Misfits Market Review: Can Ordering “Ugly” Produce Save You Money?

Misfits Market
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In this comprehensive Misfits Market review, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The basics about the online grocer Misfits Market, including how the service works, what it offers and how much it costs.
  • Details and images of the so-called “ugly produce” and other items that are available.
  • Comparisons to alternatives like Imperfect Foods.
  • Whether the service is right for you.

Misfits Market has lower prices on organic produce and pantry items than a typical local grocery store. While the products may have slight imperfections in color or size, the quality of the produce is above average. The biggest drawback is the long transit times faced by consumers who are not located in an area served by their delivery trucks.

Misfits Market Pros:
  • The prices are low.
  • They carry primarily organic grocery items.
  • Available in many food deserts within the United States.
  • Delivery is free over orders over $60.
Misfits Market Cons:
  • It’s not always clear why an item is available or where it’s sourced from.
  • Has a limited selection of perishable grocery items.
  • Potential for long transit times can impact product quality.

What Is Misfits Market?

Misfits Market is an online grocery delivery service that works with a variety of suppliers to bring you fresh, organic produce and pantry staples.

It’s one of the many “imperfect food” businesses that has launched in recent years, and is best-known for offering items that have cosmetic imperfections. Usually, this means things like irregular size or coloring.

These imperfections are often small and insignificant when you’re not comparing them side-by-side to the perfectly-shaped fruit and vegetables you might find in a local grocery store. 

As an example, here’s a photo of the carrots and cucumber I received in my first Misfits box.

Example photo showing produce received from Misfits Market
These items barely qualify as “ugly produce.”

Often, under normal circumstances, these items would end up as food waste — either not shipped to grocery stores at all, or passed over by shoppers until they need to be thrown away. 

Misfits Market’s goal is to purchase this imperfect produce from suppliers at a cost savings, and then pass that savings on to you in the form of lower prices.

Note: For many people, Misfits Market is another option in the fast-growing grocery delivery market. For many others, it’s one of the only ways to affordably access fresh produce: the U.S.D.A. estimates that over 20 million people in the United States live in a food desert, and one of Misfits Market’s goals is to serve these communities in an effort to eradicate food deserts by 2025.

How Does Misfits Market Work?

Once you sign up for Misfits Market, you’re assigned a delivery day based on where you live. You’ll then have a three-day shopping window to select the items you want included in your Misfits box.

It’s only once your shopping window is open that you’re able to see the items available for that week.

Misfits Market item selection
The Misfits Market item selection process.

While there are a lot of mainstays, the available items change constantly. Often, that reflects changes in seasonal produce, but sometimes it’s because supply of the “imperfect” version of an item has run out.

It’s important to note that your delivery day is not guaranteed. Along with delivering via their own network of trucks to some locations, Misfits Market ships via an array of third-party carriers and does not offer guaranteed delivery services. So while most packages arrive as expected (including mine), be aware that early or late deliveries are possible.

Misfits Market Selection

When I was testing the service for this review, there were 357 items available for inclusion in a Misfits Market box.

This breaks down as follows:

  • Bakery: 9 options. Some options included relatively shelf-stable products like take-and-break bread, pizza crust and naan. (In other words, you won’t find fresh-baked bread.)
  • Beverages: 34 options. Primarily coffee beans and tea.
  • Dairy and dairy alternatives: 7 options. These included almond milk, flax milk and plant-based butter.
  • Grocery: 170 items. A catch-all category for common pantry items like dried goods, snacks, nut butters and canned items.
  • Meat and seafood: 36 options. Including grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and plant-based protein.
  • Organic fruit: 22 options. Apples, grapes, watermelon and a variety of berries were available.
  • Organic vegetables: 76 options. With this amount of options, there really weren’t any notable vegetables not available. I searched for a variety of leafy greens (kale, red leaf lettuce and spinach), sweet potatoes and bell peppers, and found options for all three. I also found some interesting lesser-known options like organic portobello mushrooms, organic golden beets and organic microgreens, which are not always available at my local store.
  • Pet: 3 options. Treats and snacks.

After browsing the available options, here’s a partial screenshot of my first order with Misfits Market, along with the prices.

Pricing of the items we ordered when purchasing from Misfits Market
Pricing of the items in my first Misfits Market order.

Misfits Market Box Sizes

Misfits Market previously offered two different box sizes: the Mischief Box and the Madness Box. You no longer get to choose your box size and are instead required to spend a minimum of $15 to use the delivery service.

There are no pre-configured boxes, such as vegan, keto or paleo. For each delivery, you start from scratch building your order from what’s currently available. 

While Misfits aims to get you to order regularly, your order won’t be fulfilled until you’ve added a minimum of $15 to your cart. As such, it’s not what we would categorize as a subscription box, but more along the lines of an Instacart alternative. There are no recurring or automated delivery options.

Additionally, there are no options for choosing only food from local farmers, so Misfits can’t really be seen as a CSA replacement.

Delivery costs $6.99 per order, or is free for orders above $60, regardless of your location.

Misfits Market Sourcing

Misfits Market sources from a variety of suppliers, including many well-known national brands like Impossible (manufacturer of plant-based meat substitutes), Simply Organic spices, Niman Ranch, Bulletproof coffee and King Arthur flours.

Unfortunately, when it comes to much of the produce, you can’t always identify the region or farm of origin.

