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Prepping & Survival

The Best Emergency Food Supplier [2024]

This is an updated review of the best emergency food suppliers. Our first roundup was several years ago and we will continue to update as new products are released and as we test new prepper food supplies.

When things don’t go as planned one of the first things to sell out is emergency food kits. Supply chain disruptions cause chaos and panic at grocery stores, and food becomes scarce. This is why long-term food storage buckets have been a mainstay of preparedness for over 50 years. Whether it’s a regional disaster or a national catastrophe, a prepper food kit as part of your food storage plan can keep you fed through it all. There are many different brands from several companies to pick from. The number of prepper food kit choices can be overwhelming.

This is where we come in. We have plenty of combined experience with pre-made food storage kits and have put in the research and testing. We pinpointed two brands that rose above the rest, with good value, reliable shelf lives, and best of all: they actually taste good.

Contents (Jump to a Section)

Augason Farms Emergency Food Supplier 30 Day Bucket

The Best Emergency Food Supplier

Augason Farms

Cost-effective, long shelf life, and large variety.

Pack your pantry with one of the cheapest prepper food suppliers that will provide good-tasting calories during any disaster.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Augason Farms provides one of the cheapest emergency food suppliers you can find. They are manufactured in higher volume which makes them less expensive and easy to stock up. Augason is a 50-year-old family business and it does a lot of private-label emergency food supplies- so they are even the manufacturer for some of their competitors.

One thing we love about Augason Farms is the variety they offer. They also rotate through some pretty solid deals regularly and stay on our prepper deal finder page with sales that make it easy to stock the pantry on a budget.

If need to stock some calories in your prepper pantry, Augason Farms is the trusted brand that’ll get it done.

Augason Farms Premium Prepper Food Supplier

Upgrade Emergency Food Supplier

Augason Farms Premium

Cost-effective, long shelf life, and large variety.

No matter which way you approach it, Augason remains the best food storage option to stockpile in your pantry.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Regardless of your selection criteria, Augason Farms has the best turnkey solution for at-home prepper food storage. Other brands sometimes have more calories per serving, higher protein, and other nutritional considerations- but the value just isn’t comparable.

Augason Farms’ premium bucket is a great example of this. While the previous bucket is the best value, this one is more comparable in calories, weight, and nutrition and it still beats them all out by at least $50.

After reviewing food storage for years now, Augason Farms Premium Buckets are what I currently store in my prepper pantry and the brand itself is just unbeatable when it comes to value.

Nutrient Survival Prepper Food Supplier

Bug Out Emergency Food Supplier

Nutrient Survival

Nutritional, Smartly Packed, and Delicious.

Individual packaging and the most nutrient-dense option on the market make these the top pick for those serious about survival on-the-go.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

Nutrient Survival is a relative newcomer to the emergency food supplier game, but they are knocking it out of the park with their products. The serving-size packaging they offer is ideal for camping, hiking, and mobile kits like:

  • Bug Out Bags
  • Get Home Bags
  • INCH Bags
  • and even Everyday Carry!

This food is packed full of crucial vitamins and minerals- and easily tops the charts in protein as well. Filler carbs are notably absent.

For those that get out there and use their survival gear and put it through the paces, Nutrient Survival is well worth it and is an upgrade over backpacker brands for complete meals in your bug out bags and other mobile kits.

Everything We Recommend

The Brands and Suppliers We Compared

Our research narrowed the field down to several contenders that we tested: Mountain House, Legacy Food Storage, Readywise, 4Patriots, Emergency Essentials, Ready Hour, Augason Farms, Nutrient Survival, NorthWest Fork, and more. Once we got past the numbers, such as cost, calories, estimated shelf life, and nutritional content, we went into our taste tests.

People’s taste preferences can vary, but it is still easy to tell when the whole group decides that one brand tastes better than the other brand. All of this information together helped us inform our recommendations.

Freeze-dried vs. Dehydrated

You may have noticed that all of the kits that we considered use freeze-dried foods. This is important because of the longer shelf life freeze drying can provide. Freeze drying removes 98% of the water content from food, making it extremely shelf-stable. For comparison, dehydrating only removes 80% of the water. Canning removes none.

We still recommend canning and dehydrating for long-term food storage, but freeze-dried kits are still the best ‘fire and forget’ way to be prepared for an emergency. When an air-tight bucket with mylar-wrapped freeze-dried food can last well over 30 years in the right storage conditions- you won’t find a better option for long-term food storage.

