This is my personal review of Imperfect Produce.
I signed up for Imperfect Produce in January of 2019 and have received a weekly delivery for six months at the time of writing.
This has allowed our family of five to try just about everything the service offers, from weirdly-shaped produce to staples like olive oil, dark chocolate, and tortillas.
In this Imperfect Produce review, you’ll learn:
- About the company
- About the produce
- How the pricing works
- Pros and cons
- And much more
Let’s dive in!
What Is Imperfect Produce?
Imperfect Produce is a service that delivers fresh, conventionally-grown and organic produce and grocery items — including baked goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, beverages, and household staples — right to your door. The “imperfect” part means that the items Imperfect Produce sells may not meet a conventional grocery chain’s aesthetic standards. In other words, they might have weird shapes, unusual coloring or other cosmetic “blemishes.”
Grocers only want to display and sell uniform, perfect-looking produce and packaged items. So what those stores pass up, Imperfect Produce buys and sells at a discount through its direct-to-consumer subscription model.
If you’re looking for ways to save money on your food budget, this is a good one: Imperfect Produce saves customers as much as 30% on produce and grocery items.
What’s wrong with this “Grade B” food? Nothing that will impact its taste or nutritional value. An orange might have a bit of scarring on its peel. A bundle of carrots may come in different sizes. A bag of corn tortillas might come in an old package as opposed to the company’s newly-designed one. In other words, definitely nothing that will reduce your enjoyment of these items — it all looks the same when it becomes a meal anyway!
Frankly, most of the time I can’t figure out just what’s supposed to be imperfect about my Imperfect Produce. Here’s a photo of some carrots I received in my most recent box:
How Does Imperfect Product Work?
There are four subscription options: Organic, Mixed Fruit & Veggie, All Fruit, and All Veggie. The Organic and Mixed boxes come in small, medium, large or extra-large sizes, and you can choose to receive boxes either weekly or bi-weekly.
Here’s the content breakdown of those box sizes:
|Small||2 to 4 people||7 to 9 pounds of produce|
|Medium||4 to 6 people||11 to 13 pounds of produce|
|Large||6 to 8 people||17 to 19 pounds of produce|
|Extra-Large||8 to 10 people||23 to 25 pounds of produce|
My family of five orders the extra-large organic box every week (see some of our haul below). Note that the All Fruit and All Veggie boxes can only be ordered in small and medium.
Customizing Your Box
Saving money on groceries means not ordering a box that contains foods you don’t like and won’t eat. but some services don’t allow you to make substitutions on your order. With Imperfect Produce, you have many customization options beyond size and frequency, and more control over your box contents.
Your Imperfect Produce box will be filled with seasonal items available at that time of the year. If there are things you don’t like, you can remove them and replace them with more of the things you do like. In fact, your box is fully customizable (within a two-day pre-shipment period) if you choose to go that route, although customization isn’t required.
The screenshot below shows how you can scroll through the different products (and see why they’re included) as you build your box. You can use the filters on the top, which makes it easy to sort by types of food.
If you want to know specifically why a particular item is being offered (i.e., what it’s “flaw” is), you can just click “More info…” and you’ll see an explanation like the one below.
What does that explanation look like in practice? Well, here’s a photo of the peaches we received so that you can judge for yourself:
You also get to customize your delivery day and window. When you join, you’ll see what day(s) Imperfect Produce delivers to your area, and you can choose the best delivery time for you. When the driver is close, you’ll receive a text message. You don’t have to be home to accept delivery, and drivers will do their best to follow whatever delivery instructions you specify.
Other changes you can make to your subscription include:
- Add non-produce items to any order
- Skip a delivery
- Change the frequency of your deliveries
- Change the size of your box
- Cancel your subscription at any time.
How Much Does Imperfect Produce Cost?
The prices for each box are listed below. There’s also a $4.99 delivery fee for each shipment.
The Ways To Wealth Readers can use this exclusive link to save 20% on their first box: sign up for Imperfect Produce.
|Size and Type||Price|
|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|
If you add non-produce items or heavily customize your box, the prices listed above will change as you add and subtract things. Price updates occur in real time as you make changes, so you can keep a running tally as you go.
Once your customization window has closed, the credit or debit card attached to your Imperfect Produce account will be charged. The pending charge will process the day after your delivery arrives.
As I mentioned earlier, my family orders one Extra-Large organic box a week, and we add a lot of additional grocery items to each order. We’re especially fond of the corn tortillas!
Our weekly box usually costs between $40 and $70. You can do Imperfect Produce for a lot less if you stick to a standard produce-only box and schedule bi-weekly shipments.
Imperfect Produce Pros & Cons
Since this is an Imperfect Produce review, let me break down my experience.
10 Things I Love About Imperfect Produce:
- The produce is fresh and tastes great. It turns out that ugly doesn’t have a taste! Besides, most of the produce isn’t very imperfect to begin with. Often, you’d need a jeweler’s loupe to spot any flaws.
- The produce is locally-sourced when possible, and over 75% of it is sourced from family farms or cooperatives. That means you’re supporting small businesses and not the corporate agriculture industry.
- It helps reduce the amount of food waste. Currently, 20 billion pounds per year goes uneaten because it’s “ugly.”
- You can save as much as 30% when compared to grocery store prices.
- Produce delivery saves time, which saves money.
- Each order is customizable, although you can also choose to let Imperfect Produce do the picking on your behalf.
- The website has a clean, intuitive interface that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for, customize orders, and manage your account.
- It’s free to change or cancel your subscription at any time. There are no contracts or minimum purchases.
- The service offers a wide selection of staples, from fruits and veggies to cooking oils to snacks (and everything in between).
- They provide great customer service. On one of our recent orders, we only received 1 of 2 expected boxes. We called the number we’d received the delivery notice text message from, and were immediately connected to a customer service rep. That rep was able to contact the driver, who was back at our door with the missing box 10 minutes later.
3 Imperfect Produce Critiques:
- Sometimes items you ordered end up being out of stock. If you’re trying to follow a meal plan for health or cost reasons, this can cause a fairly significant inconvenience.
- The one thing I haven’t had good luck with is sweet potatoes, one of our favorite foods. While they taste good, they’re typically pretty long and thin, making them soften faster than larger, thick sweet potatoes.
- Delivery areas are limited. The service operates in the cities below, but not necessarily citywide. To learn if Imperfect Produce is available in your area, you can enter your zip code into the pop-up box on the Sign-Up page.
Current Imperfect Produce Cities:
Chicago Metro Area
Greater Sacramento Area
Montgomery County, MD
Portland Metro Area, OR
San Francisco (Bay Area)
Seattle Metro Area
Imperfect Produce will soon be available in Hartford (CT), Pittsburgh and New York City, with plans to expand to even more locations. So if your area isn’t on the list yet, keep checking!
Imperfect Produce Review
So that’s it for my Imperfect Produce review.
I imagine sticking with the service for some time (and if not, I will update this post to explain why).
I’m glad to be playing a small part in fighting food waste. And at the end of the day, my family is getting a box of extremely fresh produce of high quality, delivered to our door for a very good price. That right there is hard to beat.
It’s true that not every avocado, bell pepper or peach we receive meets the grocery industry’s high cosmetic standards, but they taste just as good as what you can find in the store — and often better, thanks to their freshness. And frankly, most of the items look just fine and would be hard to classify as “ugly produce.”
If Imperfect Produce delivers in your city, it’s worth giving it a shot.
Here’s a link to Imperfect Produce.