An Honest Review of Misfits Market

Updated on August 23, 2019
LeahsKosherFix profile image

Leah is a follower of the 21 Day Fix. She works in mental health.

What Is Misfits Market?

Misfits Market is an online service that delivers organic produce directly to your door.

"Almost half of all produce harvested in the United States is never eaten. Fruits and vegetables go unpicked in fields or get thrown away at the store, simply because they don’t look good."

"Every box of Misfits produce you order benefits farmers, helps prevent food waste, and ultimately helps save our environment. Our rapidly expanding Philadelphia- and New Jersey-based operation rescues produce from regional farms and distributes it throughout the Northeast in three business days or less."

These are direct quotes from the Misfits Market website. When I signed up for this service, it sounded great. Organic produce delivered straight to my door, costing less than non-organic produce at my local supermarket, and it benefits local farmers? It sounded great! I wasn't really concerned about how the produce looked, it was all going to get cooked or eaten anyway.

I signed up for the "mischief box," which was 10-12 pounds of organic produce weekly. My first box arrived within two days of placing my order. I was super excited, and it was loaded with all kinds of stuff. I was expecting mostly veggies but was surprised to find a bunch of fruit as well (though I was a bit disappointed to see that the fruit was almost all red delicious apples, which I don't love).

The Ugly Side of Ugly Produce

After a few weeks of receiving similar boxes—lots of the same vegetables and a ton of red delicious apples, I started noticing the labels on the produce. The vast majority of it was grown in Mexico, which was shocking to me, since the website said the produce was grown on regional farms and supports local farmers to reduce food waste in America. I live in New York, so Mexico isn't exactly a neighboring state.

I understand that avocados may come from Mexico, but when I contacted customer service, the response I got was that "unless you want a box full of root vegetables, we have to source our produce from outside of the United States, especially in the winter." Okay, I guess, but the root vegetables in my box also came from Mexico (see photos below), and this was in May, which isn't considered winter in the Northern hemisphere.

It was also around this time that I started noticing that the produce in my boxes was also arriving badly bruised (to the point where it was inedible), rotting or actually rotten, or sprouting. I always have potatoes in the house, and I understand that organic produce may go bad quicker, but to have a box full of potatoes sprout and be mushy by the time they arrive or within days of arrival, to have carrots be soft and mushy on the day they arrive, and to have 3/4ths of the produce be inedible by the time it arrives on my doorstep seemed unacceptable to me, and like even more of a waste.

Grown in Mexico.
Grown in Mexico.
Grown in Mexico.
Grown in Mexico.

Allergen Issues

If you have an allergy to a specific type of produce, you may want to rethink a subscription to Misfits Market. When I explained that I have an allergy to a specific item, the response from customer service was:

"We will note your allergy in your account to restrict it from being packed into your box. Our team will make every effort to accommodate your allergy. However at this time we are not able to guarantee that this item or item(s) will never make it into one of your orders."

Of course, that specific item made it into nearly every one of my orders, and when I complained about it and the waste it was causing, their solution was to "give it to someone else." So they didn't see any issue with me paying for a subscription box that continually had items that they knew I was allergic to and couldn't use, and the best resolution they could come up to was to just give them to someone else. The whole basis for using Misfits Market was to save money, but I found myself throwing money into the garbage week after week.

A Terrible Box

Although the boxes came packed full of biodegradable packaging, the produce still arrived so bruised that it was mushy to the point of being unappealing and inedible, far past the point of being just ugly, as shown in the box above. The pears were so deeply bruised that they were just mush. The peppers and the zucchini were somehow sliced, which I don't think happened during the delivery process. The slicing couldn't have happened when I opened the box, since they were way at the bottom under layers of brown paper packaging, and they were so dried out I couldn't even use them to cook with. The leeks had actually been broken as well. I complained about this box, and received a replacement box which was actually worse than this one.

