Throughout my neighborhood, I see people getting boxes of produce deliveries and meal kits. I’ve dabbled with produce boxes here and there to see if there’s anything that genuinely meets my needs. Recently, I ordered the Azure Standard Produce Variety Pack to see how it compared! See a full unboxing below.
What is Azure Standard?
Azure Standard is like the best organic grocery store that delivers cases of food to a local drop site. There are several drop sites in my area and the one I use gets deliveries every 1-2 weeks. Since I live in Washington and Azure is out of Oregon, I’m not sure if this frequency is normal or not!
We use Azure Standard especially for pantry staples like oats, flour, grains, etc. They have amazing staples and even sell plant starts in the Spring! They’re the reason we were baking sourdough from scratch while all the stores were sold out of flour during the initial COVID closures!
Why we chose the Azure Standard Produce Variety Pack
We’d tried using Imperfect Foods before and I did not like it for a variety of reasons. I wanted to see if my issues was with Imperfect Foods or produce boxes in general.
Since Azure Standard is such a great way to source organic dry goods and other products, I was curious when I saw they sell a produce box.
On their site, they explain that the box is listed as 10 lbs, but that’s a minimum shipping weight. For the $40 price tag, I was hopeful that it’d be more than 10 lbs of produce as that’s $4 per lb and we typically aim to spend $1-2 per pound for organic produce.
Since 940 people favorited this item (the heart icon), we figured it’d be worth a shot! Maybe we’d score some great quality organic produce in one easy delivery!
Where we normally shop for produce
I love to garden, I used to manage a farmers market, and I work on farms each summer. I’m starting to think that makes me a produce snob or something. It might just be that I know what freshness looks like and I don’t bother buying food that’s going to rot tomorrow unless I have a plan for it today!
I shared all of the places I buy bulk produce in this post, but generally, I eat from the garden, local farms, farm stands, or Costco.
My hopes for this box:
- All good quality, fresh produce
- No peppers or grapefruit (the only vegetables I do NOT eat)
- More than 10 lbs of produce
I liked that everything had been refrigerated the whole time and the box was a decent size. The box arrived less than a week after I placed the order.
It was nice to pick up my other Azure items (fertilizer, some oats, etc) with what should be a nice supply of produce!
Our Azure Standard Produce Variety Pack Review
The very first thing I pulled out the box were bell peppers and grapefruit, my two least favorite foods (besides shrimp and hardboiled egg). That should have been my first indicator!
Bell Peppers & Snack Peppers
There were 2 bell peppers and a bag of smaller snack-sized peppers.
Grapefruit & Oranges
There were 2 grapefruits that my husband used to make a sauce for chicken. They tasted great, so I was surprised I ate these!
We also received 2 oranges, which we enjoyed.
I liked seeing the purple sweet potato and white sweet potato. They were HUGE! I think we hit 4 lbs just with these two items. We roasted the purple sweet potato in the air fryer. It tasted good, but the meat was very dense. They may be better mashed.
We also received a handful of fresh tomatoes. One of these was already slightly smashed from transit and we knew it would rot immediately. I ended up throwing it away because it wouldn’t last at all.
Carrots & Cucumbers
There were 4 carrots, including one badly damaged one from harvest. It had a hole through it after it was punctured by whichever harvest tool they used and the hole was filled with fuzzy mold. We threw that carrot away. The other 3 were fine. Since I can buy organic carrots for about $1/lb here, that’s not much of a value.
The Azure Standard Produce Variety Box also had 3 pickling cucumbers. I could tell these were towards the end of their freshness. They were not firm and would not be good for pickling. We put them in the fridge to use a couple days later but by the time we got back to them, they’d completely rotted. They rotted so much that they took the 6 jalapenos that’d been stored with them.
Zucchini, Kiwi, Avocado & Jalapenos
We also received 2 kiwis, an avocado, 2 zucchini. These all seemed fine, although the zucchini looked a little worn from damage. I personally do not like kiwi, so I left those for my husband.
Red Onion & Cabbage
I love cabbage and red onion, so I was glad to see these. We ate them right away, but these are inexpensive crops I can buy locally for low prices.
Young Fragrant Coconut
The most unusual and heaviest item in the box was this young fragrant fresh coconut! It took us a little too long to even figure out how to do with this. I ended up opening it up and drinking the coconut water. We might have waited too long to do that as the young meat inside was slightly brown… I didn’t feel good the next day, so I’m not sure if that was from the coconut water or something else.
Our Overall Notes
Overall, I was not happy this box.
I felt like some of the produce is hard to ship, like zucchini and fresh tomatoes, so those came out a little worse for wear. The coconut was completely impractical for us and not very useful. It took up a lot of weight for not that much food.
We also received a bunch of produce we don’t like and some of it didn’t last long enough to use (like the cucumbers that rotted and ruined some of the other produce).
The box came out to about 18 lbs of food, but how much of that was just the shell of the coconut?
This was NOT a good value for us and we will not purchase another box in the future.
|– All organic|
– Convenient to pick up with my other items
– My box had far more than 10 lbs worth of produce
|– Not customizable so we had foods we do not like at all|
– Some food was damaged right away
– A few items were towards the end of their freshness and rotted quickly
– Unusual, heavy foods like the young coconut took up space & weight
– Not a good value for money
What would have made it better?
We continue to love Azure Standard and would recommend everything else we’ve purchased from them! We just did not think this box was a good value for money.
If the produce was incredibly fresh, useful, and abundant, that would be a different story. Plus, with the lack of customization, we received a lot of products we do not like.
For the same price, I could get the freshest, local produce, and pick my favorites from my local farm stand.
What do you like about produce boxes?
I’m starting to think that produce boxes just aren’t for me! So far, I don’t like Imperfect Foods or the Azure Standard Produce Variety Box. I tried Full Circle years ago and really liked their produce, because it seemed much more like a CSA box from a local farm. We’ll be trying them again soon to see if they are still as good!
Want to try Full Circle yourself? Enter EATFRESH15 for $15 off your first box!
What is it you look for in a produce box? Do you have a favorite? Tell us below!