In 2015, we founded Imperfect Produce to make an impact on food waste by offering farmers a fair price and a better home for their ugly fruits and vegetables. The more food we saved, the more opportunities to recover the food we saw all around us. In 2019, we changed our name to Imperfect Foods in an effort to make bigger changes in our food system and offer more grocery essentials. This allows us to work with food manufacturers who, like our farm partners, have products that go to waste due to our current food system and its unrealistic demands for perfection.
The food system was failing these producers and their products, just like it was failing the potato growers with heart-shaped potatoes that we originally built our company (and first logo!) around. After tackling the produce aisle, it was time to take on the rest of the grocery store.
Meeting the folks who grow and distribute grocery essentials like olive oil, rice, nuts, and quinoa made us realize there’s more we need to do to build the type of food system we want to see. One of the clearest ways is to help market and sell their “imperfect” products that don’t fit the supermarket mold. We could use our existing distribution infrastructure and open-minded community of customers to create a long-overdue new market for all sorts of products. This would allow us to reduce waste by creating the same type of compassionate flexibility for packaged food producers that we had built for farmers.
We hear our customers’ feedback about wanting more grocery essentials. You want everything from peanut butter to tortilla chips to spices. So we worked with our network of quality producers to create delicious products at an even more delicious price. And with that, our exclusive line of Imperfect products was born.
While not every single item we offer would’ve been tossed away, every item does work to build a better food system. We pledge to only work with partners that support our mission, whether that be through sustainable sourcing and production, fair wage and labor practices, or supporting women- and minority-owned farms and producers.
Here are some of our community’s favorite grocery essentials that you can only find at Imperfect:
We sell almonds that naturally end up chipped and scratched during the harvesting process. While they taste just as good as flawless-looking almonds and have the same nutritional benefits, retail stores aren’t as keen to buy them.
Most retailers require quinoa blends to have a particular ratio of black to white to red grains. So we buy the quinoa that doesn’t quite meet these specifications. We think that all quinoa should be loved and enjoyed.
Virgin olive oil
Olives that experience frost yield oil that doesn’t meet the strict requirements to be sold as EVOO. We work with olive growers in California to sell their Virgin Olive Oil, as a versatile and delicious cooking oil.
For every perfectly rectangular piece of fruit leather you see in stores, there are edge pieces that go to waste. That is until we started sourcing them for the ultimate devourable, family-friendly snack.
Most restaurants and hotels expect all of their salmon fillets to be the exact same size and shape. But we buy salmon fillets that are small or shapely to offer sustainable salmon at a great price.
Our coffee helps support small farmers in Colombia. Farmers get a fair price for undersized and oddly shaped coffee beans that used to go undervalued.
Our delicious pork chops come from pigs that are vegetarian fed, non-GMO, and antibiotic-free. They’re also raised crate-free in a certified humane environment.
Keep an eye out for our growing lineup of Imperfect Foods exclusives the next time you’re shopping with us. We particularly recommend our chocolate-covered pretzels, which are so popular it can be hard to keep them in stock! Each order is a chance to directly impact our mission to eliminate food waste and build a better food system.