Misfits Market, the online grocer that specializes in rescuing food products that might otherwise be thrown out, announced the geographic expansion of its services to four more states today. Misfits now delivers to Arizona, Nebraska, New Mexico and Oklahoma, bringing its total coverage area to 43 states plus the District of Columbia.
Founded in 2018, Misfits Market works with farms, distributors and even airlines to source a sell perfectly good food that would otherwise go to waste, at a discount. The company started selling imperfect or “ugly” produce, and has steadily expanded into other categories like pantry and packaged goods. For packaged goods, for example, if a production run of olive oil wound up printed with upside down labels, Misfits sells those bottles rather than having them be discarded. When the pandemic hit last year and flights were shut down, Misfits was able to obtain and sell things like the cheese plates airlines would have had to throw out.
Earlier this year Misfits raised a $200 million Series C round of funding and added proteins to its offerings. Like with other categories, Misfits finds places in the supply chain where there is excess or waste. In the case of meats, there are often whole cuts that aren’t in “season” during a particular time of year, or trimmings that typically get discarded that the company rescues.
Mail order groceries have had a pretty banner year when it comes to funding. Fellow rescued food service, Imperfect Foods raised $110 million, and Weee!, an online grocer specializing in Asian and Hispanic Foods raised $315 million. Part of what drove all this investment interest in online grocers is, of course, the pandemic, which pushed people into e-commerce last year.
The bigger question surrounding ship-to-home grocers like Misfits and Imperfect is whether customers will stick around with the less convenient mail order delivery as the pandemic (eventually) recedes. Survey data from Brick Meets Click shows that online grocery shopping has declined in recent months, with most of the drop occurring in the mail-delivered category.
Misfits, however, said it continues to grow. During a video chat last week, Vice President, Growth & Analytics at Misfits Market, Kelly-Marie Bermudez, told me that the company is experience 5x growth in both active customers and order volume. Additionally, Bermudez said that Misfits rescued more than 170 million pounds of food in 2020, and has already exceeded that figure in the first half of 2021.
Leave a Reply