The days may be numbered for a grocery delivery service that captured the hearts of millions of shoppers with the idea of reducing food waste.
According to Business Insider, imperfect food shows signs of malfunction. After a series of mass layoffs this year, as well as several leadership changes that caused a shift in company ethic, several recently departed employees told the publication that the company appears to have lost its way.
The company is moving away from the waste-reducing mission that made it popular in its early years. When it was founded in 2015, Imperfect only sold products that did not meet supermarket standards due to minor defects in appearance, such as discoloration or an odd shape. But in 2019, the company set its sights on the mass market, competing with companies like Trader Joe’s, which may be counter-productive.
To get there, they started selling other things, such as prepackaged items that hadn’t been saved from being dumped in landfills. Former employees say these regular groceries were often labeled “surplus” on the website, as if to justify their inclusion with Imperfect.
And the mission of sourcing only products that no one else wanted turned out to be difficult on a larger scale, so the company’s offerings were increasingly filled with regular items.
Another issue the insiders pointed out was that about every in five orders had a problem. Customers would receive items that were broken, damaged or moldy, or they would simply be missing, a former company employee said. Business Insider. “We weren’t able to provide a really solid mass-market experience,” they said.
Like many supermarket chains, Impossible Foods experienced a pandemic surge in sales, raising millions of dollars through Series C and D financing in 2020 and 2021. However, as the pandemic began to ease and shoppers returned to the stores, the boost the company was betting on was gone, the report said.
We have reached out to Imperfect Foods for comment and will update this article with any responses we receive.
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