This is my honest review of the mostly organic grocery delivery service Misfits Market, after using it for a handful of orders.
Misfits Market is an online grocery delivery service designed to prevent food waste by selling perfectly good foods that are rejected from normal grocery stores. These “rescued” fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses and pantry items are perfectly edible, but have some cosmetic imperfection that keeps them out of our normal food supply.
And that’s part of the reason that more than one third of the food grown in the US goes to waste. And it doesn’t help us pay less for groceries, either. Those are the two problems Misfits Market is out to solve.
Is this another negative Misfits Market review?
Before I dive into this, I want to address one thing: I’ve seen a lot of outdated Misfits Market reviews online. In 2024, they no longer have those set-price boxes with quirky names you’ll read about. You just order exactly what you want, when you want. (Weekly, biweekly, or on-demand.)
But a lot has changed in the past few years with this company!
I’m very thorough and frank in my reviews. (Check them out; you’ll notice I don’t gloss over the details.)
And after reading a lot of what’s online, I almost skipped trying Misfits Market and writing this – because what’s the point of adding another diatribe to the internet?
But I’ve been very pleasantly surprised to find fresh, high-quality produce in every box I’ve ordered, and excellent customer service. (Not that I’ve actually had to talk to a person, since it’s so easy to change my orders online or with the app.)
Discount: If you want to try Misfits Market you can save $30 ($10 off your first three orders of $35 or more) with the discount code: TILTED10X3 . As I learned, it’s super flexible, and you can easily cancel anytime.
So yes, I was skeptical about Misfits Market before getting started – both whether it would be useful and high quality, and whether it was legitimately better for the environment than going to the store.
But now that I’ve received five Misfits orders so far, I actually don’t think I’ll give it up. Here’s why:
- Getting a box of fresh produce delivered every week has turned our weekly grocery shopping trip into an every other week trip. My schedule loves it.
- And that means it’s actually stopping a car trip from happening. Misfits Market just adds you to a route that they’re already delivering to. (That’s why you can’t choose a day of the week for delivery, but it means there’s no special trip just for your groceries. They drop off on the day they’ll be driving through your neighborhood anyway.)
- The produce is a lot higher quality than I expected. The one time that something arrived not fresh, I simply reported it in the Misfits Market app and it they gave me an instant refund. No questions asked, and it took about 30 seconds to do.
- And the app is actually really good. I was expecting another clunky one, but this makes it surprisingly easy, and even kind of fun, to do my weekly order.
- It’s also really, really easy to pause or skip deliveries when I’ll be out of town. You can skip order 10 weeks in advance, too.
Keep reading for everything else I’ve learned about this grocery service since I started using it.
[Related: Have you ever thought of composting in your apartment? Then you should check out my review of the Lomi countertop composter! Misfits Market has cut my grocery shopping days in half, and Lomi has cut my taking-out-the-trash days in half.]
How’s the Quality?
Honestly, better than I expected, and better than a whole lot of grocery stores.
Good fruit is of course notoriously hard to find in the dead of winter on the East Coast, and the fruit from Misfits Markets is at least as good as from Whole Foods. (There are occasional exceptions to that, but I’m more often impressed than disappointed.)
As for everything else, in short, I have very few complaints.
A few examples:
Items like broccolini and Swiss chard sometimes arrive slightly wilted, but only slightly. (I just trim off the ends and put them in the freezer to eventually make vegetable broth with, and stand the rest in a glass or vase of water to revive. Not much different from grocery store produce in most of the country.)
I also had one block of tofu (out of 5 I’ve ordered) arrive a bit yellow looking and odd smelling. That’s the one item I “reported an issue with” in the app. I took photos in case I’d have to prove my case, but didn’t even end up needing them. (Misfits sent me an automatic refund – no questions asked.)
My Ah-ha Moment
Eggplants have been the only item we’ve ordered that consistently look like pieces of veg I wouldn’t have bought in the grocery store. But we’ve always eaten them the day after they arrive, and are surprised by how little has to actually be sacrificed to the compost machine.
Perhaps this is actually proof of the concept – these eggplants have looked undeniably not good every week, but they’ve always actually been totally usable.
Is Misfits Market actually cheaper than the grocery store?
Well, surprisingly, for a lot of items, I’d say yes – at least slightly.
Most produce I’ve compared is either about the same price from Misfits Market, or just slightly less than buying organic at the store.
(You do have to consider that most of their produce is organic, so don’t compare it with grocery store prices for conventionally farmed fruit and vegetables.)
The pantry items are the easiest to compare, and I did often find that the same brand and size of tofu, oat milk, and other staples are often a dollar less per item from Misfits Market, when comparing with Whole Foods. (Which is often the only place to comparison shop organic plant-based foods.)
