A lot of folks think of Imperfect as the spot to gather offbeat groceries like quirky-looking cherries and absolutely enormous potatoes. We are, but we’ve been busy over the last couple of years. We’ve added everything from sustainably sourced soap to slightly too-small pies to flower bouquets with too-short stems to our ever-growing assortment.
That’s because the more food we save, the more opportunities we discover to recover even more. We’re still able to offer farmers a fair price and a better home for their ugly fruits and vegetables. But as it turns out, there are leftover, surplus, and under-valued ingredients all over the food system. To show you what we mean, we’d like to share how some of our Imperfect Foods items come to be.
Someone flaked out
Sometimes a new item comes to us on a mission-aligned silver platter. Like our petit Quiche Lorraine. It almost went to waste because it came out of the oven a little smaller than expected, and the original buyer opted out. Excusez moi, but with a perfectly flakey crust and a luscious, savory filling, why throw them out when instead you can simply have deux?
A new use for an undervalued ingredient
Our product developers know the tasty ins and outs of the food world, and that certain ingredients often go to waste simply because they’re undervalued. So we try to introduce them to you through the foods you already love.
For instance, we’re reducing waste in the coffee industry through sweet treats. Coffee beans are the seeds of coffee cherries, and coffee cherries, in turn, are surrounded by a husk called “cascara.” The whole kit and caboodle are edible, but only the coffee bean is valued for its ability to turn water into your prized morning pick-me-up. Often the rest goes to waste, but we learned from coffee growers that cascara has a rich depth of sweet and fruity flavor and is full of antioxidants. So we’re saving it to make Cascara Dusted Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans. We also learned that about 46 billion tons of coffee cherries are wasted every year, despite the fact that they have a bold fruity flavor. So we found a vendor that makes a coffee cherry flour for us to incorporate into our Double Chocolate Chip Cookies. By valuing the whole fruit, coffee farmers are paid more, we reduce food waste, and you get a great excuse to eat more cookies and chocolate.
Sustainability never felt so sudsy
Our assortment continues to expand to include things you can eat as well as things you can’t eat. You know, like lotion (no matter how delicious it smells) and items that aren’t exactly ugly or intended for waste, but that have a great story all the same. Take our beauty items, for example. They’re infused with ethically sourced ingredients like Fair Trade Himalayan seaberries and rescued almond oil. But we didn’t stop there. They’re also produced in a solar-powered facility, come in recyclable packaging, and are naturally scented and cruelty-free.
While our grocery selection is larger than ever, our commitment to building a kinder, less wasteful food system is what unites them all. When you buy our Imperfect branded items, you’re supporting intentional sourcing, ethical business practices, and sustainability. So stay tuned for all the exciting new sustainably inspired items in the works, like our Upcycled Oatmilk Ginger Cookies With Whole Oats, Maple Walnut Cheesecake Bites with rescued ingredients, and our Oh My Gourd It’s Pumpkin Spice Mix! made with okara flour and reduced packaging.