featured / reducing waste

Introducing Our Imperfection Badges

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You make an impact with every order you get from us, but there are so many nonsensical reasons why food gets deemed undesirable that even we have a hard time keeping track sometimes. Since we get so many great questions about the backstories of our groceries, we wanted to make it easier for you to learn how your favorite groceries help create positive change. We created our new imperfection badges to help keep the positive impact of our groceries clear. Now, whenever you see one of these while shopping or unpacking your order, you’ll know exactly how that item helps reduce waste and build a better food system. 

Made with Upcycled Ingredients

made with upcycled ingredients badge - intentional sourcing

Upcycled ingredients are by-products that would normally go to waste but have been given their own chance to shine. Our Upcycled Chocolate Chip Cookies are a perfect example. They’re made with Okara flour, which comes from the pulp of organic soybeans that are left over from the process of making soymilk. It’s rich in fiber and high in protein but often goes to waste because folks don’t demand it as much as they do soymilk. Its versatility, mild flavor, and impressive nutrition make it an eggcellent option for the cookie curious. 

Cosmetic Imperfection

cosmetic imperfection badge - intentional sourcing

The smallest blemish or variation in color can mean an almond gets picked from the bunch and kicked to the curb. But we like when things have scars. It usually means they have really great “you wanna know how I got this?” stories. You’ll see the Cosmetic Imperfection badge on items that have been scarred, blemished, or otherwise found to be not sellable by a conventional retailer. Our Sliced Almonds fall into this bucket. But we’ve found that when you take an almond and slice it in half, no one cares that it once upon a time had a blemish.

size or weight imperfection badge

Size or Weight Imperfection

“Size or Weight Imperfection” describes a finished item that was deemed “unsellable” because it ended up being a little off-sized. Like a Quiche Lorraine that’s a few ounces too light (gasp!), spaghetti that’s a hair too short (shock), or our Wonky Chocolate Bar Pieces that aren’t quite perfectly rectangular (*faints*). Drama aside, all these items are just as delicious as their more perfect counterparts. 

Made with Ugly Produce

 made with ugly produce badge

Only the wonkiest, weirdly formed, most “this came out of the earth?” items get to bear the Made with Ugly Produce badge. It sounds harsh, but it’s an honor, really. While you can’t taste these cosmetic quirks, they make it much harder for growers to sell. So the best solution for some of our more unsightly items is to turn them into something else, like salsa or our Grapefruit Juice. Another example would be our Ready to Cook Chopped Sweet Potatoes. The spuds that spawned them weren’t exactly “ugly;” it’s more that they were absolutely gigantic. 

Made with Rescued Ingredients

made with rescued ingredients badge

Not to be confused with “Upcycled,” this badge indicates that an item was made with ingredients intended for another purpose that didn’t work out. For example, our Yogurt Covered Pretzels are made with leftover sprinkles intended for cookies that ended up not going into production. So instead of letting them end up on the factory floor, we saved them for a new twisty treat.

Contains Leftover Ends and Pieces

contains leftover ends and pieces badge

This is a fun one. It’s our chance to make Jackson Pollock-esque food masterpieces. Take our Salty & Sweet Odds & Ends Bark as an example. It’s something new and seriously delicious, made almost entirely with tasty leftovers from elsewhere in the food system. We basically threw the cookies, chips, and pretzels that didn’t make it to where they were intended at a hunk of chocolate. And trust us, it’s not an exaggeration to call this a masterpiece. 

We hope you found this guide enlightening and that it helps you out the next time you shop with us! Never forget that how you shop, store, and cook your favorite foods has surprisingly big ripple effects out in the world. If you want your next Imperfect order to make an even bigger impact, following our imperfection badges is a great way to start. 


  • Sarah
    April 1, 2021 at 11:56 pm

    I love them, that would make it easier for me to make decisions. I would love to see more products with them. Are these badges or the information accessible to the visually impaired users?

    • Imperfect Foods
      April 5, 2021 at 6:15 pm

      Absolutely! We’re planning on having the badges paired with accessible text 🙌

  • Jake Wagner
    April 2, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    Loveee this. Big Imperfect fan right here.

