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Misfits Market Spotlights Sustainable Moves in 2023 Impact Report

E-grocer discusses emissions, food waste, upcycling, donations
Misfits Market Zero Waste Main Image
Through its Zero Waste Initiative, Misfits Market aims to reduce food waste and build a more sustainable food system, starting with its own business.

Online grocer Misfits Market has released its 2023 impact report, which found that as a business, the Delanco, N.J.-based company decreased its carbon adjusted to revenue/on a revenue basis in 2023 versus 2022, meaning that it’s keeping its emissions stable (or decreasing them slightly), despite all of its growth and change over the past year. Misfits also increased its “avoided emissions,” meaning the emissions that would have occurred had it not purchased foods that would have gone to waste, and through efficient last-mile logistics.

In the area of sourcing, the e-grocer continued to make a meaningful difference during and after its 2023 merger with Imperfect Foods, with 5 pounds of food on average per order saved from waste or lesser outcomes. In some cases the company boosted its foods-saving impact in 2023: In its private label and packaged foods, Misfits quadrupled the foods it saved versus 2022.

According to the company: “We are still the only grocer that tackles food waste as a part of our sourcing strategy – 52% of the produce we purchased in 2023 would have gone to waste or a lesser outcome, like animal feed. … We are procuring foods in a way that is truly deliberately different – whether that’s broccoli leaves that would have gone uneaten, upcycling broken pretzel pieces and coating them in chocolate through our private label [line], or purchasing packaged foods with labeling errors that can’t be sold elsewhere.”

Misfits also highlighted its investment in and partnership with the Denver-based Upcycled Food Association (UFA), and in upcycled products and vendors. It sold 60 Upcycled Certified products in 2023, and co-created three through its Upcycling Challenge: Atoria’s Family Bakery Multigrain Mini Naans, Petit Pot Rice Pudding and Chomps meat sticks. 

Regarding its operations, Misfits achieved TRUE Zero Waste Gold certification at its fulfillment center in Clackamas, Ore., this past November, making the site one of only 40 industrial facilities in the worldwide food space to garner this designation. The company has committed to certifying all five of its facilities by the end of next year.

The company also runs a Packaging Return Program, in which it collects its own primary packaging for reuse and recycling, focusing on the items that are the most challenging to recycle from home, like ice packs, insulated liners and egg carton liners.

“Our Zero Waste Initiative is one way we are living our mission/vision to reduce food waste and build a more sustainable food system, in our own business,” the company noted. “This certification demonstrates that we are sending all the materials that come [through] our doors to their highest and best outcome (like reuse, donation, recycling, compost, etc.) wherever possible.”

As for donations, Misfits continued to collaborate with 60-plus donation partners – mainly food banks and pantries, in addition to some animal rescue organizations – across the country, and donated more than 6 million pounds of food to them in 2023. It also kept working with and supporting hunger relief organization Feeding America.

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