I’ve ordered from Imperfect Foods twice so far, and thanks to COVID-19, had very different experiences with this grocery delivery service. I was intrigued by Imperfect Foods for a couple of reasons. First of all — fresh produce delivered to your house. Hello, dream for a vegetarian! But on top of that, it’s not as pricy as doing a CSA and those programs often include way more produce than I can use up as one person. Also, you can skip weeks as needed and edit your items before the box gets delivered. The icing on the cake is that you’re saving food that might otherwise be wasted. The reason you get a discount is because the produce may not be perfect looking visually, but that doesn’t make it unfit for eating.
Grocery Delivery Before COVID-19
Imperfect Foods offers lots of options, and they are pretty easy to customize, so you’re not stuck with anything you don’t want. To start off, you pick out what size of box you want. I, of course, picked the small box, but you can also choose from medium, large and extra large. You can also choose to do all veggies, all fruit or all organic. On top of that, you can choose add-ons with snacks, grains or meats/fish. Regardless of all this, you can still switch up the item selection once your box editing window opens up.
How Much Does Imperfect Foods Cost
At least in my area (Omaha, Neb.), they require a $30 minimum and then there’s a $5.99 delivery fee. For me, it was worth it for two reasons: I was able to save significantly on some produce and some other specialty items (you can get cheese, tofu and even some awesome chocolate) and the produce in Midwest grocery stores, especially in the winter, can be very limited.
How Is the Quality of Imperfect Foods
Overall everything I received in my first shipment was great quality. A couple things were not the freshest, and it honestly may have been my own fault. I left the box out wait too long. Watch the video to see how THAT happened:
Is Imperfect Foods a Good Deal?
In general, some things are a good price compared to the grocery store and some are about the same. I ended up spending about $30 total (my order was originally about 40 and I had a discount code.) In general, the produce is where you get the best deal, but some of the other items are a great price too. Here are some examples of what I got:
- Head of butter lettuce $1.65
- 2 bell peppers $1.45
- 1 lb. summer squash $1.95
- 3 apples $1.25
- 2 limes $.65
- 1 mango $1.39
- 1 lb. yellow onions $.85 cents
- 80% dark chocolate discs (these were so good ! they source excess chocolate from manufacturers and make these discs) $2.99
- Firm tofu $2.49
- 5-pack of Larabars $4.49
- 1 butternut squash $1.59
Pros and Cons of this Grocery Delivery Service
Overall, I wanted good produce at a good price, and I got that. Of course, there are always things that stand out and things that can be improved.
What I liked:
- being able to customize what I got in the box
- the option to add grains, snacks, cheese, meat substitutes
- adorable packaging with cheeky saying
- they included a guide on vegetable storage — this was probably my favorite as I’m always like is this one of those veggies they say people put in the fridge but shouldn’t?
- supporting Imperfect Foods helps reduce food waste
- convenient delivery to my home
- ability to get smaller quantities of items
Thing about Imperfect Foods I didn’t really like:
- there was no manifest in the box, so to see a list of what came in the box, I had to go back into my account and look at past orders
- you can only see the reason for them selling the item (overstock, imperfection, etc.) when you’re customizing your box — you can’t go back and reference this when you receive the items
- sometimes you don’t get things you chose because they run out (I was excited about a Sweet Earth veggie burger at an awesome price, but it ended up not being available)
Grocery Delivery After COVID-19
I scheduled my second grocery delivery from Imperfect Foods for March 19. Here in Nebraska, that was right after things started to shut down, the first week I began working from home.
This time, I was very disappointed. They tried to provide good service, but their communication was terrible. Let me explain what happened:
Imperfect Foods emailed me, and it was posted all over the site, that deliveries may be delayed, but they would notify me if that was the case. They didn’t email me, and the day of my delivery, the box never showed. I thought, the world it nuts, give them a chance. The next day, the box still never showed. At that point, the box being 24 hours late, I. contacted customer service. I didn’t get a reply for ANOTHER 24 hours, saying the shipment was canceled, my box wasn’t coming and I was getting refund.
They were super apologetic for the poor communication and slow response. However, I would’ve felt better about the whole situation if they offered me a credit on a future order or some other concession.
Imperfect Foods: Will I Order Again?
I’m pretty well stocked up, so it’s nice to be able to just order some produce, which I need on a regular basis. However, I’m leery. As of writing this post, their site is still saying there are delays and unavailability. Given my curious nature though, I’ll probably try just to see what happens this time.
Once the world is back to normal and/or I know they’ve got operations back in line, I would absolutely order from them again. It’s a great option, but when the world faces crazy times, you really see what businesses are able to handle and how well they adjust. In this case, they didn’t adjust too great and I hope they’ve adapted since my March order.
If you’re interested in trying Imperfect Foods yourself, you can save $10 with my referral code: http://imprfct.us/v/liz_862 (full disclosure I’ll get $10 off too)
To see another example of a produce box, check out our Misfits Market review.