Grocery delivery is taking over the US just like so many other delivery services. However, getting fresh produce from your local farmers market or store can severely increase your grocery bill. Additionally, you will have to constantly remember to re-order your food periodically.
According to the Misfits Market website, most of the food produced on farms never makes it to the grocery store. One of the reasons is that the produce item is a "misfit" in some way. So, to reduce food waste, the company delivers ugly fruit and vegetables at a great price.
What makes a "misfit," produce, you ask? Well, the item may be too big, too small, have a blemish, be lumpy, or not yet ripe. Regardless, the company assures that all of the produce delivered is fresh and tastes perfectly fine.
The company sells only organic produce, which we all know can cost a lot of money in grocery stores. So, not only do you get to save time, but you know you're getting high-quality ingredients for your meals.
How Misfits Market Works
Misfits Market is a subscription service for organic produce boxes. The company began in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2018. They claim that their service is significantly cheaper than a physical store because they buy the ugly produce that farmers may not be able to sell otherwise. Then, they review their haul and ship it to customers.
Originally, consumers couldn't choose what items came in their Misfits Market produce box. You would get a mix of fruits and vegetables based on what was in stock and that's about it. Now, users in certain areas can access the "Marketplace" where you can find add-ons for your order. These include some pantry items such as canned goods, grains, and spices.
These kitchen items are also market misfits in some way. They may be close to expiration or have an old or messed up label. Eventually, the company plans to make all of its produce subscriptions customizable. For now, you can't control the fruits and veggies you receive in each shipment.
According to the USDA, about 20 percent of farm products end up in a landfill every year. Many times, the reason is because of the appearance of otherwise perfectly edible food. Even after donating to food banks, many farmers are still left with a surplus.
Following the farm-to-consumer approach, Misfits Market aims to take this ugly food and give it directly to consumers. Their website also states that purchasing this food allows farmers to make some additional income on otherwise profitless items.
To sign up for a produce subscription, you can pick one of two possible sizes:
Once you pick a box, you select whether you want weekly or bi-weekly deliveries and which day of the week you want your food. If you are in a region where you can select your items, you will get the chance to add things to your subscription box. If not, you will get an assortment of mixed fruits and veggies.
If you need to, you can skip or cancel your next delivery boxes at any time. You can even pause your subscription for no more than six months if you were going on vacation or something.
It's important to know that this service isn't the best if you have severe food allergies. Though you can notify the company of your preference, they can't guarantee a lack of cross-contamination.
Managing Your Account
Unlike similar services, it's easy to review and manage your account on the Misfits Market site. You don't have to commit to a certain subscription length, and you can skip boxes months in advance. If you want to change your delivery day, interval, or box size, you can do so under "Manage Subscription."
What You Can Expect from Your Box
The boxes themselves are made of recycled cardboard, and they contain eco-friendly insulation. They may place fragile items in plant-based bags (not plastic), and your delivery will include ice packs to keep your produce fresh.
Everything you receive will be organic, non-GMO produce from local farms and food hubs. Some of the produce may come from partner farms in Mexico. When you get your produce delivery, you will see a great mix of bright colors and fun foods that look exciting to eat. It's not always the neatest-looking packaging, but that's part of the experience.
You may notice some of the blemishes on your ugly fruits and vegetables such as off-color or misshapen appearance. Much of the time, however, people can't see the reason that the food in their box was labeled a "misfit." Some Misfits Market reviews have reported that the food may go bad more quickly than store produce, so make sure you have a plan to consume it within the week.
If you are in an area where you can pick what's in your box, you will do so on a first-come, first-serve basis. So, if you want something specific, you want to make your selections in advance.
Your first box will include a range of organic produce. Unless you were able to pick your products, you will get whatever's in season. Though you can't see your produce selection ahead of time, your box will contain things like:
If you aren't the type to cook with leeks, radishes, or anything else you find in your box, the Misfits Market site has cool recipes for every ingredient. For example, you can find advice for making awesome eggplant or zucchini dinners or a fruity salad with apple, cucumber, and mango.
