I have a shocking fact for you. Nearly half of all the fruit and vegetables in the US are thrown away before they even make it to the grocery store for you to buy.
Why? It all comes down to our demand for “perfect” produce. Grocery stores know that only the best looking produce will be picked and purchased by consumers, leaving the ones with slight imperfections to rot away.
While this statistic is unfortunate, there are companies coming to the rescue! One of those companies is Imperfect Produce.
Imperfect Produce is working to fight food waste by providing customers with “ugly” produce and other imperfect grocery items that wouldn’t otherwise find their way onto grocery store shelves. Even though these items might look a little wonky on the outside, they’re still just as healthy and delicious.
They’re aiming to cut down on that waste by changing our perceptions on which produce is acceptable to eat. Not only that, but they’re passing the savings onto you since the produce will cost about 30% less than what you’d pay at the grocery store. By signing up for a subscription, you’re not only reducing food waste, but you’re also reducing the amount you spend on groceries each week.
Let’s dive into all the basics you need to know about Imperfect Produce!
How it Works & How to Sign Up
The focus of Imperfect Produce is to source the fruits and veggies that might otherwise go to waste. As a customer, you’ll be able to customize your box each week so you can be sure you’re getting exactly what you want in every order. From there, your box is packed up and delivered straight to your door.
How often you receive your Imperfect Produce box is up to you. You can opt to receive one every week or every other week, depending on how much produce you consume. If needed, you can also skip deliveries and you can cancel your subscription at any time.
If all of that sounds good to you, getting yourself signed up for a subscription is pretty simple. Their sign-up page prompts you to enter your zip code to be sure they can deliver to your area. From there, you’ll be able to select your first box. You’ll see a pink “Customize” button when the customization window has opened. This will show you what’s automatically coming in your box and you’ll have the ability to remove or add anything you’d like, depending on what’s available for the season. When you’re all done, review the contents of your box, check the final price, and submit the order!
Variety of Boxes & Produce
For being a produce box, Imperfect Produce actually has a variety of customization options. Upon signing up, you have the ability to choose from 4 different types of boxes:
- Organic: This option will send you a box of 100% certified organic mix of fruit and veggies.
- Mixed Fruit & Veggie: This option will send you a box of fruits and vegetables that are not all going to be organic.
- All Fruit: This option only sends you fruit (not all organic).
- All Veggie: This option only send you vegetables (not all organic).
You also have the ability to choose the size of the box you wish to receive:
- Small Box: This box is 7 to 9 pounds and serves around 1 to 2 people.
- Medium Box: This box is 11 to 13 pounds and serves around 2 to 4 people.
- Large Box: This box is 17 to 19 pounds and serves around 4 to 6 people.
- Extra Large Box: This box is 23 to 25 pounds and serves around 6 to 10 people.
As you can see, the variety in quantity makes it perfect for everyone from single-person households all the way up to families of 6+.
What to Expect in Your Box
Imperfect Produce has a wide array of fruits and veggies that can find their way into your box. There are both organic and conventional options, allowing you to customize your box to your preferences. Available produce will, of course, depend on the season. Even though you’re receiving items that are “imperfect,” everything is 100% ripe, edible, and ready to enjoy.
During the summer, you’ll find things like apricots, nectarines, plums, sweet potatoes, watermelon, and romaine lettuce. In the fall, you could receive avocados, radishes, sugar pie squash, and pomegranate. Available winter produce includes things like kiwi, cucumber, fingerling potatoes, yellow onions, and acorn squash. And finally, in the spring, you could receive Anaheim peppers, mango, zucchini, spring mix lettuce, and beefsteak tomatoes. The full list of produce for each season is available here.
We received the following in our Large “Mixed Fruit & Veggie” box:
- 2 Large Carrots
- Green Lead Lettuce
- 1 Large Zucchini
- 1 Bag of Snap Peas
- 2 Potatoes
- 3 Nectarines
- 2 Pears
- 2 Oranges
- 2 Grapefruits
- 4 Jalapenos
- 1 Onion
That’s 22 individual pieces of produce for $20. That’s around 90 cents per item. Considering we didn’t have to spend time driving or walking to the grocery store since it was shipped right to my door, I’d say that’s a great deal.
Where it’s Available & Delivery Details
At this time, Imperfect Produce is only available in certain cities across the United States.
Current locations include: the Bay Area in California, Los Angeles, the Greater Sacramento area in California, San Diego, Washington, D.C., the Chicago Metro Area, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Montgomery County in Maryland, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Newark, Philadelphia, Austin, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, San Antonio, the Portland Metro Area, Northern Virginia, the Seattle Metro Area, Madison, and Milwaukee.
If you’re not sure if they can ship produce to you, entering your zip code on their sign-up page will let you know instantly. You’ll want to do this first to make sure their service is available to you. If you’re not in their delivery area, you can always check back in the future because they’re working to expand their customer base.
For those who are able to receive deliveries, you might be wondering how your box will make its way to you. Your Imperfect Produce order won’t be shipped by UPS or FedEx. Instead, they have their own team of drivers who make deliveries. On your assigned delivery day (which will be Monday through Friday), you’ll receive a text message informing you that the driver is getting close. Then, the box will be dropped off at your home.
If you aren’t planning to be home in order to receive the delivery, you can leave specific instructions for the driver on where to put your box. After the delivery has been completed, you’ll receive a confirmation text message.
All the items inside your Imperfect Produce box are priced individually. This way, you can completely customize each box you receive and only pay for the produce you want. No worrying that you’ll be paying money for something you won’t actually eat! But if you choose to create a custom box, your price will obviously vary with each order.
If you don’t want to customize your box, there’s a specific price range your order will fall into.
- Organic Box: $15–$17 for the small size, $22–$24 for the medium size, $33–$35 for the large size, and $39–$43 for the extra large size.
- Mixed Fruit & Veggie Box: $11–$13 for the small size, $14–$16 for the medium size, $20–$22 for the large size, and $25–$27 for the extra large size.
- All Fruit Box: $11–$13 for the small size and $14–$16 for the medium size.
- All Veggie Box: $11–$13 for the small size and $14–$16 for the medium size.
Overall, Imperfect Produce is a fantastic way to source your fruits and veggies. Not only are you helping to cut down on food waste across the country, you’re also getting some great savings in the process. Plus, it’s much easier than shopping for produce yourself. No more going to the grocery store and searching for fruits and vegetables. The team at Imperfect Produce does all the hard work and sends everything directly to your door.
We’re very impressed with their service, especially the fact that you can customize your box. The last thing you want is to receive an assortment of produce you won’t actually it.
Have you tried Imperfect Produce? Have a question about their box? Let us know in the comments below!