Helping the environment by eliminating food waste, saving money on groceries, and enjoying delicious, nutritious, organic produce? Um, where do we sign up?!
That’s exactly what the GLAM crew thought when we were first introduced to Imperfect Foods. If y'all have been with us for a while, then you know that we’re all about living a healthy, vegan, eco-conscious life, and Imperfect Foods appeared to be right up our alley. We know how flawed our food system here in the US is which is why we do what we can to make a difference.
So, in true GLAM fashion, we decided to put this Imperfect Produce to the test and review Imperfect Foods so that we could share our thoughts and opinions with you here. With both organic and conventional produce up for grabs, there's bound to be an imperfect food for you!
Let’s take a closer look at this sustainable grocery delivery service and find out if it’s really a better food system and if it might be a good fit for your household. Our hope is that this Imperfect Foods review helps you to decide if it's worth it to make the switch to ugly (but still lovable!) produce.
- What is Imperfect Foods (Imperfect Produce)?
- How “Imperfect” Is The Food (Compared to the Grocery Store)?
- How Imperfect Foods Works
- Can You Tell Me More About the Delivery?
- What’s Imperfect's Produce Like? Why Can't it be Sold In Grocery Stores?
- How Much Does Imperfect Foods Cost?
- Is Imperfect Foods a Good Deal?
- What’s Better: Imperfect Foods or Misfits Market?
- Do You Save Money With Imperfect Foods? Is It Really Cheaper?
- Imperfect Foods Reviews: What are customers saying?
- Final Thoughts: Will the GLAM team continue to use Imperfect Foods to Help Eliminate Food Waste?
What is Imperfect Foods (Imperfect Produce)?
Imperfect Foods is a fresh produce delivery service that brings organic, locally grown produce and grocery items right to your doorstep each week. The term “Imperfect” refers to the fact that the produce delivered may not meet the conventional aesthetic standards for most grocery retailers (anyone else think of the last picked puppy who’s likely a great dog but just needs to be given a chance?…just us? We affectionately call this ugly produce.
I digress. Essentially, what this means is that the fruits and vegetables brought to you by Imperfect Foods may come in non-traditional shapes or sizes or they may have cosmetic blemishes or physical imperfections. Due to these irregularities, they cannot be sold in stores, which means they’re most likely destined to end up rotting away in a landfill. Such waste! Especially when you consider that most cities have food banks dying for food to help the needy.
But that’s where Imperfect Foods and other rejected produce rescue services come into play. The items that grocery stores pass on because they won’t fare well on the shelves, Imperfect Foods buys and then sells them to you at a fraction of grocery store prices thanks to its direct-to-consumer (D2C) subscription-based model.
As a subscriber, you can easily save up to 30% on produce, meat, seafood, and other pantry staples. all while doing something amazing for our environment which is to help reduce food waste. This is certainly the kind of brand that more of us should be rallying around.
How “Imperfect” Is The Food (Compared to the Grocery Store)?
I know what you’re thinking because we were thinking the same thing – I really don’t want to buy into a service that delivers me less than par produce. It’s a hard pass for us on mushy, overripe fruits and veggies.
However, you can rest assured that this is not the case. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the taste or nutritional value of the foods. It's perfectly good food! What you get is the same fresh, organic or conventional produce items that you would pick up at the grocery store, but they might have a physical imperfection like the few examples listed below:
- Carrots that come in varying shapes and sizes
- Oranges with some scarring on the peels
- A pantry staple or non produce items that have outdated packaging (not outdated product!) that would otherwise need to be disposed of
To be completely honest, more often than not, we have a hard time even figuring out what’s wrong with the items that we receive in our boxes. Nine times out of ten, the items we receive look darn near perfect to us! Our produce box usually looks very similar to the items we could have picked up at the store, but we're getting more produce for less.
How Imperfect Foods Works
Before we start talking about how Imperfect Foods works, I want to point out that this service (Imperfect Foods) is NOT available everywhere in the country yet, so be sure to check your zip code before getting too excited. If you find that they don’t deliver to your area yet, rest assured that they will likely be doing so soon! I contacted customer service and was told that they have plans of expanding to cover the whole country in the near future.
