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Misfits Market Review: Is It Worth It To Reduce Food Waste?

An illustrated box of Misfits Market

Editor’s Note: This article is sponsored by Misfits Marketbut we didn’t tell our writer that it was sponsored when she wrote it. We used this fun and sneaky trick to ensure she shared her honest opinion and so readers can trust the content of this review.

The opinions shared in this review are independently and honestly written by Megan Burns — without any brand influence. The opinions are her own.

(Surprise, Megan! Sorry we tricked you!)

Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, we may earn a commission from our sponsors at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

This article is presented in partnership with Misfits Market
(But again, it was written independently without brand influence)

Did you buy a head of lettuce at the grocery store with all the best intentions to make some New York Times Cooking section-worthy salads for your weekly lunches? Only to “accidentally” forget about it all week until it’s wilted to the point of inedibility? No? Just us? 

That’s a silly (though admittedly, very real) example of a larger, pervasive global problem: food waste

The heartbreaking reality is, 30% of the world’s population live in a state of food insecurity — all while a third of the world’s food supply is wasted every year.

And if you can believe it, the problem gets worse. Food waste is both a humanitarian crisis and contributes significantly to the climate crisis. 

In addition to the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package food being wasted when it’s discarded, as uneaten food rots in a landfill, it produces loads of methane — a greenhouse gas at least 28 times as potent as carbon dioxide. 

In just the United States, food waste generates the equivalent of 32.6 million cars worth of greenhouse gas emissions. And it’s not improving.

While some responsibility for our food waste problem certainly falls on consumers — some food is wasted before you even have the option to purchase that well-intentioned bag of romaine. 

In an effort to present beautiful produce displays to their consumers, grocery stores will reject perfectly good food items that don’t meet their arbitrary standards: bananas that aren’t the right size, apples that aren’t the right color, or zucchini that are a little misshapen.

The ugly problem. It can be expensive to eat healthy. Yet almost half of the food grown in this country is thrown out because it can't be sold. That's where we come in.
The ugly problem. It can be expensive to eat healthy. Yet almost half of the food grown in this country is thrown out because it can't be sold. That's where we come in. / Screenshot of Misfits Market website

In addition to these superficial visual standards, food items that are in outdated packaging, short-dated (best-by date is within six weeks), or simply in excess may also meet their fate in a landfill before you even have the chance to buy them.

As people working to both reduce our personal carbon footprint and hold systems and corporations accountable for their contributions to the climate crisis — we were excited to hear about any opportunity to eliminate the food waste that is largely outside of our personal control. 

Fortunately, we’re here with an authentic review of Misfits Market, to give you another option to help reduce food waste during your weekly grocery haul. 

Misfits Market box on a white countertop
My order from Misfits Market / Photo courtesy of Megan Burns for Good Good Good

What is Misfits Market?

First, let’s start off this review by explaining what Misfits Market is:

Misfits Market is an online grocer working to do two main things: make high-quality food more affordable and accessible and help break the cycle of food waste.

The funny-looking solution. We take in the high-quality food that grocery stores would rather let go to waste. Then, we find everything a good home. Your home.
The funny-looking solution. We take in the high-quality food that grocery stores would rather let go to waste. Then, we find everything a good home. Your home. / Screenshot of Misfits Market website

Essentially, they mail you a box of food at a great price and reduce food waste in the process.

Working directly with farmers and food producers primarily in the Americas, Misfits Market gets access to high-quality fruits, vegetables, and lots of other food items.

Some items come from further away based on what’s in season. For transparency, they have a list of what foods are currently being rescued and where they come from. 

Cut your weekly grocery bill
Cut your weekly grocery bill / Screenshot of Misfits Market website

While some of the produce the brand sends falls into the “looks a little strange” (a.k.a. the misfits!) category, most of it is simply excess. It’s why Misfits Market describes what it does as “rescuing” food.

