Thirty-five percent of all food in the United States is unsold and uneaten. For that reason alone, we were instantly on board with this company’s mission.
Now that we’ve tested the food delivery service and concluded that Imperfect Foods is cheaper, the majority of our Imperfect Foods review is positive.
So, is Imperfect Foods worth it? It depends.
For us, it is. However, there are some limitations to the imperfect produce delivery service.
If you’re on the fence, our honest Imperfect Foods review (written August 2021) will help you tip one way or the other.
You may have noticed that walking into a grocery store these past few years during the pandemic has been less than perfect.
Aside from the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020, common staples left the grocery shelves and still aren’t seen today.
According to the global market measurement firm, Nielsen, the average number of grocery store items declined 4.5% by August of 2020.
While that may not seem significant, considering that grocery stores typically keep 40,000 unique items on their shelves, that’s about 2,000 products gone missing.
Unfortunately, a lot of the missing products are healthy foods. With scaled-back production and tenuous demand, large corporations ordered many popular items to the chopping block.
Given that we always strive to create environmentally friendly lifestyle habits, we wondered how we could better our grocery shopping habits while staying safe during the pandemic.
Easy, two words: Imperfect Foods.
What is Imperfect Foods?
So, what’s the deal with Imperfect Foods anyway? What began as “Imperfect Produce,” evolved into a grocery delivery service that carries:
- Fresh produce (apples, avocados, onions, etc.)
- Meat and seafood (salmon, chicken, beef, etc.)
- Plant-based protein (oat milk, tofu, faux chicken, etc.)
- Dairy and eggs (yogurt, cheese, etc.)
- Grains and pantry staples (beans, pasta, gnocchi, etc.)
- Snacks (dried fruits, pretzels, nut mixes, etc.)
- Household and beauty (shampoos, body butter, oils, etc.)
After creating a free account, you can load up on groceries from their online shop, picking exactly what you want, and they’ll deliver them weekly in eco-friendly and recyclable packaging.
Is Imperfect Food organic?
Imperfect Foods offer both regular and organic products. This meant bonus points toward our Imperfect Foods review since our goal in 2021 was to eat 80% organic.
Why is Imperfect Foods worth it?
As I tested the delivery service and wrote this Imperfect Foods review there was one question constantly on my mind: “Why is Imperfect Foods worth it?”
If there’s no substantial value provided, then who cares?
Growing up, my family strictly abided by the clean plate club. My mother told me that any leftover food on my plate would reincarnate as zits on my face. Talk about motivation!
But in all seriousness, food waste is a major global issue.
What differentiates Imperfect Foods from all other competitors is their mission: to fight food waste and build a better food system for everyone.
The non-profit, ReFed, estimated that in 2019, 35% of all US food went unsold or uneaten. Thirty-five percent! That’s 2% of the whole US GDP at $408 billion.
Now that is depressing, especially when you think about how many people globally don’t have access to healthy, clean food.
Imperfect Foods works to eliminate food waste. So, where does Imperfect Foods come from? They source food that falls into one of these categories.
For example, bendy zucchinis or two bananas in one peel.
Size or weight
The carrots I received are “too long” for a grocery store shelf.
Popcorn that couldn’t be sold in movie theaters during the pandemic was resold to Imperfect Foods.
Whenever companies change up the packaging, they no longer want to sell the older packaged foods even if they’re perfectly fine.
Foods that have an upcoming expiration date.
Edges and pieces that aren’t the right size and shape, like the extra ends off a pretzel
That’s where Imperfect Foods come from and in 2020 alone, Imperfect Foods prevented fifty million pounds of food from going to waste. That’s the emissions equivalent of taking 2,800 cars off the road for a year!
I believe that alone makes buying Imperfect Produce worth it. The fact the food quality and cost are the best we’ve found (excluding the farmer’s market) is the cherry on top.
In the following review of Imperfect Foods, I’ll share how it works, discuss what we like and dislike, and provide our Imperfect Foods price comparison table.
Additionally, if you want to sign up, you can use our Imperfect Foods promo code to save $80.
Imperfect Foods Review (2021)
How does Imperfect Foods work?
First, you need to know if Imperfect Foods delivers to you. It all begins with your zip code. They service 80% of the US population.
Sorry to everyone reading this Imperfect Foods review who lives outside of the US, as it’s only there… for now!
Each week, you’ll have a designated “shopping window” of two days to choose your food. For me in Minneapolis, that window goes from Thursday through Saturday for a Monday delivery time.
This shopping window can be a little restrictive, but that’s how they ensure that the Imperfect Foods box you’re getting is truly quirky and imperfect.
You can place your orders online or through the Imperfect Foods App. While the app is user-friendly, I prefer ordering from their website.
That’s it! Relax and the Imperfect Foods delivery will come straight to your door.
Inside the box, there was a small ice pack and my perishables were in a special bag. Both of these can be recycled.
Below is a picture of our Imperfect Foods delivery!
Are the Imperfect Foods Items weird looking?
No, not at all!
Since starting with Imperfect Foods, the foods I have received have been well-packaged and in prime shape.
Some of the foods you wouldn’t even think are “weird,” like the block cheddar cheese we bought for this Imperfect Produce review.
