Is misfits market worth the hype?

Misfits Market Review: Is It Worth the Hype?

Today, I’m going to be reviewing the Misfits Market company and talking about whether this brand is worth the hype. This review is unsponsored–I’m not getting paid for my opinion. So, first, let’s talk about why I wanted to look at this brand.

Back in January, I shared with you what it was like for my husband and me to have a vegetarian weekend. Since then, Ginger Snaps and I have embarked on a journey to bring us closer to a plant-based, whole-food lifestyle. Though we don’t identify as vegetarian—we’ll eat meat at other people’s houses, and we’re still using any meat products that are already in our pantry or freezer—we have stopped buying meat and the vast majority of our meals are vegetarian.

We initially chose this lifestyle for health reasons. However, the more we research plant-based meal ideas and vegetarian lifestyle tips, the more we learn about some of the serious environmental implications of the traditional meat-centric eating culture. In fact, every day I become a little more concerned that I’ve brought my daughter into a world that’s soon going to suffer global catastrophe due to human waste and consumption.

That’s why I was so excited to see an advertisement for Misfits Boxes coming on my Facebook feed the other day. So far, I’ve had two misfits boxes delivered. Today, I’m going to discuss what was in each box, whether or not it was worth the cost, and what I like and don’t like about misfits market.

What is Misfits Market?

Misfits market is a produce delivery service that takes fresh produce that wouldn’t otherwise make it to grocery stores and sells it. The goal of misfits market, according to their website, is to reduce chronic food waste. Here’s how it works:

  • You subscribe to one of their boxes
  • On the day of your choosing, a week’s worth of fresh produce is delivered to your door

Their website gets into where these foods come from, but basically, misfit produce is produce that’s either funny shaped, larger or smaller than normal, a different color than grocery stores usually accept, or that was accidentally purchased and needs to be offloaded somewhere quickly so that drivers can pick up their next delivery.

What’s in your Misfits Box?

Every misfit box is a little different, and one of my biggest complaints—which I’ll get into later—is that you don’t know what’s coming in your box until it arrives on your doorstep. There is a frequently updated page on their website which talks about what’s currently offered in some boxes, but you never know which of those foods you’ll actually be getting. In our case, we purchased the Mischief Box, which says that it brings 10-12lbs and should serve 2 people for a week. Here’s what we received each week:

Week One Misfits Box

  • 5 Red Onions
  • 6 Navel Oranges
  • 3 Red Beets
  • 3 Peaches
  • 1 Pint Grape Tomatoes
  • 1 Bunch Scallions
  • 2 Green Bell Peppers
  • 5 Small Red Potatoes
  • 3 Lemons
  • 1 Small Container of Baby Greens

Week Two Misfits Box

  • 1 Head Romaine Lettuce
  • 3 Pears
  • 3 Navel Oranges
  • 1 Small Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 Small Eggplant
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 Bunch Dandelion Greens
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 2 Green Peppers
  • 2 Summer Squashes
  • 1 Head of Cabbage
  • 3 Red Plums

What I’ve loved so far is that we’ve received a good mix of fruits and vegetables each week. The food has, for the most part, been very usable. A couple of items have looked a little funny but been very good when you cut them up and throw them in food. However, my husband complained that one of the peaches the first week was terribly bruised and tasted like it was on the verge of going bad (though he still ate it), and this week one of the plums was thrown away right when we pulled it out of the box because it was so bruised it was falling apart. I suspect that in both cases, the bruising was not so bad when the fruit was put in the box: I suspect the issue had to do with how the food was packaged.

Misfits Market Packaging

The packaging has been my biggest complaint about the Misfits boxes, which is a shame because I totally get why it’s packaged the way it is. Misfits is making its brand around environmental change, and it’s packaging is no different: they use eco-friendly packaging and even have a section on their website dedicated to how to recycle or compost all of your packaging.  

Unfortunately, some of their packaging doesn’t hold up in transit, which is problematic when it comes to fruits and vegetables. The ice packs that they pack in the boxes with their produce get moist, which wouldn’t normally be a problem, but since most of the fruit and vegetables are left loose in the box, they end up getting wet as well. The badly bruised fruit looks to me like it got pressed against something wet, and unfortunately the skin on peaches and plums is so malleable that it’s problematic. We also had to peel the outer leaves off our lettuce and throw them away for the same reason.