Misfits Market cuts out the middleman and rescues food, pantry staples, wine, and other groceries, and as a result, claims to offer consumers food products up to 40% cheaper than grocery stores.

How does Misfits Market work?

What do they offer?

While most people might think of fruits and vegetables when they think of Misfits Market, their offerings go way beyond produce.

Misfits Market has fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood, dairy and eggs, beverages, pantry stuff, wine, pet products, and more...
Misfits Market's offerings now go beyond just produce. / Screenshot of Misfits Market website

Misfits Market offers:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Meat, Seafood & Plant-Based Proteins
  • Milk (Dairy & Non-Dairy)
  • Pantry Staples
  • Beverages
  • Snacks
  • Eggs
  • Pet Food
  • Coffee
  • Wine

Subscription and shipping

Unlike a meal box subscription, Misfits Market doesn’t have a set subscription “fee.” Once you sign up, you can access the items offered in the market — and you can add as few (as long as you meet the $35 order minimum) or as many items as you’d like.

ou can choose between an a-la-carte plan and a weekly grocery plan, which each have their pros and cons listed
You can choose between an a-la-carte plan and a weekly grocery plan / Screenshot of Misfits Market website

Depending on how often you’d like groceries sent to you, customers can choose between their weekly grocery plan or a-la-carte shopping: 

Weekly Grocery Plan: Misfits Market will automatically fill your cart with items it thinks you’ll like — but you can still make adjustments to it!

A-La-Carte Grocery Plan: Customers can use this to plan to build their own box each time they order. This plan is especially great for customers who want to order less frequently.

Customers with a weekly grocery plan can pause or cancel it at any time with no penalties or fees. A-la-carte shoppers can simply not build an order for that week.

Ordering from Misfits Market

Each week, Misfits Market will notify you when your three-day “shopping window” is open. If you’re on a weekly grocery plan, it’ll pre-fill your cart with items it thinks you’ll like, but you can change your box’s items at any point within your shopping window. 

Most of the produce is organic and are clearly labeled as such; they also have a limited amount of conventional items for people who want to shop at lower price points.

All organic produce is clearly labeled. In this screenshot, you can see that there's no label on the grapes in the upper lefthand corner
All organic produce is clearly labeled. In this screenshot, you can see that there's no label on the grapes in the upper lefthand corner / Screenshot of Misfits Market website

You can add or remove as many items as you’d like — you just need to make sure your box is above the order minimum. If your order doesn’t meet the $35 minimum, Misfits Market will skip it automatically. (This ensures shipping is more economical and better for the planet.)

When your shopping window closes, your order will be placed and shipped to you on the preferred shipment date you set, which you can also change at any time. There’s a flat shipping rate, and you’ll get tracking information so you can prepare to receive your box.

An honest review of Misfits Market 

In order to ensure this review is helpful and reliable, Misfits Market sent Good Good Good team member Megan a code to pick out her own groceries and have her own authentic experience. This review is her honest feedback:

A cardboard box with the Misfits Market logo (and illustrations of ugly produce) on a countertop
My Misfits Market box! / Photo courtesy of Megan Burns for Good Good Good

Ordering Experience:

Filling my Misfits Market box was incredibly easy, especially since Misfits pre-selected some items it thought I might like. I removed the ones I wasn’t interested in, added the produce staples I usually pick up at the grocery store each week like apples and grapes, and perused some of the other pantry staples they offered.

I didn’t have a weekly meal plan set for the week, so I approached filling my box with the mindset of getting the “usuals” that always are on my grocery list and in my IRL cart at the grocery store: snacks like apples and grapes, oat milk for coffee, broccoli and cauliflower for easy dinner sides. 

An opened cardboard box filled with produce
Everything in my Misfits Market order arrived safe and sound / Photo courtesy of Megan Burns for Good Good Good

Though the list of foods it’s currently rescuing is expansive and always changing based on seasonality and what’s available, Misfits does recommend shopping as soon as your shopping window opens because items can sell out. 

