Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Philadelphia, Misfits Market -- which has raised more than $525m in funding -- has been on an upward trajectory, growing distribution to the lower 48 states and its product assortment from 'rescued' (i.e. surplus items or food that doesn't meet retailers' cosmetic standards) produce to over 500 products spanning several categories including meat, seafood, plant-based proteins, dairy, bakery items, wine, and other grocery items.
Misfits Market customers can build their own custom box of items ($30 minimum order), which are delivered weekly (with the option to pause or skip an order within 2-3 days of placing an order).
To date, Misfits Market has delivered nearly 13 million orders and rescued more than 230 million pounds of food and in Q1 2022 experienced "record-breaking" growth as it expanded nationwide.
According to the company's 2021 annual report, nearly 35% of food produced in the US goes unsold or uneaten costing the food industry $250bn in losses greatly impacting farmers, manufacturers, restaurants, and other stakeholders. However, rescuing food can have a huge impact: in 2021, rescuing or upcycling food drove close to $90m in revenue for farmers and suppliers, according to Misfits Market's internal data.
In 2021 alone, Misfits Market was able to save 5.6 million pounds of broccoli, 3.4 million pounds of apples, and 1.4m pounds of zucchini from going to waste.
'It’s clear that shoppers are looking for new ways to save'
The introduction of its private label 'Odds & Ends' is the next step in the company's journey to provide customers with accessible and affordable options (40% below traditional grocery prices, the company claimed) to supplement their weekly grocery trip, the company noted, and comes at a pivotal time as food costs have risen 10% vs. one year ago, according to the latest figures Consumer Price Index.
“Three years ago, Misfits Market set out to rebuild the food supply chain from scratch in order to provide everyone, regardless of where they live, access to quality food at an affordable price,” said Abhi Ramesh, CEO and founder of Misfits Market, in a press release.
“After a record-breaking quarter, it’s clear that shoppers are looking for new ways to save, especially with food prices at all-time highs. Our value-conscious customers are saving an average of $25 per order and with the launch of our new private label line, we’re excited to provide our customers with an even wider variety of affordable and sustainably sourced pantry staples.”
As consumers do look for ways to cut down on their grocery bill, sales of private label products were up 6.5% for Q1 2022 vs. one year ago, according to the Private Label Manufacturers Association.
New private label line designed to address specific supply chain inefficiencies
In addition to providing consumers with affordable options, Misfits Market's private label line is designed to address specific supply chain inefficiencies that have plagued much of the industry over the past two years by working directly with local farmers and producers in multiple regions.
For example, the company's new direct trade premium coffee is purchased directly from farms where the coffee beans were grown to provide growers with fair prices and a stable income and consumers with more accessible, high-quality coffee. Its other debut private label products include dark chocolate-covered mini pretzels, and a variety of organic nuts and dried fruit with prices ranging from $3.99 to $11.99.
While limited in assortment currently, Misfits Market said that it will soon expand its Odds & Ends line to included olive oil, pasta, canned tomatoes and more in-demand pantry items and will continue to look for ways to deliver quality products at a lower price point than brick-and-mortar retail by sourcing products from lesser known regions, upcycling uneven or misshapen foods into new products or blends, or working with producers to use more creative and sustainable practices and packaging.