Hey you! A year ago, I was just like you learning about Imperfect Produce, and looking up Imperfect Produce review and learn if it a good service to subscribing to. Subscribing to a new service you are not familiar with is kind of scary. You don’t know what to expect, how it works, the commitment phobia… It took me a while to convinced myself to give Imperfect Produce a try, and I am glad that I did. Read on for the full Imperfect Produce review and see if the service is perfect enough for you. Please note that this is NOT a sponsored review, just based on my personal experience.
What is Imperfect Produce?
Imperfect Produce is a fruits and vegetables delivery service that brings boxes of “ugly” organic fruits and veggies to your doorstep at up to 30% less than grocery store prices. This young company takes misshapen ugly produce that is typically thrown away from farms due to cosmetic defects and collects them at a warehouse, where it packages fruits and vegetables into individual boxes and delivers them to customers in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle.
Let’s talk about “ugly”
When I first saw it’s ugly produce, it makes me wonder what will I be getting. Why is it “ugly”? Don’t let the word “ugly” to scare you. Here are some of the common reasons that perfectly good fruit and vegetables get rejected by the grocery stores and end up going to waste:
- Size: Too small or too big from “normal” or “standard” size produce.
- Asymmetry: Supermarkets want produce that fits evenly into display cases so they can build pristine, symmetrical pyramids to entice buyers.
- Scarring: Supermarkets want to buy produce that looks beautiful and unblemished on the outside. This means that scarred fruit and vegetable often go to waste.
- Lack of a consumer market: Perfect good food goes to waste because there isn’t enough demand.
- Discoloration: Supermarkets value visual appearance, the product that isn’t uniformly one color often gets undervalued and goes to waste.
- Surplus: Some of the produce doesn’t have any cosmetic issues and would only go to waste because there is too much of it on the market.
A Candid (Unsponsored) Imperfect Produce Review
- Have both conventional and organic imperfect fruits and veggies options.
- All of their organic growers are certified organic, and many of their growers are USDA GAP (Good Ag Practices) certified, which means that their produce is additionally inspected for quality by a 3rd party.
- Delivers every week right to your door if you choose the weekly option. You can customize the frequency of your delivery based on your needs.
- Delivers non-produce items like olive oil, coffee beans, brown rice but it is not consistently the same weekly.
- You customize your own weekly produce list. If for any reason you forget to pick, Imperfect Produce will choose for you based on the past purchase.
- You will know exactly where your produce is coming from (which Country, name of the farm) and why it is considered “ugly” when you go to customize your box.
- You will always get a text message when you produce is near your house and then a second message when it is delivered to your door. This way, you know exactly where your produce is.
- A free recipe card is available to ship with your box if you are not sure what to do with certain produce.
- Supporting Imperfect Produce is also supporting the reduction of food waste.
- You have the flexibility of skipping a week of delivery. Life happens, you have to go out of town or you simply still have way too much produce left from last week, you can skip a week of delivery.
- You can cancel your subscription at any time. So if you want to try it out, you can cancel it at any time.
- No minimum order quantity or total amount for delivery.
- I love Imperfect Produce don’t use alot of plastic bags. While there is the usage of plastic but they don’t use more than they need to.
- Lack of organic options. If you are okay with purchasing conventional and organic, you will have a great selection. If you are looking for only organic like myself, you will find there is a lack of options.
- Lack of organic seasonal produce. Even though Imperfect Produce does work with many farms, I find that I am not able to find seasonal produce as I would at my local farmers market.
In my one year experience, most of the produce I purchased were surplus. While I was kind of disappointed thinking I was getting the funky looking produce, I was just getting just another pretty apple from the store.
- Don’t offer products like eggs, bread, butter, yogurt, etc. so you will still need to go to the store.
- They do charge a $4.99 delivery fee, which is not too bad unless you are ordering a small amount of produce. If you are only ordering a small amount of produce, you may not want to pay that $4.99 of a delivery charge.
- You can only get your box on a specific day of the week because that is when they deliver to your area. For example, my delivery was always on Thursday. If I ran out of produce in between delivery, I will have to stop by the grocery stores. Or if I was to come back from vacation I won’t get my box for another few days, I will need to go to the store.
My Imperfect Produce Review
I used Imperfect Produce for a year now, and I absolutely love the subscription, and the quality of the produces I have received. During the one year of my subscription, I have saved 655 pounds of diverted produce, 26,200 gallons of water saved, and 2,234 pounds of CO2 out of the air. It is definitely a feel-good service to support. It helps reducing food waste while saving up to 30% of what you would pay for from traditional grocery stores.
One question I always ask myself is what do I look for in this type of services. Is it to save money or convenience? I have to say, I need the convenience it provides. Living in LA, driving to the store can be a hassle (the traffic, find parking, and the crowd). I want a service that can reduce the amount of trip I go to the grocery store (as much as I LOVE going to the store) and save myself some time. At the same time, the idea of being able to save money on the food bill and reduce food waste is fantastic. But, in reality, I was not ordering enough to actually save (because there is a $4.99 shipping fee).
To me, purchasing organic produce is a must. I believe the organic option is better for you, better for the environment, and tastes better than conventional. Imperfect Produce does offer organic options, but I find there is a lack of selections.
Don’t get me wrong, you can get by using Imperfect Produce Organic mostly, and I have done it. But if you like varieties or particular with your food type of foodie, this service may not be for you. And due to lack of organic selections, my average bill weekly between two people is $20-$30. When it is on the lower side, I find it silly to pay for $4.99 shipping. I feel like at that point, I could just drive to the store and pick out my grocery. When my bill comes out below $20, I try to add more to my cart so that I don’t feel silly to pay for shipping.
For these reasons, I have decided to stop my Imperfect Produce subscription and try different companies.
If eating organic is not a must for you, this service could be the option for you. I find that there are a lot more conventional selections than organic. With the combination, you may find yourself a great selection of produce. And as long as you order enough that you think it's worth paying the shipping cost, then that is all that matters.
And lastly, you should know that Imperfect Produce does not deliver essentials like meat, eggs, bread, etc.. In my case, I do find myself going to the store 2-3 times a month to pick up other essentials. Depends on your situation and your diet, you may find yourself in a similar situation as me or not. And if you are not really sure if this is the right subscription for you, just give it a try. Sometimes you just need to try it yourself to know if it will work for you or not.
Take advantage of their $10 off your first box deal. Click here to get started.
Imperfect Produce is for you if you…
- Eats both organic and conventional.
- Looking for an easy, simple way to shop for produce.
- Enjoy similar selection weekly and don’t get bored easily.
- Looking for produce delivery only.
- Eat a large amount of produce weekly because you/ your family cooks at home often.
Imperfect Produce is NOT for you if you…
- Eat organic only.
- Enjoys a variety, exotic, and seasonal produce.
- Eat a small amount of produce weekly because you/your family eat out often and/or don’t cook as often.
Still not sure if Imperfect Produce is the right fit to you? Why don’t you try it out yourself! Use this link and get $10 off your first order! There is no catch, no commitment, you can try it for a week to see if you like it.
Updates Jan, 2020
Imperfect Produce is now called Imperfect Foods. Click here to read my Imperfect Foods review.