Imperfect Foods delivers to the West South Central region, Midwest, Northeast, and all along the West Coast. But soon this food system will be made available to the whole country, so stay tuned!
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s discuss how you can simplify your grocery shopping experience with imperfect produce:
Step 1: Sign up and communicate your preferences
The Imperfect Foods team will ask you a few questions about you, your lifestyle, and your preferences so that they can best serve you. You’ll have the option to choose between organic and conventional boxes. They’ll also designate a specific delivery date based on your location. Get started here.
Step 2: Handpick the items you want from the comfort of home
Each week, there will be items selected for you by the team that they think you will like based on your stated preferences. Everything will be farm-fresh, organic, and 100% delicious. However, keep in mind that you’re always free to take anything out that you want as well as add anything in. There’s a huge selection of grocery essentials that you can only get from Imperfect Foods! Keep in mind that there is a limited shopping window, so be aware of that so that you can customize your weekly box!
Step 3: Sit back, relax, and wait for your sustainable groceries to arrive at your home (Imperfect delivers fresh!)
Each week that you’re subscribed, your boxes arrive fresh and ready to be enjoyed. Your first box, and every one thereafter, arrives with an ice pack to help keep your items fresh and to make Imperfect Foods worth the wait.
Can You Tell Me More About the Delivery?
Of course, we can! And we’re super excited to let you know that Imperfect Foods is so environmentally conscious that they even optimize their shipping and delivery to ensure they’re as sustainable as possible. From the moment you receive your first box, you're going to be majorly impressed with this brand.
By assigning each of their customers a specific delivery day and window, they’re able to deliver groceries with fewer emissions than on-demand grocery delivery services. Additionally, this model allows them to better plan for their inventory, which reduces overall food waste. The goal is to eliminate food waste, and while we may have a ways to go, this subscription box is majorly helping the cause.
What’s Imperfect's Produce Like? Why Can't it be Sold In Grocery Stores?
The GLAM team all agree that the produce delivered by Imperfect Foods is closer to perfect than it is imperfect. For the most part, the items sent in our boxes have looked very similar to what we pick up at the grocery store.
Of course, we have received some fruits and vegetables that have minor imperfections like weird shapes, but they have always maintained their integrity and taste, which is all we care about. Plus, we absolutely adore the selection of pantry staples and grocery items that we can receive at a fraction of the cost, too. Cheers to cultivating a better food system!
How Much Does Imperfect Foods Cost?
As a subscriber, you have some options when it comes to your monthly order from Imperfect Foods. First and foremost, you’ll want to decide if you’d like to get organic or conventional produce (still always locally sourced!). Then, you’ll choose which size box best fits your needs, selecting between small, medium, large, X-large. You may even be able to get a discount on your first box, be sure to check their website for any special promos!
Below is a breakdown of how much Imperfect Foods costs (on average. The prices listed below we as of the writing of this article:
|Small — Conventional||$11 to $13|
|Small — Organic||$15 to $17|
|Medium — Conventional||$14 to $16|
|Medium — Organic||$22 to $24|
|Large — Conventional||$20 to $22|
|Large — Organic||$33 to $35|
|Extra-Large — Conventional||$39 to $43|
It’s important to keep in mind that your cost will depend on a few factors like how much you order and how customized you make your box. The more you add or subtract, the more your price will fluctuate. The good news is that there will be a running total so you can see what your cost will be as you go. Organic fruits will obviously cost a bit more than conventional fruits, so if you order the organic box you can expect to pay a few more dollars, but overall you'll still save and get more fruits for your buck.
Is Imperfect Foods a Good Deal?
Yes, Imperfect Foods is a good deal, especially for those who want to save time every week on stocking up on fresh produce. Something that the GLAM team really values is convenience, especially after COVID. I think we can all agree that one thing that came out of the pandemic is a newfound love and appreciation for online shopping and delivery. It's safe to say that for us it was love at first box.
