Misfits Market vs Imperfect Foods: See Which Box Delivers on Cost & Quality

This is a side by side comparison photo of Imperfect foods and Misfits foods. They both are grocery delivery boxes that give misshaped vegetables to customers.
Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods claim they reduce food waste by delivering ugly produce to your doorstep with their produce subscription boxes. But does buying ugly produce save you money? Kaz Weida/The Penny Hoarder

You can’t scroll social media these days without stumbling across an ad for an imperfect produce subscription. These grocery delivery services claim you can save the planet — and your wallet — by opting to receive mostly organic produce that’s been discarded by other more discerning customers and grocery stores. Sounds too good to be true, right?

To find out, we put two popular ugly produce box subscriptions to the test against delivery from a grocery store. Our goal?

To determine if these organic produce services delivered on their promises to slash grocery store prices and reduce food waste. And as you might expect, we discovered that ugly produce delivery is more than meets the eye — and the winner might surprise you.

How Does Ugly Produce Delivery Work?

Produce subscription boxes like Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods deliver fresh, organic produce and other pantry staples to your doorstep — just like a grocery store delivery service. So what’s the difference? You get the “ugly” produce a grocery store might turn down.

Both Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market are free to join and allow customers to skip deliveries or cancel at any time. They fill up your weekly box with a customized selection of organic fruits and vegetables as well as pantry items, meat, seafood and snacks. Customers can swap out items in their cart as desired.

You can opt for a box without customization or upgrade to a bigger plan that fits your household needs. Ordering a la carte without a subscription is also allowed on Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market.

Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods Comparison

Criteria Misfits Market Imperfect Foods

Delivery area

Lower 48 states

East/West Coast, urban areas across Midwest

Shopping window

3 days

4 days

Minimum order



Delivery fee


$4.99-$8.99, Orders $60+ free delivery

Customizable delivery


No (based on zip code)

Both ugly produce subscriptions are similar, but they have some significant differences.

  • Misfits Market is widely available in the lower 48 and provides transparent sourcing for its fresh food. There’s also wine and a points program to earn discounts and other free stuff. But Misfits Market has a minimum order threshold and a more expensive delivery fee, depending on where you live.
  • Imperfect Foods has a much smaller delivery footprint and is largely available on both coasts and select urban areas across the Midwest. Because it emphasizes reducing the environmental impact of grocery delivery, Imperfect Foods has its own electric vans and schedules delivery by zip code.

As for inventory, Imperfect Foods offers some packaged foods under their own label and more wellness and household products than Misfits Market. There’s no minimum order, although the shipping fee is waived once your Imperfect Foods box hits $60.

Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods are the most popular options but there are others focused on creating a better food system, such as Hungry Harvest.

Read more about how ugly produce is changing grocery shopping and get answers to frequently asked questions in our guide to ugly produce.

Do Ugly Produce Subscriptions Reduce Food Waste?

Food waste is an outsized problem in the U.S. and elsewhere. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimates that 30% to 40% of the food supply is lost to waste either at the farm, retail or consumer level. In fact, discarded food is the single largest category of waste in landfills.

That’s where services like Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods come in. Misfits Market claims it has rescued 5 million pounds of produce that would have otherwise gone to waste.

Imperfect Foods says they’ve taken a bite out of food waste to the tune of 166 million pounds, with an average of 6 to 8 pounds of food, 214 to 218 gallons of water and 4 to 6 pounds of CO₂ conserved per order.

Whether they’re actually eliminating food waste is a bone of contention. Experts argue that most food waste happens at the consumer level, and organic vegetables and fruits with cosmetic blemishes could be used for other purposes. Think salsa, jam, juice and other canned goods.

So if your goal is simply to reduce food waste, you might be better off investing in community-supported agriculture (CSA) or planting your own community garden.

Pro Tip

Thinking of starting a garden but worried you’re going to bite off more than you can chew? Follow these expert tips to start a victory garden for cheap.

Misfit Market's subscription box is displayed with all the ugly produce out of the box.
Misfits Market claims to save you $25.17 per week with a subscription to their organic produce. Kaz Weida/The Penny Hoarder

Can Fresh Produce Subscriptions Save Money?

One of the big advantages ugly produce services advertise is that you’ll save money on groceries, but that comes with caveats. If you largely buy non-organic produce at grocery store prices, you’ll gain a higher quality product but you’re unlikely to save money.

Let’s drill down into the details of whether buying funky-shaped fruits or strange-looking veggies is worth it to your wallet.

Misfits Markets vs. Imperfect Foods vs. the Grocery Store: A Cost Comparison

Is an ugly produce subscription really cheaper than organic produce from a grocery store? We did the math, so you don’t have to.