Wait, is this a vegan thing?
Nope! I know a lot of my examples involve tofu, oat milk, and vegetables, so just to clarify, Misfits Market also carries meat, cheese, and everything else you’d find in a normal grocery store.
They also have a rotating selection of plant-based meats and cheeses, non-diary milks, snacks, pantry items, etc.
(Also, to clarify, I’m not vegan either! I’m a more-plants-than-animals flexitarian, for both climate and health reasons. And because I follow an Italian-style diet that’s heavy in fruits and vegetables, thanks to my years in Italy.)
If you are looking for a fully plant-based grocery delivery service, Hungry Harvest is one I’ve found, but their delivery area is a limited area of the East Coast.
You’ll pay a $6 shipping fee on every order, unless your cart total is above $60. (The minimum for each order is only $15, but I can’t really see how that would be worth it.)
So I adjusted my “Plan Settings” to be close to $60. That way, Misfits Market will automatically fill my cart with enough of whatever’s available that week to get over the free shipping threshold.
After they fill my cart, I can add anything I want, or remove whatever I don’t. But the prefilled cart makes it quicker and easier to see whether it’ll be worth my time and money to place an order that week, based on what’s available.
Does Misfits Market ship with plastic?
For their outer packaging, I’d give them about 4 out 5 stars. The orders come in cardboard boxes, not plastic bags like Amazon orders.
But sadly, their cardboard boxes are closed with plastic tape, not paper tape. I asked them whether they have any plans to upgrade that, and I’ll let you know what they say.
And inside the box, unfortunately, you’re basically signing up for a random assortment of the grocery store’s best and worst packaging practices.
It’s surprisingly hard to predict which items will come with excessive plastic and which won’t.
For example: My two orders of kiwis, which were sold by the three-count, arrived as 6 loose kiwis in the box, no packaging whatsoever. Four pounds of organic Honeycrisp apples, however, sold in two-pound quantities, came in two plastic bags.
But when I ordered a Misfit fruit labeled as “large honey crisp apples” (they were each the size of my face) they came with no packaging. (And they were really sweet and delicious.)
A pint of cherry tomatoes, as I expected, came in a plastic clamshell.
But all the other produce in that order, including “mystery colored Swiss chard,” butternut squash, and eggplant – all organic – came without any packaging at all!
One rule I’m living by to reduce plastic is to not order anything that would be in the refrigerator section in a normal grocery store – unless I’m going to order a lot of it.
That’s because when I’ve ordered mostly just produce and a block of tofu, the tofu came in its own giant refrigerator bag (plastic), with a plastic-wrapped block of ice inside it. That’s a lot of packaging for just one item.
It’s a good rule, but it’s not failsafe. (When I ordered two boxes of salad, one came in the freezer bag, the other didn’t. So it’s more of a guideline.)
And surprisingly, the oat milk I order never comes in a refrigerator bag, even though it’s refrigerated at the store. (Although it wouldn’t have to be. We must just like the idea of “milk” being kept cold.)
Packaging Return option!
This is something new and exciting! Misfits Market actually just launched a packaging return program. It’s only available for certain packaging and in certain areas, but it’s a great start and I’m happy they’re doing it.
Just check the box in your Misfits Market order saying you’ll participate, leave the packaging where your driver normally leaves your grocery delivery, and they’ll pick it up and take it back to be either recycled or reused. (Frozen gel packs are sanitized and reused, the rest is mostly recycled.)
Misfits says they’re the only nationwide online grocery service that offers more sustainable packaging solutions for free. And I’ve looked at others and haven’t found anyone else doing it. (It’s definitely better than Amazon Fresh, whose policy on recycling or reusing packaging is basically, “good luck with that.”)
How flexible is it?
The bottom-line reason I continue to be a “member” of Misfits Market is that it’s extremely flexible and easy to use. (I’m also a travel writer and editor; I’m gone a lot, so I don’t need fresh food showing up at my door every week.)
You can choose your default delivery frequency as weekly or every two weeks. And beyond that, you can pause your plan for up to three months whenever you want, or skip any order by the specific date. (As soon as I have a trip booked, I open the Misfits app and skip those dates.)
As for what kind of groceries you get, it’s 100% customizable.
I chose fruits and vegetables as my cart preferences. (You can set these to whatever you want, so it’ll automatically add whatever you choose to your cart – snacks, deli foods, meat, fish, or other categories.)
Afraid you’ll forgot to check your grocery cart every week?
First of all, the app will remind you when your cart is open, and you’ll get a reminder email, too. (Your “shopping window” opens 6 days before your next delivery date, so you have 4 days to shop.)
But you can also skip all that.