Groceries, produce, in particular, has traditionally been something that we needed to do ourselves. I mean, could we really expect a random shopper to choose the right produce for us? But when forced to do so, we let go of the reins and waited with bated breath for our groceries to arrive. And, to our delighted surprise, we realized that we can indeed get fresh, tasty vegetables and fruits to our homes without the hassle of having to do it ourselves.
Furthermore, we can receive products that have been deemed too flawed for stores and them at a fraction of the cost. Plus, we get access to all the seasonal items that we all look forward to throughout the year, making meal planning a breeze. Because of all of this, Imperfect Foods is a great deal.
What’s Better: Imperfect Foods or Misfits Market?
If you’ve been researching Imperfect Foods, then you may have come across one of their competitors, Misfits. So which one is better?
If you want a selection of pantry staples and grocery items in addition to your produce, then Imperfect Foods is best. Additionally, Misfits offers complete customization on their boxes, which lends you the ability to make sure you get what you want/need and nothing you don’t (remember, the point here is to eliminate waste!). Misfits, on the other hand, allows for a little customization but not as much as Imperfect Foods. Plus, Misfits has a more limited selection of other grocery items to choose from.
See our Misfits Market vs Imperfect Foods vs Hungry Harvest article to learn much more about the brands and which one is right for you.
Another competitor who is offering a similar service is Hungry Harvest. You can read more on our thoughts at our Hungry Harvest review article. We love that this service has a heavy reliance on family farms, so when your box arrives, you feel great about what's inside.
Misfit and Imperfect Foods merger
The news broke in September 2022 that Misfit Market will acquire its rival Imperfect Foods. Misfit still haven’t closed the deal yet and will need to go through regulatory approvals. Misfit’s CEO Abhi Ramesh expects about a year to consolidate the two companies after closing the deal.
Does that mean Imperfect Foods’ offerings and service will be more like Misfit’s? We don’t know yet, and the deal’s still not closed. But we will keep an eye out on some of these changes that are coming in the online produce delivery services.
Do You Save Money With Imperfect Foods? Is It Really Cheaper?
Ok., so this is the second big question behind the one regarding how ugly the produce is. To best answer this, we decided to do a test. One of our awesome GLAM team members excitedly volunteered to compare the cost of purchasing the exact produce from a local grocery store to doing so from Imperfect foods.
The result of our test? Imperfect Foods was 32% cheaper than buying the same products at the grocery store. We factored in the service and delivery fees associated with Imperfect Foods and this ugly produce company still proved to be the less expensive option. This makes Imperfect Foods worth every penny, in our opinion
If you want to maximize your savings, consider buying the large to an extra-large box and doing delivery every two weeks (if possible) so that you can get the most bang for your buck and save on those fees (there is a small delivery fee).
So do you save on your grocery bill with Imperfect Foods? You sure do! Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping the environment and you save yourself a bunch of time. This one feels like a no-brainer, guys.
Imperfect Foods Reviews: What are customers saying?
With hundreds of customer reviews out there on Imperfect Foods, it's enough sample size to bring to your attention. The majority of reviewers are thrilled with their subscription with Imperfect Foods. Many subscribers rave about the quality of their ugly produce and how they can get more items just like a grocery store. In this respect, it's where Imperfect Foods separates themselves from the pack – and the amount of positive reviews versus negative shows how much people are loving this subscription service. Visit their website now to see more reviews.
Final Thoughts: Will the GLAM team continue to use Imperfect Foods to Help Eliminate Food Waste?
I’d like to think that by now you’ve figured out that we’re big fans, as evidenced by our glowing Imperfect Foods review. We adore the flexibility and get all the good feels knowing that we’re playing a role in helping support, not destroy our environment by helping to reduce food waste.
Plus, for those who are skeptical if it’s worth it, we did all the math and legwork for you and can confidently report back that it is, indeed, worth it to try this rejected produce delivery service.
Imperfect Foods delivers fresh organic and conventional produce (for a small delivery fee) right to your door. It doesn't get any more perfect than that!
So what do you say? Are you on board yet? Give Imperfect Foods a try and then report back to us, we can’t wait to hear what you think! We think you'll be excited from the moment your delivery arrives 😁!