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TWIG Podcast: Misfits Market’s ‘Imperfect’ Business Model

Chief merchandising officer discusses how e-commerce product storytelling helps tackle a massive environmental issue

Kelly Nigh joins this episode of the TWIG Podcast for an interesting discussion about the power of e-commerce product storytelling. As chief merchandising officer at Misfits Market and Imperfect Foods (which was acquired by Misfit Market over a year ago), she helps tackle a massive environmental issue: food waste. 

According to Kelly, one-third of food produced in the United States goes to waste – that’s about $408 billion worth of food. Online grocer Misfits Market works directly with farmers to rescue organic produce that might otherwise go to waste and delivers these fruits and veggies to consumers' doorsteps. 

It's Kelly’s job to tell the stories of where this food came from. “One of the differentiators of e-commerce is we do have the space and capabilities to tell more of the stories of our products and suppliers and we also have more of our customers' attention,” she explained. “We aren't limited to the space on a product's packaging or the limited endcaps that the physical retailer might have. We really try to build out those spaces and those mechanisms in which we can highlight the stories of our products and our suppliers." 

Since this approach has worked so well with produce, Misfits Market is exploring new opportunities in CPG and is now offering upcycled foods, i.e. packaged foods that use ingredients that would have gone to waste. Kelly calls it “an exciting and growing part of the food waste movement.”

Kelly also oversees private label at Misfits and Imperfect. Here, too, upcycled ingredients play a crucial role. She explains why the company is harvesting “off-spec pumpkins” and what exactly is “broken jasmine rice.” 

And while Misfit Market's primary objective centers around food waste, Kelly points out the online grocer also aims to reimagine the food supply system. 

[RELATED: Misfits Market Introduces Fulfilled By Misfits]

Additionally, Kelly touches on her career journey, from starting out in sports to working at e-comm giant Amazon. She talks about a crucial moment in her career where she learned the value of advocating for herself and advises her fellow women in grocery to lean into their “superpowers.” 


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Progressive Grocer’s podcast focuses on the trends, topics and interests that move women forward in grocery retail. If you have an idea for a TWIG podcast topic, contact [email protected] and/or [email protected].

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