With the add-on feature, you'll find kitchen staples such as flour, oats, olive oil, salt, honey, cereal, and more.
The variety of stuff you get may keep you on your toes as a home cook and encourage everyone in the household to try new foods. For those of us who feel stuck in a grocery routine, getting a Misfits Market box to your door every week can easily fix that problem.
Misfits Market is not available all over the United States. However, in the states they service, they send boxes to the entire state.
Their delivery areas include Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Ohio, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Delaware, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania.
The company is constantly expanding. So, if you don't see your state yet, keep checking their site for updates. There is a small shipping fee attached to all orders, which remains the same for all locations. Unless they are having delays, your first box should ship within 1 or 2 days, and your next boxes will come on your chosen date each week.
The good news is that once your order ships, you will get a tracking number sent to your email address so you can keep up with your order. If there are any problems or delays, the customer service team will notify you via e-mails.
For fresh, organic ugly produce delivered to your doorstep, Misfits Market is a great deal. It saves you from making an extensive list and spending time grocery shopping and comparing prices. For one box, you spend much less than you would at your typical supermarket or farmer’s market. Of course, it all depends on your home and what you like to eat.
For picky eaters, the delivery service may not be the best deal. However, the company is working on letting all consumers pick the contents of their boxes. If you have a large family, their box sizes may not be enough to meet your needs.
It's also important to consider how often you will consume your fresh foods. You don't want to get a big box of ugly produce and let it waste away in your kitchen.
The preference between these two comparable services depends on what you enjoy and your area. Imperfect Produce has options for a picky eater since their boxes are completely customizable. With Misfit Market, your fruits and vegetables will mostly be a surprise every week (for now).
Misfits, however, offers all organic options. with Imperfect Foods, you will have to select that you want an organic box, which costs a bit more than their "regular" box. The Imperfect company does offer more non-produce items than Misfits such as meat, grains, and coffee.
The choice between the two may come down to location. Imperfect Foods delivers to many major cities across the US. with Misfits, you may access more rural areas, but only in Eastern states at this time.
According to the website, the company partners with hand-picked farms across the Americas. They may occasionally source organic items from abroad markets to add variety.
Though they do not list their growers by name, the produce comes from "distributors of organic food" on the Eastern Seaboard and elsewhere. They also use small to mid-size farms instead of commercial farms.
At the moment, no one can view the contents of their subscription boxes beforehand. Your mystery box will always contain many types of ugly produce such as root vegetables, Brussels sprouts, plums, peaches, rutabagas, cucumbers, turnips, onions, carrots, ginger, cauliflower, and cabbage.
The inventory depends on the season and what's in the surplus from their partners. Some of the items in your mischief box may be funny shapes or have abnormal features. However, the food will be in good condition for consumption.
Food for Thought
Overall, if you like surprises and convenience in your life, then Misfits Markets may be the subscription for you. You get a box full of interesting produce to your house on your own schedule without the challenge of running around supermarkets.
The delivery process is straightforward and easy to figure out. The only thing that may take some getting used to is trying to meal prep and plan around an unknown grocery haul.
And, if you don't get the things you like to have for specific meals, you may still need to take a trip to the store. However, the service can be a lesson for subscribers in flexibility and creativity.
Thanks to the content online, you can find a ton of recipes to make dishes with items you don't usually use. There's no pressure to be a home chef, but you'll probably get into the habit of experimenting with new flavors. Eventually, you will be able to set preferences and diet restrictions if you have any.
Sometimes, you may get a box with messed up produce inside or encounter some shipping issues. When that happens, someone from the Misfits team will typically respond to emails and fix the issue. When you sign up for email alerts, you can save money on your first box, so it can't hurt to try at least one if you're curious.
Misfits Market produce delivery is most compatible with a person looking for affordable, organic produce without the hassle of shopping in a store.