When I say I’m a “member,” I mean that Misfits automatically fills my cart for me every week – but that’s not required! (It kind of seems like it is when you first sign up, which is one thing that kept me from trying the service for a while. But once you join, you can “downgrade” your account and just use it whenever you want. No prefilled cart items, no remembering to edit your cart every week.)
If you do stick with the membership, you can set exact items as recurring, to be included in every order (and then you can still remove them from a week’s delivery).
And you get a “never list.” So they don’t bother trying to add cucumbers to my cart, for example, because we’ll never order them, so I don’t have to hassle with removing them from my cart.
Does Misfits Market really sell food that would be thrown away? (More Examples)
Yes and no. It’s a mixed bag.
Some of their produce is there because it’s too small, too large, or not the “standard” color or shape people expect – so unfortunately, grocery stores don’t want to bother with it. Not all of their produce is this way, but some of it.
Same goes for packaged foods. Sometimes when a brand changes their packaging design, grocery stores don’t want to sell the “old” design – even if the food is far from expiration.
Online or on the app, it’s easy to tell which items are actually rescued from picky grocery stores, because they’re clearly labeled with why they were rejected. (Discoloration, excess inventory, too small, etc.)
That makes it look very straightforward. But sometimes, when I open the box, it’s harder to tell.
Example #1: Avocados
I ordered two kinds of avocados recently, just out of curiosity — two organic ones that were labeled “too small” for grocery stores, and two non-organic ones that were labeled “too big.”
I was expecting Zava’s avocados:
But when they arrived, it was kind of hard to tell the difference:
Even stranger — they were all organic! Okay, can’t beat that.
Example #2: Orange Juice
Another item I ordered just as a test was the Imperfect Foods brand orange juice, which said there online that it had a “cosmetic imperfection.”
What though? That it’s… slightly crooked? I have no idea was imperfect about this OJ.
I’m not saying any of this is a problem, or that these aren’t legitimately “rescued” vegetables. I have no idea how to test or prove that, frankly. (And I think my eggplant test above is more telling than this.)
The “misfit-ness” is just sometimes less obvious than I expected.
Misfits Market vs. Imperfect Foods
The coastal grocery showdown has ended! New Jersey-based Misfits Market bought California-based Imperfect Foods in 2022.
They still technically operate separately, but they’ve changed a lot of details to offer a more similar selection and delivery minimums. ($15 is the minimum order for both.)
And regardless of which one you order from, your groceries will ship from the warehouse closest to you.
(Both Misfits and Imperfect only ship to the lower 48 US states. Unfortunately, other grocery delivery services I’ve found, like Thrive Market and Hungry Harvest, also do not ship to Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada. But if I find any that do, I’ll update this here!)
Bottom line: Is it worth trying?
Obviously, it depends on your lifestyle whether a grocery delivery service is necessary or even helpful. So I’ll speak for myself. Personally, because I travel so much, I don’t find it necessary to get a Misfits Market box delivered every single week. (And luckily, it’s easy to delay or skip orders – much easier than many subscription services, actually.)
But I do find it handy to have it in my back pocket as an option.
For example, I try to drive as little as possible, but I don’t live near a grocery store that sells organic produce. That means I often drive to a store that does once a week.
But I can easily skip that trip by signing up for a delivery from Misfits – and I’m able to get most of what I would have bought at Whole Foods delivered to my door. (Yep, that’s the only store anywhere near me with actually good produce and much of an organic selection.)
Another time I really appreciate Misfits Market is when I’ll be out of town.
The delivery day in my area is Tuesday. If I’m traveling for the weekend and getting back Sunday, I can easily get by for a day with a few things from the freezer or local store, and I don’t have to worry about coming home to an empty fridge and not having time for a big grocery shopping trip ASAP.
So I don’t really see a reason not to try it!
It doesn’t cost more than the grocery store. There’s no fee to start or be a member (you just pay for what you order). The quality of the produce is excellent. The app is easy to use. And it’s very easy to cancel or skip orders.
Bonuses (Saved the Best for Last)
They also deliver misfit wine. Some is organic, too. And the padding inside the box with the wine bottles is entirely plastic-free!
You can add wine to the same order as your groceries, but it ships separately. But these are just details. The point is, they deliver wine!
Sometimes there are free samples, too. (I ordered this one, and it was a full-sized bar, not just a bite.)
Misfits Market Discount Details:
Offer valid for first-time purchasers only. Offer must be claimed using code TILTED10X3 by April 30, 2024 at 11:45 PM ET and must be used in full by June 15, 2024 at 11:45 PM ET. Maximum discount of $10 applied at checkout towards your first order, $10 towards your second order, and $10 towards your third order. Order minimum applies, and $35 order minimum required to redeem offer. Offer not valid for past purchases and may not be combined with other offers. Exclusions may apply.