We ordered produce from Imperfect Foods, Misfits Market and the closest local grocery store via Instacart delivery. To compare costs, we tried to purchase the same organic items in the same quantities. We’ve noted where we couldn’t get exact matches and prices might reflect a different variety.

Misfits Market claims you’ll save $25.17 per week with a subscription to their organic produce. As always, the proof is in the prices.

Cost Comparison

Item Misfits Market Imperfect Foods Grocery store

Potatoes (3 lbs.)

$3.69 (yellow)

$5.99 (red)

$4.29 (russet)

Spinach (5 oz.)

$3.39 (baby)

$3.99 (bunch)

$3.79 (baby)

Brussels sprouts (1 lbs.)




White mushrooms (8 oz.)








Red onions (2 lbs.)




Tomatoes (10 oz.)

$3.29 (cherry)

$2.49 (roma)

$3.79 (grape)

Carrots (1 lbs.)

$1.69 (baby)

$1.99 (whole)


Canned Chickpeas (15 oz.)




Flour tortillas (6 count, small)



Not available

Grocery total




Shipping or delivery fee








Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods will definitely save you money on organic fruits and vegetables delivered to your door. But that savings comes from grocery delivery costs from a third party — Instacart — in this case. If you shop yourself or get free local delivery, the savings vanish.

You’ll also notice a few items are marked as missing. Our Misfits Market and Instacart orders both had missing items. With Instacart, the item was promptly refunded through the app. For Misfits Market, a customer service complaint was filed but it took a few days to get reimbursed. So while the Misfits Market cost was lower up front, we didn’t really get what we paid for.

Pro Tip

Wanna save even more on groceries? Stick to vegan or vegetarian meals and trim up to 30% off your grocery bill.

Misfits Markets vs. Imperfect Foods vs. the Grocery Store: A Quality Comparison

Let’s put our organic food items side by side to see how a Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods subscription measures up to groceries delivered from a local store.

While the grocery store had lower costs on organic produce, the quality and selection left a lot to be desired. You would never have guessed that the fruits and vegetables only traveled a few miles from store to door. They were obviously more wilted and worse for wear.

A comparison of Brussel sprouts that differ in shape and size.
Kaz Weida/The Penny Hoarder

The most glaring difference in quality between Misfits Market (left), Imperfect Foods (middle) and the grocery store (right) was the Brussels sprouts. The ones from the grocery store were small, wilted, sad little sprouts compared to the robust ones from the produce subscription boxes.

Various red onions are photographed that are different in shape and size.
Kaz Weida/The Penny Hoarder

This same trend carried through all the produce. The red onions from Misfits Market (left) were generally larger and a little irregular, with some minor blemishes. Imperfect Foods (middle) had smaller red onions that appeared much fresher than the ones that had been in the grocery store (left) just hours before.

A side by side comparison of ugly eggplants delivered by Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods.
Kaz Weida/The Penny Hoarder

While the local grocery store didn’t have organic eggplant, Misfits Market (right) and Imperfect Foods (left) sent good quality produce. Misfits Market’s produce had more blemishes and size irregularities unlike Imperfect Foods, which could rival Whole Foods’ quality.

The Best Ugly Produce Delivery Service

The answer to who has the best ugly produce service depends on your priorities. Let’s highlight the best of each of the subscriptions and services sampled.

Misfits Market: Best for Cost and Availability

Misfits Market generally has low prices on organic produce without sacrificing quality. Boxes are also available in most states. Plus, they have wines that pair perfectly with brunch, and no one is going to argue with that.

If you don’t mind the three-day shopping window and a smaller selection of pantry items, then a Misfits Market subscription will suit you just fine.

Imperfect Foods: Best for Quality and Selection

It’s not the cheapest ugly produce, but Imperfect Foods delivers the best-looking seasonal produce. And those extra dollars go a long way toward buying better quality items and getting a larger selection of pantry staples.

That matters because — unlike Misfits Market — your Imperfect Foods shipment earns free delivery once it hits $60. You can pack more value and less environmental impact into each box. But if you can’t swing being available on your zip code’s assigned delivery day, that could be a dealbreaker.

Grocery Store: Best for Conventional Produce and Shelf-Stable Items

The average grocery store is best for those who buy non-organic produce or prefer in-person shopping rather than paying for delivery. That way, you can pick the best of the bunch at a price you’re comfortable with or trade Brussels sprouts for broccoli if one looks better.

This also depends on your store’s commitment to stocking high-quality organic produce. But rolling the dice and taking your chances with what’s closest — and cheapest — may not always mean produce you want to bite into.

Kaz Weida is a senior staff writer at The Penny Hoarder covering saving money and budgeting. As a journalist, she has written about a wide array of topics including finance, health, politics, education and technology for the last decade.