We learned that this was the cheese that would have normally been served as an airline snack… but with the pandemic, couldn’t be.
Here are our Imperfect Foods items.
How does Imperfect Foods compare to other grocery delivery services?
Even before the pandemic, we were huge fans of grocery delivery. Not only does it keep you out of tempting aisles of junk food, but it’s also efficient and, of course, safe during times of pandemics.
Grocery shopping was one of the first things we outsourced to save time and helped with how to meal prep for the week. We used to use Shipt and Amazon Fresh most often, with Shipt usually for produce.
From our experience, Imperfect Foods gave us much better produce. When using other services, you don’t know the ripeness of what you’re getting — green bananas, anyone?
But, since Imperfect Foods offers you a shopping window right before delivery, you’ll always receive fresh and ripe food ready to eat. No more mysteriously unripe avocados!
Imperfect Foods Price
So, how much does Imperfect Foods cost? On my last order from Imperfect Foods, here’s what I bought.
I was curious to see how the price compared to either Amazon Fresh or Shipt (shopping on Target). To my surprise, Imperfect Foods came out on top!
Not only is Imperfect Foods working on reducing food waste and promoting sustainability, but their prices were also better than huge corporations like Amazon and Target!
Win, win, win!
One huge benefit of Imperfect Foods over a competitor like Shipt is that there are no annual fees. Sure, you pay for a $4.99 delivery fee, but the tip is already included so it’s done and taken care of.
Shipt, for example, promotes their yearly $99 subscription. This is daunting if you’re just testing the waters with grocery delivery.
Our Imperfect Foods review: It really is cheaper and there’s no subscription fee.
While there is no official Imperfect Foods discount code, the link below is a coupon for $20 off your first four orders ($80 total!).
What we love about Imperfect Foods
In this section of our Imperfect Foods review, we’ll rave about how the grocery delivery service adds value to our life.
- Saves the planet!!!
- Cheaper than the grocery store
- Uses only recyclable packaging (no plastic!)
- Arrives ripe with 75% of food locally sourced
- Selection changes each season
- Curated to your specific diet (vegetarian for us)
- No subscription is necessary and is easily cancellable
Imperfect Foods reminds me of an online Trader Joe’s.
The selection is curated and slants towards organic, sustainable, healthy foods. The pre-packaged meals include delicious items like carrot lentil turmeric soup and Moroccan tofu cubes.
It’s also simple and easy. If you don’t want to pick your own groceries, they can do it for you!
For my last Imperfect Foods box, I simply entered that we wanted a medium-sized box for 2 people.
From there, a full grocery cart of ~$30 was preselected items for me. I ended up editing it because I already had some of the items (like the garlic, lemon, and cilantro) but you don’t even have to do that!
Finally, we of course love the sustainability aspect of Imperfect Foods.
Right on the side of the delivery box, Imperfect Foods says:
“Whoever said that one person couldn’t make a difference in the fight against food waste obviously never met you.”
Genuinely, that’s how we felt like we were making a difference.
So, how did the food taste?
We are self-proclaimed produce snobs. After living in South America for three years, fresh, local, and farm-grown produce is all we know.
For the few months of the year when we are in the US, we’re typically disenchanted by tasteless tomatoes, bell peppers, and even bananas.
We were pretty impressed by the quality of the imperfect produce delivered. The Roma tomatoes were ripe and delicious, and so were the carrots. Using the produce and the other items delivered, we prepared delicious meals.
What we dislike about Imperfect Foods
As a company, Imperfect Foods is close to perfect. As a fast-growing company with a lofty mission to improve the food system, there will always be room for improvement.
For now, here is our list of cons.
- Restricted to one delivery day a week (Monday for us)
- The shopping window is open only for 2-days (Thursday through Saturday for us)
- The selection changes seasonally, meaning you may not have your staples year-round
- Covers 80% of American households as of today, skipping rural America
The selection by Imperfect Foods is nice (which is one reason why we love them!) but they absolutely do not have the 40,000 items you’d find in a grocery store.
If you need specific items — let’s say bread yeast or powdered sugar — you still need to go to the grocer. This is where companies like Shipt and Amazon Fresh have the upper hand.
Finally, the delivery times are not so flexible. Our grocery delivery is only on Monday… so if we need things for a big dinner on Sunday, we would still need to make a trip to the grocery store.
Competitors Shipt and Amazon Fresh deliver the same day.
However, if you’re pretty flexible around this, then definitely give Imperfect Foods a try!
Overall, we highly recommend Imperfect Foods. Not only is it easy, healthy, and helps to save the planet, it helps save you from the stress (and exposure!) of grocery shopping.
While it’s a bit limiting to wait to order your food in the 2-day shopping window for weekly delivery, I can appreciate why that is.
Imperfect Foods works hard to organize and optimize the US food system to make sure you get fresh, albeit “ugly,” food!
As a family who mostly shops at farmer’s markets, we see how much food is sidelined in the standard American grocery scene.
At the farmer’s market, we see everything from two bananas in one peel to ginormous zucchini. That’s just natural but could never be sold in stores.
Imperfect Foods and companies like it are exactly what we need. And, with prices better than both Amazon and Target, there’s really no reason why not to try it!
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