Goodbye Thrive Market?

I signed up for Thrive Market in January, 2020 before the pandemic started here. I loved my free trial month and started my paid subscription in February. I could not have done without them in 2020, when things were so chaotic. We tried all kinds of stuff from them and I learned about loads of products I might not have otherwise known about.

Their customer service was great! One time I got someone else’s box and they refunded me and let me keep the box. We learned about Annie’s chocolate bunnies cereal and a blueberry jam I probably wouldn’t have ordered on my own but quickly made it into our regular rotation. The foods I couldn’t eat were donated to the Boy Scouts. Another time part of my order was damaged and they refunded for the damaged items.

I have recommended Thrive Market countless times here and on twitter. I’ve told IRL friends about how great Thrive Market was.

The downfall?

Then I decided to order that box of frozen foods on June 5, 2022. I wrote about it here. Specifically, I ordered 6 packs of Daring gluten-free nuggets. I am accustomed to ordering them from Hungry Harvest and they come in a blue packet. On Thrive, you can see they are also a blue packet. On my last post, in the photos, you can see what I received was 6 *orange* packets. Now, I thought nothing of it. Brands change packing all the time, so whatever. I assumed that I received what I’d ordered and put them all in the freezer.

The next day, my youngest decided they wanted Daring for lunch. I’d planned on swiping a nugget or two once they were cooked. Thankfully my kiddo double-checked the label because these are not gluten-free.

I’m allergic to wheat. Like break out in hives and GI distress for days allergic. So I contacted Thrive Market. Not because I wanted a refund, because my oldest child can eat these, but mostly because I didn’t want someone else to do what I almost did. People order food and don’t check the labels. You just assume you got the item you ordered. I tweeted at Thrive Market and then emailed them as well. I wasn’t mad, just concerned that they had labeled the Daring nuggets as being gluten-free on their site.

The emails to Thrive Market

Here’s how it went… I was going to post a photo of the email, but even when I scribbled out the person’s name you can still kinda just make it out. I’ll just copy and paste the text and delete any identifying info.

Here’s what I said:

Hi there! I ordered 6 of your Daring plant chicken pieces, breaded and they are listed on your site as being gluten-free. When they arrived I noticed the packaging wasn’t blue, but rather orange, but just assumed the package was redesigned. I have attached a photo of everything I received and the nuggets I received are on the right of the photo.

I don’t necessarily need a refund since one of my kids can eat them, but my youngest child can’t and I am allergic to wheat. I just worry that other people with allergies might not think to double-check the nutrition label.

Thank you!

And here’s the response I got:

Thank you for reaching out.

Looks like Daring plant-based nuggets had their packaging changed. You can refer on this site Daring doesn’t contain any Gluten and its 100% Gluten-free. Hope this addresses your concerns!

Thank you for your support and trust with Thrive Market!

Best regards,

I responded with the photos I posted here above, close-up shots of the package and the ingredients listing. This was 2 days ago and I haven’t received a response to that.

I wasn’t mad until that email interaction. Thrive Market just told me that Daring products are 100% gluten-free and safe for me to eat with my wheat allergy. I don’t appreciate them trying to gaslight me, telling me I’m not seeing what’s clearly on the label.

Then I got started down the rabbit hole… if Thrive Market is telling me this item with wheat doesn’t contain wheat, do they understand the implications of claiming things are allergy-free when they aren’t? And these Daring nuggets aren’t listed as for-sale on Thrive’s site, nor are they an item available on Daring Food’s site, so what are these? My husband suggested they might be counterfeit and I should throw them away. A follower on twitter suggested they are either a very new or old product.

The emails to Daring Foods

So I contacted Daring Foods via email. Their response:

Thank you for reaching out to Daring with this issue! Apologies for the confusion and inconvenience here. Could you tell me the date you placed your order with Thrive? We just recently switched to shipping our updated Gluten Free Breaded product (as seen on the Thrive website) over the last couple of days. It looks like your order may have come just at the crossover point for our new products. Again, our apologies.
The Breaded Products you received are NOT Gluten Free. However, we would be happy to send you some complimentary pouches of our new Gluten-Free Breaded products if you could please provide your shipping address. The Cajun you received here are Gluten Free.
I hope this information helps! Please let me know if this brings any other questions. Thank you.

In the end, Daring is replacing the 6 packs with gluten-free nuggets and I told them they might want to speak to someone at Thrive Market about how Thrive is representing their products. As of this morning, Thrive Market still has these listed on their site as being gluten-free. These are on sale for $5.84, so that would have been $35 lost if Daring hadn’t generously offered to ship replacement nuggets.

Lost order… last order?

On the same day I ordered the frozen box, I also did a small (for me) order of pantry items. My average order is $200 or so and I probably order twice, sometimes 3 times a month. (I just scrolled through my order history and holy moly do I spend a lot!) This order was thankfully only $108.56. It’s canned pumpkin, lentil pasta, dried beans, gluten-free vegan Mac and cheese for the kids, Tamari, some cereal bars, salt, and a few other things that were on sale this week. The order arrived in my city 4 days ago and I’m guessing it’s either damaged or lost. I’ve signed up for shipping updates for this packing from Lasership as well as contacting them directly. I’ve mentally writing this order off as a loss.

I’m disappointed that things have gone this way with Thrive Market but I guess all good things come to an end sometime. I am currently figuring out where and how to order all the stuff elsewhere. Yesterday I tried Instacart and that went well.

Update! 6/14/22

I got a shipping notification yesterday from Daring saying the replacement nuggets are on the way. Looks like those should arrive tomorrow, but as hot as it is, I’m cautiously optimistic.

I never did get anywhere with Thrive Market on getting them to change the labeling on their site. If you have ordered gluten-free Daring nuggets, please double-check the label before you eat them.

I contacted LaserShip about the remaining Thrive package and they’ve been unable to located it for a week now. I was able to use the chat function on Thrive’s website to request a refund. They offered store credit, but I was able to get a refund. The refund confirmation in my email, however, was for a different order. What a mess! Instead of refunding me $108, the’ve refunded for the frozen order which was $125. It should take 3-5 days to process, they said, so we’ll see what actually makes it back to my account.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to use whatever they refund to purchase an Instacart membership.