Meanwhile, the baby greens the first week and the dandelion greens the second week were both put in these small boxes to separate them from the rest of the food. Both boxes were completely soaked and crushed by the time the food arrived to our house, and the greens were everywhere.

Misfits Market Cost Breakdown

Misfits boxes market themselves as saving you money on produce. According to the website, the Mischief Box is supposed to have $35-$40 worth of grocery store or farmers market produce, but it costs $19-$23.75 (depending on whether you buy one week at a time or subscribe and save). However, for me, there’s another $4.50 in shipping that I have to pay. Assuming that’s across the board, you’re actually looking at $23.50-$28.50 for your produce. If you really are getting $35-$40 worth of produce, that’s still a pretty good deal.

So, does that actually hold up? I took a look at what those same fruits and vegetables would have cost at my local grocery store. Let’s break it down.

Week 1 Produce Costs

It’s a little hard to get an exact price on items at my local grocery store because so many items are priced per pound rather than per item. However, I did my best to get as close as possible.

  • 5 Red Onions – $1.86
  • 6 Navel Oranges – $4.74
  • 3 Red Beets – $1.79
  • 3 Peaches – $3.99
  • 1 Pint Grape Tomatoes – $3.49
  • 1 Bunch Scallions – $2.29
  • 2 Green Bell Peppers – $4.98
  • 5 Small Red Potatoes – $2.58
  • 3 Lemons – $3.00
  • 1 Small Container of Baby Greens $3.29

Total Value: $32.01

Direct Savings: $8.51 subscribe & save / $3.51 one-time purchase

However, after taking a look at direct savings, I took a look at one other factor: which of these fruits and veggies did I actually use? My husband and I aren’t particularly picky, but we both hate beets, so we gave those away. Meanwhile, one of the lemons went bad before we got to it (because a family of two does not need three lemons in their life in a 1-week period). Other than those items, we used everything (except the onions—there’s a few of those left, but they WILL get used, so I’m counting them as used).

Still, that’s $2.79 worth of produce that we would not have bought on our own and that we didn’t end up using. So a revised calculation looks more like:

Total Used Value: $29.22

Direct Savings: $5.72 subscribe & save / $0.72 one-time purchase

Week 2 Produce Costs

Once again, I got as close as I could to what these items would have cost in the store. Dandelion greens were particularly hard because my local Hannaford doesn’t sell those, so I used online pricing to compare instead.

  • 1 Head Romaine Lettuce – $3.49
  • 3 Pears – $4.47
  • 3 Navel Oranges – $2.37
  • 1 Small Spaghetti Squash – $5.96
  • 1 Small Eggplant – $5.98
  • 1 Leek – $4.99
  • 1 Bunch Dandelion Greens – $4.50
  • 1 Cucumber – $2.49
  • 2 Green Peppers – $4.98
  • 2 Summer Squashes – $1.49
  • 1 Head of Cabbage – $3.99
  • 3 Red Plums – $1.50

Total Value: $46.21

Direct Savings: $22.71 / $17.71

But what about usable produce? I already gave away the fact that we had to throw away a plum. We also hate eggplant, and while I’m searching for a recipe that will make it taste like pie, outside of Misfits Market, we certainly wouldn’t have shelled out $6.00 for a food we don’t like. So that really puts us at…

Total Usable Value: $39.73

Direct Savings: $16.23 / $11.23

One Other Factor

There’s one more important factor to consider when talking price, and that’s the fact that Misfits Market only uses organic produce. That means that when I was doing my price comparisons, I was also looking at organic produce. However, Ginger Snaps and I don’t usually buy organic. For us, being able to buy more fruits and vegetables per week—and therefore less packaged foods that are oversaturated with chemicals anyway—is worth the few extra chemicals we might get in our produce.

As we all know, organic foods cost significantly more than non-organic food—sometimes twice as much. If you don’t normally buy organic for your family, adding that factor in may mean you’re not actually saving when buying through Misfits Market. Additionally, Misfits Market has said on their website that they’re considering sourcing non-organic foods in the future, but they haven’t indicated if that change will mean lower prices for consumers or more food in boxes. If it doesn’t mean either of those things, then when they make that change, the boxes won’t spell a savings for anyone using them.

Pros and Cons

So, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of Misfits Boxes, in general.