One of the Worst Boxes I've Received

In the photo above, you see the contents of the box on the day I received it. The green peppers arrived split open. The insides are dried out, and the peppers themselves were unusable. The purple item in the center was at some point a regular, orange carrot, but when I opened the box it was slimy, soft, and rotten. One half of the onion was dissolving. While I don't personally eat onions, my family always had them around when I was growing up and it took months for them to rot like this. The spaghetti squash was dried out and inedible when I cut it open, and the fruit was so overripe I couldn't eat it. I ended up having to use gloves to even touch this stuff to throw it out. The kale was on my list as an allergen, but they continued sending it to me every single week. The shishito peppers were in pretty good condition, although some were a little soft. I looked up recipes that told me they're supposed to be mild with an occasional hot one in the bunch—every single one was like eating a jalapeño.

The worst part is that this was the replacement box I received just days after complaining about the condition of a box I had received earlier in the week. I've worked in customer service in the past, and whenever a customer has complained, I've always made sure that any replacement has been perfect. This was the box that broke the camel's back and had me cancel my subscription.

Rotting potatoes
Rotting potatoes

Two Weeks' Worth of Potatoes

After cancelling my subscription, I had decided to make a dinner using potatoes. I knew I had plenty of potatoes, since each box always had plenty of potatoes included. When I looked at the two weeks' worth of potatoes I had, this is what I found. Every single one (some were received just three days earlier) was sprouting alarmingly, and many were so mushy they seemed to be dissolving. Once again I had to glove up to put these in the trash.

My Overall Opinion of Misfits Market

If you haven't tried Misfits Market, I'd strongly suggest that you don't. The quality was poor, and while the idea was good, they weren't able to put it into practice. If I wanted Mexican produce, I'd be able to go to my local supermarket and buy the kind that doesn't rot before it enters my house. Plus, the customer service at Misfits Market was atrocious. My request to speak to a manager was never returned.

If you'd like to support local, organically grown farms, I'd suggest that you find a farmers market in your area, or a CSA to support real local people. There are other ugly produce delivery programs available, but unfortunately, none of them are available in my area at the present time. I'd love to hear about your experience with them.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Leah

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      • LeahsKosherFix profile imageAUTHOR

        Leah 

        24 hours ago from New York

        Shanada - I absolutely agree with you. I loved the idea, but it falls way short in practice. They should have been able to plan properly and provide the service and products they charge us for! I had so many issues with the boxes every single week, and they refused to refund my money. Just a couple of weeks ago, they actually tried to woo me back! I pointed out that their boxes were atrocious, and my repeated requests to speak to a manager or supervisor were ignored, so I wouldn’t be wasting any more money on their company.

      • profile image

        Shanada 

        30 hours ago

        Backstory one me. I was a classically trained chef now I am a SAHM so the moment the box is delivered it in the house being unpacked. I meal plan our dinners and I thought it might be fun to have a "mystery box" of vegetable sides or even main dishes thrown into our menu.

        We also canceled our Misfits Market, today actually, after receiving two large boxes. The first box had split bell peppers a rotten cucumber, green chard that I had to cook practically the moment it came out of the box and 5 turnips that we all terribly bitter. I roasted one, pickled two and made turnip soup with the remaining two, all came out awful and was ultimately a waste of time, energy and money. The second box came with bruised pears, a brown green apple a rotted sweet potato and wilted lettuce at least it did not have turnips!

        I get that they are a growing company and need to work out the kinks of the business but they are doing it using our hard earned money. Besides rent/mortgage food is the most expensive bill we all have and I for one cannot afford to get food that we will not eat and get food that will be tossed out due to it being spoilt. I don't see this being around very long. Spending almost $40 on somethings I would never choose for us is a complete waste of money.

      • LeahsKosherFix profile imageAUTHOR

        Leah 

        5 days ago from New York

        They must have changed the website, because when I wrote this article and had been a subscriber, it said “the produce was grown on regional farms and supports local farmers to reduce food waste in America.” I would have liked the fruit, if I ever got anything other than red delicious apples. It was definitely a miss for me. Between the poor quality, lack of variety, and horrible customer service, I don’t regret cancelling service. I just wish I hadn’t given them so many chances to disappoint me.

      • profile image

        Catherine DiDesidero 

        5 days ago

        I've been using Misfits Market for months now and I have been very happy with them. I also live in the NYC area.

