A new grocery delivery service is coming to Boise, but with a twist.
Starting in mid-November, California-based company Imperfect Foods began delivering to Treasure Valley residents in 46 zip codes in and around Boise. This food service delivers surplus food and “imperfect” produce to customers’ doors in customizable food boxes in an effort to combat food waste.
The food in the boxes would otherwise be wasted for a variety of reasons, including cosmetic damage, food that doesn’t meet the exact measurements of large buyers, surplus inventory, changes in packaging or items closer to their expiration date than a grocery store allows. Other options include “undervalued” produce, like broccoli leaves grocery stores often do not stock.
Imperfect Foods Chief Operations Officer Neil Neufeld said the goal in starting the business was to give customers a way to purchase food that would otherwise be thrown away.
“We worked on food waste with grocery stores and we’re working with 1,200 farmers and small businesses on trying to bring the product in we could sell direct to consumer that matched our goals,” Neufeld said. “We thought ‘What could we do to service people in a time of need and still be doing it with a mission and not just trying to make a dollar but really make an impact?’”
Every item in the box is priced individually like a grocery store and customers select the specific products they would like delivered from what is available. Imperfect Foods will suggest items for the box, but the customer can remove or add items as they see fit.
The company started out offering only produce, but has since expanded to a full range of grocery items. Boxes are delivered weekly or bi-weekly.
This is part of a recent expansion from the company in the western region, including Salt Lake City and Phoenix. Imperfect Foods currently delivers in more than 35 major metro areas in 40 states, according to a press release from the company. There are plans to expand to another 30 markets in 2021.