    • Imperfect Foods
      April 2, 2021 at 11:20 pm

      We’re big fans of you too! 🙌💚

  • Janet Adams
    April 4, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    I need to cancel this weeks Delivery no one will be around to receive it….

    Thank you Janet Adams

    • Imperfect Foods
      April 4, 2021 at 11:54 pm

      Hi Janet! Please reach out to our customer care team about this: 💚

  • Jeanne
    April 6, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    Fantastic job. Keep it up.

    • Imperfect Foods
      April 12, 2021 at 7:14 pm

      Thank you for the love, Jeanne! 💚

  • Log
    April 7, 2021 at 10:40 am

    This article made me chuckle a bit. I really love this service. I tell everyone I can about it! The badges are a very smart idea! Now I can explain in depth to my partner why we saved our chocolate covered almonds cause they were “imperfect” and watch his eyes glaze over!

    • Imperfect Foods
      April 12, 2021 at 7:14 pm

      Right?! So handy to have the specific info right there! 🙌💚

  • B
    April 14, 2021 at 12:43 am

    Normally, the product description does a good job of explaining how the item came to be. Shoppers would appreciate the ability to see with packaging, all sides of it. Last week, you failed to show the panel of a lettuce blend and while I called it out and was told it would be fixed, BUT it never was. I got the information I needed from the brand’s website but I shouldn’t have needed to do that. Walmart, where your CEO once worked does it in some cases, so why not? This would enhance plus the ability to zoom in on what we see, the buying experience.

    • Imperfect Foods
      April 17, 2021 at 3:50 pm

      Thanks so much for your feedback! We’re always working hard on creating a better shopping experience for you, and the situation you described sounds like a human error by our grocery team. In that case, we weren’t able to get the problem corrected before the shopping window closed but rest assured that we are constantly working on improving our processes and these sourcing badges are just one of the ways we’re hoping to do that moving forward. 💚

  • Selina Lujan
    April 14, 2021 at 4:39 am

    I love you guys! This is awesome!

    • Imperfect Foods
      April 16, 2021 at 6:51 pm

      We love you so much! 💚

  • Erika
    August 18, 2021 at 3:08 am

    So… Is there any way we can collect these virtual badges? If they adorn my Imperfect shopping home page it would make me feel even better about saving resources.

  • Joann Traver
    August 23, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    Love the product I’m getting! I’m eating more fruit and trying different veggies.
    The badge idea is great, something that let’s us know how products are found “imperfect”.
    I’m telling everyone I know about your service and I look forward to receiving my delivery
    which has been brought to me with care!

    • Imperfect Foods
      August 24, 2021 at 8:39 pm

      We’re over the moon to hear that you’ve been sharing the Imperfect love and eating healthful with us! We love having you in the Imperfect family!

    August 24, 2021 at 7:21 am

    How do you STOP THE ORDER?
    There is no way to really contact you. I did not want any of the items and I’m getting an email saying that I am going to be sent these items. Please cancel them. I realized that the items weee not any differently priced than at the store—at least what I get. Thank you.

    • Imperfect Foods
      August 24, 2021 at 8:31 pm

      Hey there Zarir! We’re sorry to hear you’re having some trouble getting in touch with us! Feel free to give us a call at (510) 595-6683 or drop us a line at this link [] so we can help out. This info is also in our website’s FAQ if you ever need to get in touch with us again in the future.

  • Deanna Hooper
    November 5, 2021 at 8:37 am

    I have read everything top to bottom from your site and I am so excited and cannot wait to start my first subscription for me and my family I am also passing the word on about Imperfect’s Food plan and the great journey towards saving our planet now and for our children’s children. What a fantastic program for kid’s to start adapting, pro veggieing, and pro creating a more greener, Organically Everything Life for us all! So we ALL can be proud of knowing where organics come from beginning to end and Smile knowing we’re saving the Earth 1 meal at a time with each anticipated delivery of Imperfect’s Staple Pkgs.

    • Imperfect Foods
      November 18, 2021 at 12:36 pm

      Woohoo! Thanks so much for the love! 💚


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