From crooked carrots to organic farm fare, fruit and vegetable delivery boxes are becoming a popular way to get our 5+ a day. But are they worth the hype?

With most of us more pressed for time than ever, it’s easy to see why food delivery boxes are booming in popularity. But if you don’t feel like committing to a full meal kit service like Hello Fresh or My Food Bag, fruit and veggie boxes can be a good middle ground for bolstering the fridge when you can’t face a trip to the supermarket.

Alongside the convenience factor, the seasonal focus of produce boxes covers a range of health bases, says nutritionist Claire Turnbull. “We all know that eating more vegetables is a positive thing, but the biggest value nutrition-wise comes from variety, so we need to eat seasonally to get the maximum benefits.

“Another way to up your nutrient and fibre intake from fresh produce is to eat the skins wherever possible. Just make sure you wash them thoroughly in warm water and dry them with a tea towel first.”

As well as providing a health boost, produce boxes can also be good for the planet. Companies like Wonky Box, Misfit Garden and Perfectly Imperfect pack their offerings with fresh kai that may have otherwise been sent to landfill. As less than perfect-looking produce is typically slower to sell in supermarkets, fruit and vegetables are often shunned from the shelves due to abnormal size, shape, colour or scarred or pitted skin or even when a bumper crop has created an overload of supply.

While binning the odd banana doesn’t sound that bad, it all adds up to a major environmental problem. According to Love Food Hate Waste NZ, Kiwis send more than 157,000 tonnes of food to rot in landfills each year – around three full shopping trolleys per family. Globally, about a third of all food produced is wasted, which equates to 1.3 billion tonnes of uneaten kai.

Back at the household fridge, veggie box fans say supporting local farmers and sustainable growing methods is another tick in the margin, and some believe the taste and quality of the goods in comparison to their supermarket counterparts can represent better value.

On the other hand, some cooks say that receiving produce boxes packed with veggies they don’t normally use can be extra work come dinner time, and wastage from surplus or unwanted items can also be an issue.

However, many companies allow flexible plans and pauses for times when the boxes aren’t needed, and some include upcoming content lists on their websites to avoid any surprises.

From a price perspective, an experiment from news site The Spinoff found that the cost of getting a veggie box delivered is similar to buying the equivalent products at the supermarket. For those who aren’t picky about their produce, a Stuff article found seconds boxes like Misfit Garden can even save you cash.

And for many of us, having a fridge full of fresh kai with less effort is the extra push we need to make better nutritional choices. “It’s not always what we know that makes us eat healthier, it’s also the ease and accessibility,” says Claire. “Anything that makes it easier for people to eat more fruit and veg is ultimately a good thing.”

Some popular produce boxes throughout Aotearoa

Misfit Garden

Misfit Garden works with growers throughout the central North Island to save supermarket rejects from landfill. Boxes often contain produce you might not normally buy, like daikon.

What’s on offer

A straightforward selection of three boxes to choose from, including standard-sized and mini mixed boxes, and a fruit-only option. There are also optional add-ons for regular subscribers.

Price point

Mixed boxes from $32 plus delivery.

Delivery areas

Hamilton area including Putāruru/Matamata/Tokoroa, Taupō, Tauranga, Whakatāne, Rotorua.


Specialising in organic, spray-free produce, Ooooby (short for ‘out of our own back yards’) sources from local farmers who share similar values on sustainability.

What’s on offer

From the jumbo-sized ‘mega mix’ boasting 10–12 veggie and 3–4 fruit varieties per box, to the ‘lil organic box’ with 7–9 veggie and 1–2 fruit options per delivery, Ooooby has a range of options to choose from.

Price point

From $50 plus delivery.

Delivery areas

Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Christchurch.


Designed as a one-stop online farmers’ market, Foodbox stocks meats, pantry staples, deli goods and artisan treats as well as fresh fruit and veggies.

What’s on offer

Build your own customised order completely from scratch or start with one of the five pre-prepared boxes and swap out items according to whatever takes your fancy.

Price point

Variable according to your shopping list, delivery from $14.

Delivery areas

Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Wellington.

Wonky Box

The produce here might be slightly funny looking, but it’s no less tasty. Salvaging kai that may have otherwise been binned supports local growers too.

What’s on offer

Mixed boxes are made up of about 10 varieties of fruit and veggies, with contents differing week to week. Veggie-only options are also available.

Price point

$32 plus delivery.

Delivery areas

Auckland, Manawatū, Wellington.


Christchurch-based Eatlocal focuses exclusively on South Island produce, with boxes packed according to seasonal availability.

What’s on offer

Build your own boxes or select from six generously sized pre-packed options, including ‘the souper’, which includes all the veggie goodness you need for winter soups, curries and stews.

Price point

Fruit boxes from $45, veggie/mixed boxes from $60 plus delivery.

Delivery areas

Most of the South Island.