More often than not, a good brand itself gave the impression of great product quality. For example, an Apple’s product is often associated with its quality and durability. The same applies to other industries such as Adidas for sports apparels and Sony for consumer electronics. Their strong performance show that consumers had the companies in mind when making a purchase decision.
In the context of long term food storage, this mindset is even more significant because we want to have quality assurance from the food storage company. It is literally a ‘life and death’ decision to be made in choosing the right emergency food supply and understanding the companies would be a good starting point for buyers.
Through this article, I will run through the best survival food companies and compare them to let you know which company would best suit you. Most of these companies are involved in making the best survival food kits too.
The considerations I will take into account include the what the food storage company offers, shelf life, packaging, cost, nutrition and ingredient.
Best Survival Food Companies Comparison Table
**The chosen product is three 30-Day 1-Person Survival Food Kit
Wise Company is one of the most well-known brands in producing emergency food supply for individuals, couples, and families. Founded in 2008, the Utah-based company offers a variety of emergency food kits. Other than long term food kit, they include starter kits and survival packs.
What they offer
Although Wise Company is famous for having a focus in disaster relief, it does offer a variety of food kit that caters for short term usage. The company takes an innovative approach by using both freeze dry and dehydrate methods to produce food to ensure best taste and quality.
For short term meal preparation, the company has the grab-and-go meals and outdoor food kits for your consideration. They come in different options and serving sizes which suits your need for weekend camping trips. One thing to note here is that these food kits are not designed for long term food storage. They have shorter shelf life at 7 years instead of 25 years, so they are more suitable for campers and backpackers.
Its long-term food kit comes with different combinations as well, i.e. 240 servings, 360 servings, 720 servings, 1080 servings, 2160 servings, 4320 servings. This emergency food supply comes in bucket form and inside the bucket there will be pouches with the size of 4 servings. The buckets are the combination of entrée and breakfast. For example, the 240 servings of food supply will come in one entrée bucket and one breakfast bucket.
The long-term food kit which is designed for long-term food storage is definitely one of the most sought-after product, but if you are yet to prepare to splash the cash, you can consider their starter kit. The starter kit allows you to purchase the bucket in small servings and you have the option to choose between entrée or breakfast without having to buy both.
Wise Company also introduced a more specialized food bucket for people with different diet requirement. If you prefer gluten-free or organic emergency food supplies, Wise Company got you covered.
Apart for the pre-made meal combination, Wise Company also produced ‘side-dishes’ if you want to customize your own meal. The options are meats, fruit, vegetables, eggs and milk which different shelf life.
Concerning food storage, all foods are packaged in airtight Mylar pouches. The pouches would then be placed in sturdy polyethylene buckets. The use of Metallyte™ metalized oriented polypropylene (OPP) at the pouches effectively blocks out oxygen, flavours, aroma and water vapors from the foods. The packaging is constantly tested to ensure it meets or exceeds industry standards. Last checked in 2015, the readings below showed that the pouches had done a perfect job.
Also, Wise Company packaged the food according to servings. Take the long-term food storage kits as example which ranges from 240 servings to 4,302 servings. Each kit provides a certain number of calories. For example, the 240 servings product has a total of 57,320 calories. If we take 2000 calories per the as the benchmark, the 240 servings of food supply would last you around 28 days.
Accordingly, different number of servings would last you for different number of days, depending on the calories it provided.
For ease of understanding, please refer this:
|Product||Calories of the product||Proximate number of days|
The products cover the basic nutrition that you will need to sustain yourself throughout the emergency period. It offers both freeze-dried and dehydrated food which includes dairy, egg, meat, fruit, and vegetable. Besides, there are option for customer to choose gluten-free and organic food.
The foods may contain milk, soy, and wheat (gluten). If you are allergic to these ingredients, please check the nutritional labels. The labels are easily accessible at the bottom of product pages. Other allergens such as shellfish, fish, peanuts and tree nuts are not present in Wise products. The production line minimizes the exposure to such allergens to reduce the possibility of allergies.