I didn’t have any trouble finding or ordering my weekly staple items, but if you were planning for a specific or more complex recipe, you may still need to make a quick stop at your local grocery store for some items. 

Personally, physically going to the grocery store is not my favorite chore of the week, so I loved the ease of adding the weekly grocery staples and knowing they’d come to me without having to make another monotonous trip for them. 

Plus, I saved probably an hour of my time (driving, browsing, checkout, etc.), and definitely some money compared to the days I shop on an empty stomach! 

Packaging:

My order came in a recyclable (or reusable!) brown box, and the padding inside was fully recyclable curbside, too. It came with two ice packs in the bottom, which can be emptied into the trash bin, and the outer bag can be recycled at a plastic film recycling drop-off site.

All of my items all arrived safe and sound on my doorstep, and everything was still cold that needed to be. I was especially thrilled to see the padding could be recycled curbside, which is in line with other food and meal delivery boxes I’ve used. 

Recycleable padding inside the Misfits Market box
The padding in my shipment was curbside recycleable / Photo courtesy of Megan Burns for Good Good Good

My heart definitely sank a bit when I saw the two ice packs, as I already have a pile of these in my garage. They can be reused, but if I got a box delivered every week, that’s more than I’d ever need — and likely more than I can share with others.

And while they can be emptied into the trash, it makes the bag extremely heavy, and I’ve ended up having to reinforce my trash bags to accommodate it. That kind of seems to defeat the purpose?

Recently, I received a meal kit box that had a “sink safe” ice pack which could be dumped right down the drain vs. in the trash — and I’m hoping to see more of those used by cold-delivery services like Misfits in the future.

(Editor's Note: Misfits Market reached out to share that gel packs are not used in any shipments that do not include perishable inventory, and gel packs are dynamically allocated based on how much inventory is in a shipment to keep perishable orders at safe temperatures in transit.)

Food:

I primarily included fruits and vegetables my husband and I regularly work into meals in my box, including broccoli florets, cauliflower, apples, blackberries (the only item I got that was not organic), limes, lemons, grapes, and more. 

I was also excited to see that Misfits Market had Minor Figures brand oat milk available 20% cheaper than traditional retail. My favorite local coffee shop uses it and I wanted to try it for myself. The verdict is in: it’s delicious!

A lot of products packed into a Misfits Market box
Photo courtesy of Misfits Market

We also cook with olive oil almost daily in our house, so I added a tin of Misfits Market’s Odds & Ends brand of Spanish extra virgin olive oil to my box. I love that it comes in an easily-recyclable metal tin, because I recently started reusing and just refilling an olive oil bottle I already have. 

All of the produce items were delicious, fresh, and equivalent to what I’d buy at a traditional grocery store. I did notice some of my items were ripe and needed to be consumed relatively quickly, so I’d be more mindful of that in the future when I select items and be ready within a day or two to consume them or work them into a meal.

In conclusion:

Pros

  • I saved as much money as they claimed I would
  • I helped prevent food waste
  • I got to eat delicious, nutritious, and fresh food
  • Lots of premium options available

The biggest pro of Misfits Market, in my view, is the fact that you literally get to consume nutritious, fresh food that would have likely been wasted. 

I especially think this is a great fit for people who like to have fruits and vegetables around the house for snacking — not having to make a trip to the store to get your weekly essentials is a huge life assist on Misfits’ part. 

An illustration of a car driving home a big bag of groceries
Graphic courtesy of Misfits Market

The cost savings are also significant. While I personally don’t eat or cook with a lot of meat at home anymore — I did want to note that the Misfits Market website had pasture-raised ground chicken available recently for 40% off retail.

A receipt showing air prices for Megan's Misfits Market order
My receipt from my Misfits Market order / Screenshot courtesy of Megan Burns for Good Good Good

I did a quick, comparable online order from a local chain grocery store of the items I got from Misfits Market, and the estimated savings were right around what Misfits predicted: I saved just over $20 by ordering the items through Misfits Market.

