Ever since we expanded our offerings to include pantry staples in addition to fresh produce, folks have been wondering what’s next for us. In addition to growing our footprint and bringing our food recovery model nationwide, we’ve been hard at work finding ways to make our boxes more useful in the kitchen while also expanding the positive impact they can have on our food system.
Now, we’re excited to announce that all of our customers can add dairy staples as well as vegan alternatives and other refrigerated items to their Imperfect boxes each week. This dairy delivery update represents a significant change to what a typical Imperfect box can look like, so we’re taking some time to address the motivation for this change and what it means for our company. Let’s dig in:
Why did we decide to start offering dairy items?
Dairy was one of the most requested items from our community. We’re always looking for ways to deliver a better experience to our customers. One of the most common pieces of feedback we got about our product offerings was that if we offered milk and eggs, folks wouldn’t need to go to the store anymore. Now we’re able to offer a more complete shopping experience for our community that does more than just make their shopping list a little easier to tackle — it also helps eliminate entire trips to the store.
Savings our customers a trip to the store takes cars off the road. Research shows that getting groceries delivered can be better for the environment, since one of our vehicles making a bunch of stops in one neighborhood amounts to far fewer emissions than each of our customers in that neighborhood separately driving to the store. This is especially true for companies like ours that are committed to efficient, dense delivery routes, which the EPA notes is key to reducing the carbon footprint of grocery shopping. However, if our customers still have to drive to the store to get the remainder of their groceries, these trips effectively eclipse the emissions savings of a delivery model. Now, we’re able to truly deliver on our promise to cover your bases when it comes to grocery shopping while meaningfully reducing the carbon footprint of getting you the groceries you rely on each week.
This allows us to support small, local dairy producers. It’s not easy being a small dairy producer in modern America. As the industry consolidates and alternative milks surge in popularity, family-owned dairies from Wisconsin to Vermont are having to shut their doors because they simply can’t make money anymore. Giving these dairy producers a new outlet for their products gives us a chance to invest in folks who are doing things the right way and make their businesses more environmentally and economically sustainable for future generations.
What does this mean for our box and our mission as a company?
We’re committed to sourcing from quality, local producers. To ensure that we stay true to our mission of building a better food system, we have carefully chosen our producers as we source new items like milk and eggs. In every market we deliver in, we’ve committed to sourcing high-quality items from a handful of local producers that share our values and we’ll deliver them to you at a great price. While not all of our dairy items will have food waste stories like our produce does, whenever we have the opportunity to buy high-quality but “imperfect” dairy items like off-sized eggs, we’ll do so as well to make sure we’re staying true to our roots and our mission.
All dairy and refrigerated items will arrive safely. Every dairy item you order comes with the appropriate insulation and ice packs necessary to keep things cold. Making sure that we’re delighting our customers with every box they get from us is as important to us as having a positive impact on our food system. We pride ourselves on cracking jokes, not eggs. To make sure that potentially fragile and temperature-sensitive items arrive in awesome shape, we’ll be including ice packs and insulated liners when necessary, which you can leave out with your used box so we can reuse them or recycle them.
Dairy is one more grocery option, alongside many other refrigerated items. We understand and respect the fact that some people do not eat dairy because of their personal dietary preferences or environmental values. That’s why, just like when we added pantry staples to our lineup, our default boxes will still be 100% produce. This means that if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you can build a box that’s just produce or perhaps features a few refrigerated add-ons like hummus or almond milk. If produce is what you came here for, you’ll still have tons of options each and every week. If, however, you’d like to try some milk or eggs in your next box, you can add them in during your customization window. With this change, an Imperfect box is more versatile and adaptable to different dietary preferences than ever before.
There is more to come! Dairy delivery is just one of the first ways we’re making our boxes more fun, useful, and impactful on our food system. Keep an eye out for more new options in the months ahead!
We hope this helps you get excited about the newest additions to our Imperfect boxes. If you try some of our new dairy or refrigerated items, please share your feedback with us in the comments below or on social media. We’re very excited to see what type of food-waste-fighting meals our community cooks up with these new ingredients!