As the food is designed to store for a long time, the meat will not be the actual red meat. The protein source will be cheese, soy protein, or beans. The entire meal is carbohydrate heavy to provide you with enough calories. It is also observed that some foods are high in sodium, do consult your family doctor for medical advice on your diet plans.
The long-term food kits have a 25 year shelf life (with proper food storage conditions). To make sure it lasts long, it is suggested that food be stored at cool, dry place and avoid direct exposure from sunlight.
The shelf-life for the bulk freeze-dried food is variable. You may consider here for a better understanding.
|Bulk freeze-dried food||Shelf life|
|Powdered whey milk||20 years|
|Powdered eggs||25 years|
|Gluten free fruit||20 years|
|Gluten free Vegetable||25 years|
The price is slightly expensive than average. If you want to get the best out of the deal, it is encouraged that you buy in bulk. The price tends to go lower as you buy more.
Also, Wise Company would make offer sales from time to time, so make sure you check out wait for the right time to make your purchase.
I would recommend Wise Company for its high quality and variety. Although the products are priced higher than its peers, it is worthwhile for the peace of mind of consumer.
Legacy food storage was known formerly as wisefoodinsurance.com. Based, in Salt Lake City, it specializes in emergency supplies which includes food storage, survival gear, water products, and fuel and energy products.
What they offer
Legacy offered a variety of products for long term food storage. At its homepage, they are classified by category (bulk meal packages, single bucket for grab and go, gluten free, bulk single items), by type (freeze dried meats, entrees, breakfast, side dishes, and drinks), by bulk items (proteins, fruits, dairy, vegetables, grains and specialty items). The serving of the products is also classified systematically, ranging from 60 servings to 4320 servings.
I would say the webpage is informative although it looks somewhat busy.
Amongst all the product, the best seller is premium 720 serving package. The food package comes with 4 breakfasts and 15 entrees. The product contains no GMO ingredient, no MSG added, and no HFCs. On the other hand, it is high in fibre and low in fat.
The company also claimed to have the lowest cost per pound over its counterpart. Taking the premium 720 serving packages as an example, it costs around 3 dollars less per pound compared to the listed companies. The calories of the product is also relatively high. As a result, the cost per calories is lower to other companies. Personally, based on this feature alone, Legacy would be a first choice for most of the consumer.
In addition, the company has offered a pet emergency supply kit. This is quite unique considering most companies would cater their product for humans only. The kit comes with food, water, shelter, sanitation, first aid and toys. This shows that Legacy does care about its consumer.
Legacy food storage takes 4 steps to ensure its product at premium quality. First, the products is dehumidified to remove unwanted moisture. Second, it uses the Metallyte™ Pouching to store the food. Additionally, Legacy uses proprietary double nitrogen flush technology and applied oxygen absorber in every pouch to reduce oxygen levels possible in the pouch. Finally, it works with quality testing partner to test the oxygen and moisture level in its products.
The pouches would then be stored in the buckets. The buckets are heavy duty and stackable. It is made of BPA-free polyethylene. Every bucket comes with a handle for easy carriage and it is protected from water damage and rodents.
The biggest characteristic of products by Legacy is that they have the average calories per serving is high. Although it is mainly from starches and sugars, it is still crucial for energy boost. Not to mention that sugars would contribute to the taste of the food.
The products do contain allergens and for more details, you can head to Legacy food storage’s product page to know more. Besides the information on allergens, it also provides the detailed nutrition facts.
The Legacy Premium product has a 25 year shelf life thanks to the freeze-dried technology. The side dishes, on the other hand, has a 10 to 15 year shelf life generally.
Legacy food has the lowest cost by pound compared to most of the other available brands.
Plus, you can save more by making use of its group discount feature. This means if bulk purchase is made as a group, a special discount will be given. The larger the quantity bought, the great the discount. Through this way, you could save more money.