Pros:

  • Tons of variety
  • Challenges you to use different fruits and vegetables every week—can get you out of a rut
  • Mix of fruits and vegetables is the right amount for the household for a week
  • Cheaper than buying the same organic groceries at your local grocery store

Cons:

  • Packaging doesn’t hold up in transit
  • There’s no way to opt out of foods you don’t like
  • Not knowing what’s coming in your box makes meal planning a challenge
  • If you don’t usually buy organic, it’s not actually any cheaper than buying in store

Bottom Line: To Buy or Not To Buy

I’m all for supporting innovative businesses that are doing good things for the environment. When it comes to that, Misfits Boxes get an A+. Ginger Snaps and I very much believe that you vote with your money, and for that reason, I’ll continue investing in Misfits Boxes.

However, based on some of the very real problems with the Misfits Box business model, I’m not going to say that it’s the right choice for every family. Specifically, if your family is picky, I wouldn’t recommend it. Ginger Snaps and I consider ourselves very food-friendly: we’ll eat almost anything. But both weeks, we were still landed with items we don’t like (beets and eggplant), and we were also landed with items we used because we had them but we didn’t really want (lemons and leeks).

If you are interested in trying out Misfits Market, use the code COOKWME-TE6LFT at checkout to receive 25% off your first box.

Three Ways Misfits Market Could Improve

I’m still excited about Misfits Market, and I hope they iron out their weak points so that they can become the leader in produce distribution that I think they should be. With that end goal in mind, here are the top three things I think Mistfits Boxes could do to change themselves from a maybe buy to a must buy.

1.) Let You Opt Out of Foods

It makes sense that Misftis Boxes can’t let you choose what’s going into your box every week. Their business model means that they never know where they’re sourcing their foods from or what they’ll have large enough quantities of. But if the point of misfits market is to reduce food waste, then they can’t be sending people food that their families literally won’t eat.

Letting users opt out of foods they won’t eat would solve this problem. Even if they only let each family opt out of 5 items at a time (to prevent people from “opting out” of everything but what they wanted for the week), it would prevent us from receiving our boxes and grimacing because there’s something in there that we need to find a way to offload that week.

2.) Send a List of Items with Your Shipment Receipt

One of the other big complaints about the misfits box is that you don’t know what you’re getting until it arrives on your doorstep. Since some of the products are bruised or otherwise need to be used up quickly, this makes meal planning next to impossible.

One way to fix this? Send a list of every item in the box along with the “Your order is on its way” email they send out. Granted, this would take some legwork on the part of whomever is building the boxes, but it would make a HUGE difference on the end of the receiver.

3.) Figure Out Shipping Problems

I’m all for using organic shipping products, and most of it is great. But the boxes that greens are delivered in fall apart and make a mess, and there needs to be a way to separate all the produce from the cooler packs so that the food isn’t getting damaged in transit.

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16 Replies to “Misfits Market Review: Is It Worth the Hype?”

  1. I’ve been getting the Misfit boxes for close to a year now and love them. I love to cook and I love surprises so the box is perfect for me. In all that time, I think there was one apple I had to throw out after opening the box. It’s nice being able to keep a variety of fruits around for snacking.

    1. I’m with you! I love receiving the variety of fruits & veggies. I get my boxes every other week for my small family and it works great!

    1. Hey, thanks for the reply. Back when I did my initial review of Misfits, their customer service didn’t even make my list of things to check on. I, personally, haven’t had any issues with their customer service lately, but I also haven’t been reaching out. I HAVE, as some others have mentioned, found rot in my box, but I 100% think this is a packaging issue & has to do with the ice packs melting into the food in transit. Not saying it’s OK, but so far, I’ve found little enough food impacted that it’s still saving me money (I think I even mention throwing away food in my cost breakdown & show the savings that still exist). I know that, for now, Misfits has closed their doors to new customers while they try to get a handle on the Pandemic-induced influx of customers & orders. And I get it. I’m trying very hard to have grace not just with Misfits but with all companies affected by unexpected pulls on their resources. That said, I’m in no way affiliated with Misfits—they didn’t sponsor me, and now that they’re not accepting new customers, my referral link isn’t even doing me any good 😂 And I GET the frustration. I really do. But I would encourage you, as I encourage everyone in my life, to take a few deep breaths and remember that we’re all in unfamiliar territory with the pandemic & we’re all figuring out how it affects us on a daily basis.