        Per their website : All of the produce in your weekly Misfits box is certified organic and non-GMO, sourced from hand-picked farms and partners in our region and across the Americas.

        I believe "partners" refers to supermarkets, from whom they also purchase any overstock of fruits and veggies. Either way, they are transparent regarding their sourcing

        And I've been happy for the fruit contained in the boxes, I know some people prefer all veggies.

        I'm sorry you had a bad experience. It seems that it's hit or miss.

      • LeahsKosherFix profile imageAUTHOR

        Leah 

        11 days ago from New York

        I’m sorry you had the same experience as I did. Hopefully their customer service has improved, and if you mention this, they’ll refund your money without a hassle!

      • profile image

        Cindy 

        11 days ago

        I so wish I would have seen your review before ordering from them. I received a box of split veggies and dried out corn on the cob. I ordered the big box, and 90% of the box was bruised, damaged, or mush. Thanks for your review. It was accurate in my case too.

      • LeahsKosherFix profile imageAUTHOR

        Leah 

        2 weeks ago from New York

        No problem!

      • profile image

        PWOLFINGER 

        2 weeks ago

        Thanks for taking the time to be thorough and include pictures. Dodged that bullet!!

      • LeahsKosherFix profile imageAUTHOR

        Leah 

        3 weeks ago from New York

        I definitely haven't had nearly as positive of an experience as you have. I found that I was just throwing money directly into the garbage by using Misfits Market.

      • profile image

        MM 

        3 weeks ago

        I've had nothing but fantastic experiences with Misfits Market. They're still growing and have a lot of kinks to work out as a new business, it won't be a perfect service, as no service ever is. I find way more pros than cons and highly recommend this. Being in NYC, it is a hassle to grocery shop, prices are high, and even more so for organic.

      • LeahsKosherFix profile imageAUTHOR

        Leah 

        4 weeks ago from New York

        Karen -

        No problem! That’s exactly why I wrote this!

      • profile image

        Karen 

        4 weeks ago

        Thank you so much for sharing your experience and sparing others from having this negative experience. The things you described are the very apprehensions I had about starting this service.

      • LeahsKosherFix profile imageAUTHOR

        Leah 

        5 weeks ago from New York

        My pleasure!

      • profile image

        Nikki 

        5 weeks ago

        Thank you for saving me from the mushy ugly produce!

      • LeahsKosherFix profile imageAUTHOR

        Leah 

        5 weeks ago from New York

        Olivia - I’m glad you got such a kick out of it!

      • profile image

        Olivia 

        5 weeks ago

        This is one of the funniest reviews I've ever read in my life. I laughed my ass off the entire time. Thank you for including all the photos, I'd wait to scroll down until I read the paragraph describing it, and truly, comedy gold. Thanks again.

      • LeahsKosherFix profile imageAUTHOR

        Leah 

        5 weeks ago from New York

        Andrea - maybe it does, but since they appear to be based in Philadelphia and New Jersey, both of which are only a few hours of where I live, I wouldn’t think it should have this much impact on the quality of the boxes I received. Where are you located?

      • profile image

        Andrea 

        5 weeks ago

        Wow. I have had the complete opposite experience. My boxes have all been treasure troves of great produce. I have had a few bruises and mushed in spots, but nothing I couldn't cut around. I wonder if location has an impact on the contents and condition.

        I have recommended Misfits to family, friends and co-workers.

        Unfortunate we cannot all have similar good experiences. LOVE LOVE LOVE Misfits Market!!!

      • LeahsKosherFix profile imageAUTHOR

        Leah 

        6 weeks ago from New York

        Claudia - my boxes never came late, they just had subpar produce. And the weird thing is, they wouldn’t refund more than a tiny percentage of the price. When I made a big enough fuss, they sent a replacement box that was worse than the box they were replacing, and that’s ultimately what led me to cancel.

        I would also be concerned about the goo in the packaging. It doesn’t seem like something that would be safe to just pour down the drain. I would always throw it out, but that seemed like it wasn’t the most ecologically sound option either.