Legacy offers the best value emergency food in terms of cost by weight and calories count. It would be an economic decision to choose Legacy Food Storage.
Mountain House is definitely the OG in long term food storage industry. Established in 1969 in Oregon, Mountain House has accompanied mankind in many explorations such as polar exploration, mountaineering, and even expedition to the moon.
For nearly 50 years, Mountain House has established itself as the household brand of freeze-dried food for on-the-go adventures, emergency preparedness and survival.
What they offer
Mountain House makes high-quality freeze dried foods and it offered them different lines of product. It has Adventure Meals™ which cater for outdoor adventure, Just in Case…® Meals that focus on emergency planning, and the Simple Sensations meals that gives an option for quick meal on-the-go. All meals can be either eaten on the go or easily prepared by pouring in hot water.
In particular, the Just in Case…® Meals had been the go-to for emergency preparedness. Stocking up “just in case” is simple with the Mountain House’s #10 can, assorted meal buckets, and supply box. The emergency supply caters for emergency of 2 days up to 12 weeks. Most significant of all, the emergency kit has the longest proven shelf life of 30 years.
Other than that, Mountain House also produce ala carte products for breakfast, entrees, desserts, and sides. The range of food product is quite complete. It would be better if Mountain House could include fruits, vegetables, and dairy in the future.
Not only that, Mountain House sells single serving product. If you want to try out the product first before making the final decision, this is a good way to start.
The packaging is different for each product line. For Adventure Meals™, the foods are stored in Pro-Paks and pouches. Pro-Paks are vacuum packed to reduce the effect of high altitude but it contained less food.
Mountain House packaged some of its products in #10 cans. It is a loosely packaged product which contained an average of 10 cups of food. The benefit of using a can is that consumer can measure the amount of food for preparation or just prepare the entire can at once. A family of large group is encouraged consider this product.
Overall, Mountain House did a great job in making the packaging attractive and functionable at the same time.
Mountain House meals have the longest shelf life. Mountain House freeze dried foods has a 30 year shelf life. Although the shelf life is long, it did not compromise the taste of the food as Mountain House makes a 30-year Taste Guarantee.
There are different shelf lives for different lines of product. For example, the military ration MCWs have a 3 year shelf life, novelty items such as ice cream have 2 years, while Simple Sensations have 30 months to spare.
Mountain House assured that after the shelf life, the food does not go bad but the quality will start to go down and this will reflect in the change of flavor or texture.
Mountain House focuses on the quality of ingredient. This can be seen from the use of actual meat in the entrées rather than the use of soy or dairy protein. This is also partly the reason that Mountain House has the best taste amongst other emergency food brand.
The full nutritional fact is attached with the product page. It contained all necessary information, a complete list of ingredients, and allergen information. To see whether the product is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, the consumer will need to search for the products one by one. However, Mountain House does assured that most of its products are nut-free so whoever is allergic to nuts can eat the food without worries.
The price is slightly pricier than other brands. Take the 12 Week Emergency supply kit for example, it costs at $1,834.99 with 600 serving, making it $3.065 per serving. Comparatively, the Legacy food storage’s 360 servings & 2 months package costs $2.306 per servings while the Wise Company’s 720 Servings package costs $2.499 per serving. But hey, let’s not forget that Mountain House has used a different ingredient in its meal, and there is reasonable to pay more for tastier food.
Mountain House has 2 standout characteristics – product that is tasty and with longest shelf life with possibly 1 drawback – pricier. It would be suitable to people who don’t mind spending a little more for the taste. However, do bear in mind it does not offer the longest duration of food supply.
Augason Farms had been in business since 1972 under the Augason family. The Company has a simple mission statement, “Produce nutritious, long lasting, high quality emergency food that people want to eat.” With this belief, the company continued to grow to become one of the leaders in the long term food storage industry. Currently, it has a great number of retail clients such as Walmart, Associated Foods, WinCo, Sam’s Club, and Costco.