While Misfits will tell you if an item is organic or not (most items are), you cannot see the details of the farms themselves. For example, there’s no way to know if the food you’re buying comes from sustainable producers or big-agriculture operations that might leverage farming practices you disagree with.

While the company says it aims to prioritize food from local and regional farms, my order included products from around the United States and Mexico. Unfortunately, nothing I found came from Illinois (where I live), nor were local options highlighted on the website.

Misfits Market Pricing

What stood out the most to me about Misfits Market was the low cost of many items. They have some of the lowest prices I’ve seen when it comes to organic produce and pantry staples.

In fact, the prices I found were well below typical grocery store prices (sometimes by as much as 50% compared to Whole Foods), making this a viable way to save money on groceries (depending on your current shopping habits).

Taking a random sampling from some popular items, here are the prices as of September 2023.

Organic strawberries (1 lbs.)$5.99
Organic baby spinach (5 oz.)$4.39
Organic raspberries (6 oz.)$4.49
Organic blueberries (6 oz.)$4.99
Organic baby carrots (1 lbs.)$1.99
Organic avocados (2 ct.)$3.39
Organic bananas (5 ct.)$1.99
Organic russet potatoes (3 lbs.)$2.99
Organic eggs (1 dz.)$3.69
Organic chicken breast (14 oz.)$5.09
Organic ground beef (1 lbs.)$7.99
Organic baby arugula (5 oz.)$3.99
Organic clementines (3 lbs.)$3.79
Organic tomatoes (1 lbs.)$4.49
Organic apples (2 ct.)$1.59

Misfits shows you a “percentage off” figure when an item is offered below retail. However, it is worth noting that the “retail price” is determined by Misfits — which means you should consider these discount percentages to be approximations.

With that said, there are some quality deals to be found by being selective. For example, a 32-ounce bag of King Arthur organic whole wheat flour was listed at $2.99. As someone who has always liked King Arthur products, I can’t remember a time where I found this size bag for less than $5.

Misfits Market King Arthur Flower
Some name brands are available at steep discounts, including this King Arthur flour.

Before placing the order, I wondered if heavily discounted items (like this flour) were priced low due to close expiration dates. That wasn’t true with the flour, which had an expiration date two years out, or with the dried spices I purchased, which had expiration dates of two and three years in the future.

Misfits Market vs. Imperfect Foods

Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods have long been the two most popular irregularly shaped produce options. In late 2022, Misfits Market acquired Imperfect Foods. 

With the acquisition, existing Misfits Market customers benefited by gaining access to Imperfect Foods’ network of local delivery trucks. This means that customers located in certain zip codes can now get their orders packed and delivered locally the same day, instead of relying on third-party carriers like FedEx (which can take 2-3 days for delivery). 

I’ve personally had some trouble with produce shipped from Misfits (see below), so this is a nice benefit for some customers.

Misfits Market Damaged Raspberries
The raspberries I ordered arrived damaged and leaking.

Everything besides the raspberries (which customer support was kind enough to issue a refund for) was still edible and tasted good — it just wasn’t as fresh as I’d hoped for.

Misfits Market Delivery Area

Currently, Misfits Market delivers to most zip codes within 48 states and the District of Colombia — i.e., everywhere except for Hawaii and Alaska. You can see an up-to-to date list of the company’s delivery area here.

Misfits Market Discount Code

Get $10 off your first order with Misfits Market by using the following code: COOKWME-CL1DOVJUUMY.

Or, use this link and the code will be applied automatically.

Do Irregular Produce Suppliers Hurt Food Banks?

Food waste — which is food that’s edible for consumption but which is discarded — is a big problem in the United States. The Department of Agriculture estimates that 40% of food produced in the U.S. isn’t consumed. Yet, at the same time, tens of millions of Americans can’t afford to put healthy food on their table

This inefficiency is why, according to the non-profit group Feeding America, one out of seven people in the U.S. utilize a food bank.

That begs an important question: do irregular produce suppliers like Misfits Market take food away from food banks, selling items that might have otherwise been donated?

After conducting significant research — which I cover in more detail in our Imperfect Foods review — for now, it seems the answer is “no.”

That’s because, unfortunately, there’s so much food waste in the U.S. — again over 40% doesn’t even make it to food banks — that the small percentage siphoned off by irregular food companies has a minuscule if not zero impact on what gets delivered to food banks. 

Misfits Market Review Summary: Is Misfits Worth It?

Where Misfits Market really shines is in providing high-quality, low-cost organic seasonal produce. You can also expect to find a handful of packaged name brand items each week, offered for far below grocery store prices.

You probably won’t be able to obtain 100% of your list from Misfits Market, but compared to other grocery delivery services, the prices and selection are very good. 

It also doesn’t offer much in the way of meal planning, which competitor Hungryroot specializes in.

But if you’re trying to eat healthy on a budget, it’s a good low-cost source of quality produce and some discount staples.

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R.J. Weiss
R.J. Weiss, founder of The Ways To Wealth, has been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ since 2010. Holding a B.A. in finance and having completed the CFP® certification curriculum at The American College, R.J. combines formal education with a deep commitment to providing unbiased financial insights. Recognized as a trusted authority in the financial realm, his expertise is highlighted in major publications like Business Insider, New York Times, and Forbes.

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