable to or even more expensive than you’d find at the grocery store.
What if I don’t like the food sent to me by Misfits Market or Imperfect foods?
According to both companies’ websites, if you receive an item that is damaged or spoiled, you can reach out to the customer service team online to see if you qualify for a refund.
However, neither company will issue a refund if the items are in good condition or if you forgot to cancel your order.
If you’re looking for a produce delivery service that provides fresh, sustainable fruits and vegetables along with other food items, Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market are worth considering.
Imperfect Foods tends to be cheaper and offer a greater variety of items. However, it also has a more limited delivery area and has received multiple customer complaints about incorrect or missing orders.
Misfits Market, while slightly more expensive, provides mostly organic produce and other sustainably sourced food items.
While they differ in cost and product selection, both companies offer a convenient and sustainable way to eat more fresh produce.