The Company goal is to offer quality foods that are affordable and easy to store, prepare, and eat during emergencies.
What they offer
Augason farms has in-depth focus on food and water.
The food storage of Augason farms is all encompassing. Besides the usual breakfast and entrée, the company also offers baking mixes and ingredients, drinks, and soup for a more complete diet experience. Some products are bundled together so you don’t have buy them separately.
With this wealth of food variety, it is without doubt that the emergency kit would be of high quality. Augason farm has carefully selected the food to fit in its emergency kits and a number of them has qualified for the Quality Survival Standard (“QSS”) and Quality Survival Standard Plus (“QSS+)”.
QSS-certified food provides a minimum 1,800 calories and 40g of protein per day for a person. The calories from sugar are not counted as sugar provides little nutritional value. QSS+ food is an upgrade from QSS food. It provides a minimum 2,200 calories and 50g of protein for a person.
Needless to say, with such qualification, the food kit would give a peace of mind to users as they know what they are getting.
The customer would also have plenty of emergency kit to choose from. They include 72-hours kit, 1-week kit, 2-week kit, 30-days kit, 6-months kit, and 1-year kit. They products are also labelled with the number of person for ease of decision. For example, 72-hours 4-person means the product is for 4 person and could last for 72 hours.
Augason Farm is also one of the rare long term food storage companies to produce emergency water. The water is essentially purified to recommended levels for bottled drinking water. It is free from chlorine and fluorine. Electrolytes are added to the water to improve the taste and provide minerals to drinkers. Similar to the food, it could last 30 years.
The foods are packaged in #10 cans where each would contain 3 to 4 pouches. Each pouch has 4 servings. Apart from cans, you can also choose the buckets from if you think it is easier for you to store.
The water is stored in aluminum cans which are rustproof and corrosion resistant. Unlike plastics, aluminum provides a 100% protection against leaching.
Augason Farms products mostly have a 30 year shelf life. However, different rule applies for products with eggs and bread mixes. They would have shorter shelf life of 5 to 10 years. Similarly, vegetarian meat substitutes (“TVP”) have shelf life up to 10 years.
To make sure the shelf life is maximized, it is advisable to store the products at cool and dry place at temperature between 55F and 70F.
Also, once a product is opened, it will last up to one year if stored in a cool dry and dark place. This applies to pouches and not buckets.
Nutritional information, ingredients and allergens can be found easily on each product page. For some meals, real freeze-dried chicken and beef are precooked and used.
With regards to vegetarian diet, Augason farms had opted the use of Textured Vegetable Protein (“TVP”). It is made from defatted soy flour which could serves as a protein source for Vegetarians.
To maintain the quality of its ingredients, Augason Farms does not source raw ingredients from a consistent source or suppliers. However, the downside is that it could not get its product certified as non-GMO. This may be a deal breaker for some buyers.
Nevertheless, the company has no problem in getting its product certified as gluten free from the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO).
The price of the product is very affordable. Take the 1-month supply kit as example which costs around $150, buying three of it as a three-month kit would cost around $450. This is significantly lower than other brands. However, the downside is that the varieties are not as attractive.
Augason Farm’s product is worth consideration as it is one of the of best low-budget option. Plus, the wide variety of food would attract many foodies’ attention.
Valley Food Storage aims to provide clean and nutritious freeze-dried food to the public. The Utah-based company uses ingredients that are all grown and produced in the US.
What they offer
Valley Food Storage emphasized on food quality, that food must be clean, healthy, and nutritious. It made sure the food product is free from fillers, preservatives, GMO, artificial ingredients and uses only high-quality and natural ingredients. It offers an empty bag guarantee – where it will buy the sample you don’t like back from you. I would say this is a bold statement and it does show that Valley Food Storage has huge confidence in its products.