  2. I just got my second box yesterday. I like this box better than the first. I’m in the middle . I like the fact its organic but a few things I had to throw away because the package of green beans were starting to rot and the zucchini had holes in it from rot…I know this is hard times right now and I talked to a friend that has been buying misfits for a long time and is happy with you. So I thought what I will do is hold off just for awhile and then try you again. The biggest thing that bothers me is your correspondence time of getting back but again you have a lot going on right now. I canceled and ask for verification which I still have not gotten. Again I know you are busy. Good Luck and Thanks and again I will try later

    1. I definitely understand your frustration with some food coming in wet or rotting–it’s definitely one of the issues with their packaging and the way the ice packs melt and get the food sort of wet in transit. Unfortunately, I’m not affiliated with Misfits Market, so I have no idea when the company might send you verification of your cancelation or anything like that, but good luck!

  3. I have tried Misfits Market twice now and both times ended up with rotten food. The first time we were past the window to complain about the order to the Market, the second time we emailed them immediately as we received a bag of rotting green beans. We also got a bunch of celery with each order which is just a cheap filler. Also, the second box contained only 9 lbs of food. Yes we weighed each item on a kitchen scale. I will most likely be cancelling my subscription in spite of the convenience of getting food delivered to the door during the Pandemic. It does not seem worth the money or the frustration upon getting rotten food. At this point, I would not recommend Misfits Market to anyone.

  4. Had two boxes delivered so far. Love the idea especially during this pandemic. The one thing that really bothers me is the packaging. It was so bad last time that my strawberries that I paid extra for spilled out of the container and were smashed all over the other fruits and vegetables. By the time I got my box everything was wet and stained with strawberries. I threw many things out. Skipped delivery this week and may end up canceling subscription only because of the way the produce is packaged.

  5. I agree with your review but for the last few months I have been able to customize my box… if they haven’t rolled it out for you yet they will eventually according to the website. I love misfits and I’ll forever be a customer. Also hoping for better packaging that remains eco friendly this year!

    1. Yes, they have added that feature for me as well. I’m planning to do an updated review as this one is over a year old! Thank you for taking the time to comment 🙂

  6. I recently tried Misfit Market because of shopping issues with the virus. The one advantage that you did not mention was home delivery. A very nice feature but the flip side is I still have to go shopping because I can’t live on what is in this box alone. For me, the savings is not there but until this pandemic is over I will continue so I know something will be in my fridge.

    1. Hey Marcia, thank you for your comment! When I first wrote this post, I had no idea the Covid-19 pandemic was in our future. While the boxes are delivered to the doorstep, which is a nice perk, since anyone using the boxes would still have to go to the grocery store or market to finish stocking their cupboards, I didn’t consider this a boon at the time. With Covid-19, the ability to stock up on necessities like pasta & freezer items and still have fresh produce on a regular basis is a whole different ball game. Misfits boxes has made a number of improvements to their system, from their packaging to their Misfits Pantry, since I first wrote this post. I’m planning an updated review in the future to address some of these changes, and will be sure to mention the benefits of a delivery to your doorstep!

  7. Nice you took time to do comprehensive review. Misfit’s misses the boat when it comes to figuring out their packaging/shipping issues. The way they package and resulting issues for different types of produce is still a problem and results in food being wasted. For that reason and getting foods we don’t like and never will like is why we opted out. Kudos to them for trying to solve certain problems that will most likely plague us forever.

    1. I agree with a lot of this! There are certain foods my husband and I will never like, either, as hard as we try. I did see an email recently that they’re updating their packaging in 2020, so I have hopes that at least the shipping issues may be on the mend. We shall see what the new year brings!

  8. Thank you for a comprehensive and honest assessment! I’ve been considering Misfits Market, but living on a fixed and very limited income (soc sec and small pension), I’m afraid I’ll have to hold off yet. My grocery budget for a full month is $200 and that includes cleaning products and other non-food items. Paying their prices each week is not a good deal for me. I’ll continue to purchase through my local farmers markets and look for the best food at the best value from where I am.

    1. I’m so glad this review was helpful to you!! That’s a tight monthly budget for sure. My husband and I are still looking at ways to cut our family’s monthly spending.

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