Misfits Market: An eco-friendly grocery delivery service that's good, but could be great

We wanted to see if it could replace our normal grocery store run.
By Bethany Allard  on 
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misfits market box on the floor
Groceries delivered straight to your door, every week. Credit: Misfits Market
Misfits Market (opens in a new tab)
The Bottom Line
Misfits Market might not perfectly replace your regular grocery store visits, but it definitely has the potential to, with plenty of affordable options making it one of the better grocery delivery services out there.
Mashable Score 4.3
Sustainability 5
Wow Factor 4
Performance 4
Bang for the Buck 4.3
The Good
  • No monthly subscription fee on top of grocery costs
  • Items priced reasonably
  • Good variety of produce, proteins, and pantry essentials
  • Weekly grocery plan makes compiling a list simple
  • Good quality produce and vegetables
The Bad
  • Time of the day you get delivery might be inconsistent
  • You don't choose your delivery day
  • There's a lot of variety, but likely you'll have to get some food at the store
  • Would be great to see more cultural diversity of foods offered

What if, on a Monday night, instead of bracing yourself to brave the Trader Joe's parking lot, you could open your door to a box full of your week's groceries, with food sourced directly from farms? What if those groceries were reasonably priced? And what if this process could actually be better for the environment than your trip to the grocery store?

These are the questions that Misfits Market(opens in a new tab) dared to ask when creating its grocery delivery service, and what's helped it stand out among the fast-growing grocery delivery industry(opens in a new tab).

For two weeks, I tested out how well they could actually make good on answering those questions by getting all of my groceries from the service. The results: I had some delicious meals, tried some foods and snacks I wouldn't have otherwise, and have started seriously considering making Misfits Market a part of my regular grocery rotation.

How Misfits Market works

Signing up for the service is completely free, but you do have to put in a credit card to get your account going. This is because every member starts with a weekly grocery plan starting at $35 per week. That doesn't mean you have to spend $35 off the bat — they'll fill out your cart for you almost like a template, but you can go to your settings and adjust for an a la carte plan, which lets you add whatever you want to your cart, and ships out your food as long as you spend at least $25.

The weekly plan starts you off with a good mix of fruits and veggies. Swapping and moving around items you do and don't want — and outright completely redoing you cart is fairly simple. The side bar of "aisles" covers pretty much every category, making the site easy to navigate from the jump.

A standard Misfits Market starter cart for one to two people, totaling to about $39.
screenshot of misfits market starter cart
Credit: Misfits Market
items listed misfits market starter cart
Credit: Misfits Market

If you're into the idea of having to put no brain power whatsoever into your cart, Misfits Market also recommends some recipes to go along with cart suggestions. Overall, the experience feels very much like a community supported agriculture(opens in a new tab) program, a conscious shopper, and Hello Fresh combined. Beyond being convenient, having recipes to follow reduces the chances that you'll let your food go bad, which helps contribute to the service's overall mission of reducing food waste.

Speaking of, you can be sure that unlike most grocery stores, Misfits isn't bulk ordering a bunch of food that will eventually end up in a garbage can. Instead, they source from farms across the Americas (and occasionally beyond, according to their website(opens in a new tab)), changing their list to make sure they're buying from farms that might otherwise have to waste the food. They take a similar approach with other pantry essentials and grocery items, opting to buy from brands' excess inventory or short-dated (aka within six weeks of expiration) products.

Misfits Market also recently partnered with Imperfect Foods(opens in a new tab), which means they use the brands' dedicated delivery system. That's why each week, you'll have the same designated delivery day where one Imperfect Foods van delivers to your whole area. All you have to do is finalize your order two days before, and it'll automatically process. While this was an easy system to adjust to, my one (very minor) gripe is that delivery times aren't guaranteed — my first week's order arrived at 8 a.m. and my second around 6 p.m., but at least I was able to track it without a hitch.

open misfits market box with cold pack and other foods
The cold pack kept my foods chilled, even when they were delivered much later in the day. Credit: Bethany Allard / Mashable

The food itself was packaged well. The eggs came in the strongest protective wrap I'd ever seen, and not a single one even had a hint of a crack. All the cold products stayed cold, and none of the produce or vegetables were wrapped up in unnecessary plastic. Out of the 34 grocery items I received, I thought only a single bunch of cilantro could have been packed a little better — I opened my box to find it squished against the side. Still, I threw it in some water and it perked back up, no problem.

produce and vegetables in a box
The cabbage smashed the cilantro, but thankfully it was revived with a bit of water. Credit: Bethany Allard / Mashable

Breaking down the box was simple, and thawing the ice pack, then recycling its wrapping, was easier than I anticipated. It felt about as effortless as getting groceries could be, short of someone else doing every step of the process for you.

To swap or not?

Doing what's right for the environment isn't always your most convenient option, but in the case of Misfits Market, it feels pretty easy to say those two goals are one and the same.