The products of Valley Food Storage included long term food kit and bulk freeze-dried food. The long-term food kit was divided into 2 categories: premium and basic. Premium food kit contains double the calories than the basic food kit. The long-term food kit has the option of one month, three months, six months, and one year.
The bulk freeze-dried food in breakfast, lunch & dinner, fruits & vegetable, and protein, are further categorize into soy free, dairy free, gluten free, and vegetarian to cater to people with special diet needs.
The Company also offers Family Table Rewards. It is free for anyone to join. The more you shop with Valley Food Storage, thee bigger discount you can get. Besides, customers can benefit from referrals and points.
The food may contain allergens. To save the hustle, Food Valley Storage had made a list to inform potential buyers.
The food products are enclosed in resealable mylar bags with oxygen absorbed. The oxygen will hold any remaining oxygen in the bag. The bags are then put in the buckets. The buckets protect the bags from exposure to water and damage and for easy grab and go.
This emergency food supply has a 25 year shelf life, if the package isn’t opened, damaged or tampered with. The same rule of avoid direct sunlight and keep the product in room temperature stable environment applies.
As usual, I will take the three-month long-term food kit as the benchmark. Since there are two categories of food kit, I will calculate both.
|3-month long-term food kit||Basic||Premium|
|Cost per serving per month($)||1.38||1.25|
From this calculation, it shows that buying premium kit is more worthwhile then basic food kit. Also, the cost per serving shows that the food kit is priced at the lower side of the market.
Valley Food Storage would be the natural choice for buyers who look for health-conscious survival food which covers the specialty diets extensively.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What to look for in a survival food company?
I consider a range of factors in determining the quality of food kit. Typically, a high-quality food kit shall contain all necessary nutrition to sustain ourselves. It should contain basic food type such as protein, carbohydrate, fibre, and micronutrients. As a bottom line, the product shall provide enough calories to eaters.
Also, it would be better if the product caters for people with special diets. This would include allergic-free food, gluten-free food, vegetarian food, and organic option. A company that provides a variety of product shows that the company is innovative and puts the customers first.
If the food is tasty, it is definitely a plus point. However, it would be a second-tier consideration for me during emergency.
Cost is a major consideration when we think of buying a product from survival food companies. To most of the people, the money expended is more appropriately viewed as an investment and no one would want to pay for products that are overpriced.
There should be a normal range of price for a particular product. For example, a 3-month food kit should have a range of $600 to $800. If the price is charged at over a grand, you should think twice when purchasing.
c. Shelf life
As mentioned, buying long-term food product is akin to an investment. The longer the storage life of a product, the higher the value of a product is to me. The company should be capable of producing long lasting product as it claimed could be.
2. How much should you buy?
First, you need to consider how many people will be needing the food supply. Second, consider their calories intake. Third, how long would the emergency lasts.
For example, if there is a family of 2 adults and 2 children. In a day, the father needs 3,000 calories, the mother needs 2,300 calories while the kids need 2,000 calories each, the total calories needed per day are 9,300 calories. If the emergency lasts for a month (30 days), then the total calories would be 279,000 calories. So, the family should purchase the food kit that is at least 280,000.
In short, to understand how much food supplies to buy, start with counting your calories intake first.
3. How to store the emergency supply?
Generally, the supply will be alright if keep it away from direct sunlight, maintaining it in a room temperature, without opening the packaging.
4. How to prepare the food in emergency supply?
Generally, the food is easily prepared by just pouring in the appropriate amount of water. Usually, it will be one cup per serving. For the best result, you should use hot or boiling water. The time taken is usually around 10 minutes.
As a head up, some preparation process may involve a pan and you should consider this while browsing through the companies.
In conclusion, finding the best long term food storage company would require a decent amount of researching. There are a number of considerations you need to make, such as how much food you need. There are several other considerations too. The short answer for selecting the best survival food company depends on what you considered as paramount and it might very well differ from others since it is a matter of personal preference.