Not to mention, a lot of organic and premium items like the oat milk and olive oil options weren’t even available through my local grocery store.

Cons

  • Some items need to be consumed right away
  • Ice packs create more waste than I’d like
  • Not clear about emissions saved vs. emitted with shipping 

Since some items are short-dated, be prepared to consume items right away. I made the mistake of letting the bag of grapes I ordered in my box sit for a bit too long, and they went bad. Check best-by dates, and be prepared to eat and/or fruits and vegetables in your meals relatively quickly.

(Editor's note: Misfits Market does have a number of helpful guides to correctly store and preserve your fresh produce.)

How to Store your Misits Market Produce
Food storage guide courtesy of Misfits Market

As I mentioned before, the ice packs that come in the shipment are also a relatively significant pain point. If you get a weekly box, these will pile up quickly, and add quite a bit of waste (and weight) to your trash can. I’d also make sure you have plastic film recycling available near you, if your goal is to reduce waste!

Lastly, I’d be curious to know how the methane saved from keeping food out of landfills stacks up against the carbon emissions it takes to ship each of these boxes to people all over the country. In the future, it could be cool if they added a “methane savings” tracker so I can measure my impact. 

Knowing that methane is significantly more concentrated than CO2, I assume it ends up as a net-win overall, but was hoping to find information about that on Misfits’ website. 

(Editor’s Note: A new study from University of Michigan researchers did find that meal kits have a much lower overall carbon footprint than the same meals purchased at a grocery store.) 

Though Misfits is certainly meeting an immediate, urgent need in reducing food waste, the model doesn’t necessarily seem like the most efficient, effective way to solve this particular problem related to food waste. I’d love to see more effort to tackle systemic issues like eliminating superficial standards at grocery stores, shipping to central locations for people to shop, changing misconceptions and standards around best-by dates, and more.

(Editor’s Note: The brand does have a number of blog posts about food justice, best-by dates, and the food system as a whole.)

In Summary

Overall, I’m really impressed with Misfits Market’s mission to solve major issues surrounding food waste, and think they do an excellent job to both provide an incredible solution and educate consumers. 

Using Misfits Market is a great way to reduce your personal carbon footprint, save perfectly good, delicious food from becoming waste, save time and money, and challenge the many flaws of the traditional grocery store model.

You can sign up for Misfits Market by simply visiting the brand’s website and clicking “Get Started.” Don’t forget to use code GOOD10 for $10 off your first order.

Try Misfits Market

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s in a Misfits Market box?

Misfits Market boxes are completely customizable, and customers can choose from the market’s seasonal selection each week. The market usually offers a wide selection of fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, plant-based proteins, deli items, pantry staples and snacks, dairy and eggs — and even wine and pet items.

Is Misfits Market really cheaper?

Misfits Market prices can range up to 40% off traditional grocery store retail prices. While that only works out to, say, 50 cents off a couple of avocados, in the scheme of a whole order, it can add up to a whole lot of savings. 

The brand also just added a Misfits Perks program where customers can earn even more savings on orders. While it doesn’t currently accept SNAP/EBT benefits, Misfits Market is hoping to be able to launch it soon.

How much does Misfits Market cost?

Build your boxwith a $35 minimum
Screenshot of Misfits Market website

Misfits Market is free to join, and as long as you meet the $35 order minimum, you can spend as much or as little as you want on groceries. You can order at intervals that work for you, whether that’s getting a weekly box, or shopping a-la-carte when you need a restock.

How is Misfits Market delivered?

Misfits Market delivers its shipments in cardboard boxes with fully-curbside-recyclable insulated padding inside to keep food items protected in hot and cold weather. Boxes also include ice packs that can be emptied into your trash bin and the outer bag recycled at a plastic film recycling drop-off location.

You can sign up for Misfits Market by simply visiting the brand’s website and clicking “Get Started.” Don’t forget to use code GOOD10 for $10 off your first order.

Try Misfits Market

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