Misfits is conscious about not overstocking their selection, but they still provide plenty of variety. I discovered products from brands I already like (shoutout to the Bobo's Cinnamon Brown Sugar toaster pastries), and new items, like a take and bake baguette that was surprisingly shelf stable. Plus, I took advantage of their many available proteins and cooked chorizo, chicken, salmon, and steak — all were delicious.

Even bigger brands and items that you might not expect to see in an environmentally-minded "health" food store were available, like Campbell's soup and Kettle chips. You could also buy wine and even dog and cat treats. The only thing I missed on my list was chicken stock, but they did have chicken bone broth, so it wasn't an egregious omission.

As for the produce and veggies, they all looked and tasted great, and were not nearly as "ugly" as I expected. The sweet potatoes I got were a tad small, but that's about it.

can of trader joes garbanzo beans next to two sweet potatoes
These were in fact, the smallest sweet potatoes I'd ever seen, as you can see from the garbanzo can reference. Credit: Bethany Allard / Mashable

The point is, you could very feasibly make Misfits Market your one-stop shop, making it a great swap option. Personally, I have a strong allegiance to Trader Joe's and enjoy visiting international markets, so I wouldn't say it's my perfect replacement. But, on a week-to-week basis, Misfits Market gets the job done at a reasonable price, and its selection paired well with the other items I liked to stock in my pantry.

Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods' combined forces seemed to have made the grocery sourcing and delivery process as environmentally friendly as it could possibly be, and the focus on eliminating food waste is much appreciated considering the scope of the problem(opens in a new tab). And they do it all without putting a huge premium on the price, which leads us to our next point.

Is it worth it?

In a word, absolutely. Since you don't have to pay any subscription or membership fees, it's very easy to recommend at least trying out Misfits Market for a week or two. Once you hit the $70 mark on your order, you'll also get free shipping, and if you order up to $30 in cold items, you'll also avoid any additional fees.

Orders under $70 will have a shipping cost of about $6.99, but considering the quality and reliability of the service, that feels more than fair. It was hard to tell if I was saving as much as 40% on my usual grocery bill as the service claims you can (to be fair, I was trying out as many foods as I could), but I did notice some significant price differences.

For instance, the dozen Vital Farms pasture-raised eggs I usually grab at Target for $6.49 were just $4.39 from Misfits. The Minor Figures oat milk I'd been putting off trying because it costs $5.49 for 32 ounces everywhere else costs just $3.99 from Misfits. Other items, such as the aforementioned small sweet potatoes, seemed like an absolute steal, but then I saw they were significantly smaller than what I'd typically grab at the store.

vital farms pasture raised eggs listing on misfit market
I usually spend at least $6.50 for these eggs at my local grocery store. Credit: Misfits Market

Overall, I would say it was about on par, if just a hair cheaper, than my average Trader Joe's run, and certainly cheaper than a Whole Foods trip.

Not all costs are the same zip code to zip code — since partnering with Imperfect Foods, free shipping or minimal cold item fees apply only to eligible zip codes, according to Misfits' FAQ(opens in a new tab).

Even so, it's a great value. Pausing or ending your subscription is hassle-free, and they won't bombard with you emails trying to entice you back. If eco-friendly grocery delivery sounds like your thing, Misfits Market is maybe the best possible way you can try it out.

How we tested

I used Misfits Market for two weeks, with a budget of about $150. I spent a bit more than I usually would in an effort to try out more products from the website. In both instances, I technically used the weekly plan, but made plenty of swaps to try out foods I like. Though it doesn't seem like the service differs too much from region to region, I used it in the Los Angeles area.

Here's the breakdown of how I determined each part of the score:

  • Wow factor: At the end of the day, Misfits Market is a great grocery delivery service, but it didn't necessarily reinvent the wheel. I barely stuck to the weekly plan, but I did appreciate the option — and could see it getting better as the service learned my taste over time. What really boosted this score is the fact that as a service, it is incredibly user friendly, from navigating the website, to tracking your order, or pausing your box deliveries.

  • Sustainability: They source from farms and brands that might otherwise have surplus foods, provide shelf-stable options to prevent waste from happening in the home, have selections like carbon-neutral milk, don't package every last item in plastic, and make sure to consolidate all deliveries in a neighborhood to one day with one driver to reduce CO2 emissions. Overall, the experience felt as environmentally friendly as a grocery delivery could reasonably be.

  • Performance: There were some slight packaging mishaps, and it would've been nice to be notified that I should expect some variation in the delivery times, but overall, Misfits delivered all the correct items without any hidden fees.

  • Bang for the buck: The phrase "eco-friendly grocery delivery" didn't inspire a lot of confidence in me or my wallet, but surprisingly I was able to get plenty of high-quality items without paying a premium. The lack of fees for cold items or monthly subscriptions make this an especially budget-friendly option to try out, and ultimately comes out to the cost of a standard weekly grocery run.

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