        There was one box I got that had all plastic packaging that wasn’t biodegradable at all. When I contacted the company about it, I was told that they were working out some issues with suppliers. I really didn’t find the experience to be a satisfying one at all, and I’m glad to see that other produce delivery services are available in my area now. But I’m happy buying produce at my local farmers market and stores, where I can support local growers and trust that I’m getting fresh produce and good quality.

      • profile image

        Claudia 

        6 weeks ago

        I have had almost great boxes. If a box was inferior like the one that was delayed extra days on a UPS truck and then dropped on my step to sit in the sun, they refunded with no effort. HOWEVER, my worries are twofold: 1) products are coming from Mexico. But if they would be shipping to US anyway and then couldn't be sold, perhaps okay to *save 2) My big qualm...the trucking, and mostly the box packaging. Just got 4 cooler packs in mine. They say you can cut the plastic and pour the goo down the drain. Online opinions differ and say don't pour down the drain as it may cause problems. Even though the cornstarch insides of the packing [which is encased in plastic wrap] are said to be biodegradable- it is a hassle. Thinking about cancelling as I'm worried that the ungreen down side outweighs the *saving the produce from disposal* side. Bummed because I enjoy it a lot!

      • LeahsKosherFix profile imageAUTHOR

        Leah 

        7 weeks ago from New York

        I hope it stays that way for you! My first few boxes were okay, but then they got consistently worse. Note where the produce labels come from too - you’ll probably see that a lot of the regional produce that supports local farms is anything but. Good luck with it!

      • profile image

        Connetta Brown 

        7 weeks ago

        Just got my first box and I am happy with it

      • LeahsKosherFix profile imageAUTHOR

        Leah 

        2 months ago from New York

        The issue wasn't that the produce was from Mexico. I buy produce from Mexico all the time when I go to the supermarket. The issue was that when I signed up for Misfits Market, their website indicates that produce is obtained from regional farms in the Northeast. When a company clearly states that they are getting produce from local farmers, that is what they should be getting. Maybe that is why the produce was always rotting when it arrived.

        The potatoes weren't just soft to the texture of a citrus fruit. They were soft to the point where they were disintegrating within days of arrival. The produce that Misfits Market was providing to me was not edible in any way shape or form. Rather than providing produce that was helping to reduce food waste, they were basically selling me compost fodder.

      • profile image

        Stacy McDonald 

        2 months ago

        I don't see the problem with produce from Mexico because food waste is a global issue. And those potatoes can surprise you. When they sprout & get soft, it's all the water in them drying out which can give you a great texture. I mean, obviously you can't eat them if they're myshy & black. But if you let them get about as soft as maybe an orange or even a tangerine, they're delicious!!

      • LeahsKosherFix profile imageAUTHOR

        Leah 

        3 months ago from New York

        I’m in NY and consistently had these issues week after week for 6 months. I reached out to them every single week about this until I finally decided to stop wasting my time, energy, and money. I don’t think it was my location, especially since my boxes would come within 2 days of ordering. It was definitely more of a quality and customer service issue.

      • profile image

        mae 

        3 months ago

        So sorry to hear you had these issues. I've been extremely pleased with the quality and condition of my produce. My one "bad" box was due to a shipping issue. The water-logged, battered MM box had actually been placed inside a large plastic in a plain brown box with the original shipping label, that had been sliced from the original box, reattached to the new packaging. When I contacted Customer Service, I received a replacement box sent directly from the warehouse! I don't know where you live, but I live within 150 miles from the MM New Jersey warehouse. Could distance be part of the problem? As a side note, MM is currently testing customization of boxes. I was selected to participate and received my first custom box yesterday. I couldn't have been more pleased.

      • LeahsKosherFix profile imageAUTHOR

        Leah 

        3 months ago from New York

        Rochelle - it definitely seems like they might!

      • profile image

        RTalloni 

        3 months ago

        Thanks for this important review.

      • Rochelle Frank profile image

        Rochelle Frank 

        3 months ago from California Gold Country

        Sounds like you were very patient with them and reasonable with your complaints. It seems like a good idea, but I'm not inclined to try it.

        Do they go around raiding dumpsters to find their products?

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