How They Stacked Up

To easily compare brands, we checked out a common offering across most: the 30-day single-person kit. With approximately 40,000 calories each, these solidly cover the minimum preparedness recommendations and make it easy to compare cost, calories, nutritional content, and shelf life:

30-Day Kit Supplier Cost Calories Nutrition Shelf Life Other Notes
Augason Farms $99 36,000 900g protein 25 years 24 pouches, 200 servings
Augason Farms Premium $149 55,620 1,380g protein 25 years 35 pouches, 307 servings
Nutrient Survival $568 40,280 1,540g protein 25 years 12 #10 cans, 220 servings
Valley Food Storage $479 60,000 1,314protein 25 years 44 pouches, 368 servings
4Patriots $235 36,480 697g protein 25 years 22 pouches, 192 servings
ReadyWise $208 54,000 1,400g protein 25 years 298 servings
Legacy Food Storage $390 44,640 1,432g protein 25 years 15 pouches, 120* servings
Mountain House $839 51,960 1,548g protein 30 years 90 pouches, 180 servings

What to Look For

The best prepper food kits have several important features to look for:

  1. Cost
  2. Calories
  3. Nutritional Content
  4. Shelf Life
  5. Taste

Below, we break down what each of these means for the best prepper food kits. When you get the right blend of these, you get the best overall value. Each one is important- it would be a mistake to prioritize cost over taste, for example.

Cost vs Serving Size

Two main factors affect how much your long-term food storage kit will cost: brand and quantity.

Brands charge different amounts for the same product on paper, but they use a clever marketing trick to make cross-shopping quantity harder. This trick is the serving size. Most brands advertise dollar per serving when a more accurate measure could be dollar per pound. The problem with measuring how good a cost is by weight is that manufacturers start adding fillers to reduce cost and increase weight. Their products are lower calorie and have much less nutritional value.

This is why it is important to compare costs to all of the other factors, not just one.

Calories per Pound

To really cut through the BS marketing above, with serving size tampering and extra fillers for weight, you need to look at calorie weight.

Calorie weight is a great measure of how much energy a food packs per spoonful. The higher, the better (in most instances). It is also good when you are eating in a hurry or on the go. Higher calories mean that every bite brings that much more energy.

Calories are king when it comes to survival food, but they still don’t show the total picture. Without nutritional content, your survival food kit will leave you malnourished and unable to process those calories.

Nutritional Content

Proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals work together to keep your organs healthy and working properly. When you create a long-term food storage plan, you will want a wide variety of food types to create balanced meals. Stocking up on one type of food is ill-advised, even if it is a freeze-dried food kit. Many brands offer varieties of buckets and kits, and you should get a mix that will give you and your family balanced nutritional rations.

Freeze-Dried Food Shelf Life

Shelf life for freeze-dried foods typically varies from five years to thirty- depending on the contents of the food and the packing methods. Besides foods that do not have a shelf life, this is as good as you can get. If you are lucky enough to get close to your emergency food expiration date, you will want to re-order to replace your stockpile. This is a good chance to crack them open and eat what you would have during an emergency.

The Best Oxygen Absorber for Food Storage

Whenever you do a taste test or use any of your emergency food, be sure to restock quickly so you aren’t caught empty-handed during an emergency.

The Issue of Taste

Nobody expects freeze-dried food to taste like a perfectly cooked steak from your town’s best steakhouse. But, the taste still matters- just ask any soldier that was tossed one of the worst MREs in the field. As I quickly learned from MREs, condiments can help food kits with bland flavors.

Why Food Supplies are Important for Survival

Food is an important part of our daily lives. It is a survival priority and the survival rule of three says we can’t live long without it. Our research shows that you can’t go much further than three weeks without food, and even that is without expending much energy.

Most food we eat throughout the week can’t last more than a few days on its own. Food goes bad- decomposition is just how the world works. Humans have had many accomplishments over the years in attempting to improve the shelf life of food. We’ve salt-packed meat and invented refrigeration, freezers, and supermarkets. The latest and most profound innovation? The freeze-dried food kit.

Freezing meat makes it last 1,500 times longer than it would at room temperature.

Freeze-dried foods can make meat last up to 100 times as long as freezing.

So, freeze-dried foods can extend your period to eat that food by 150,000 times!

A few centuries ago, people would have marveled at this achievement. We send astronauts to space with freeze-dried food. The military uses this food as standard issue MREs in deployment zones. The only downside is cost- otherwise, there would be no hunger for anyone on the planet. The freeze-drying process is manufacturing-intensive, using expensive machinery with high energy costs.

Astronaut Freeze Dried Food

Some may balk at the cost of survival food kits, but the kit is assurance that you can feed yourself and your family any time you need to for up to 30 years. The costs, when compared with the risks in this world of grocery supply chain disruption, are minuscule. There are many, many reasons why the delicate supply chains that bring food around the world could be destabilized. There is one good way to prepare for this eventuality: getting an emergency food kit.

Who Needs Emergency Food Supplies?

Everyone eats, and everyone can benefit from a prepper food kit stored away for an emergency.

Most preppers store these food kits at their primary residence, along with their tools and other contingency supplies:

Emergency food supplies are usually smart to include in:

If they are able, many preppers keep prepper food kits stored at their Bug Out Location (BOL). Anywhere that you could be spending time in an emergency would be a good option for storing extra food with an extremely long shelf life.

How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.

Sources and References

Our analysis of the best emergency food suppliers would be useless without crediting our sources and references. We leaned on these resources for the book knowledge that we paired with our practical military and emergency management experience. If you would like to learn even more about prepper food kits, how freeze-dried food works, and research studies conducted on food shelf life, dig into our sources:

Denkenberger, D., et al. (2015). Feeding Everyone No Matter What: Managing Food Security After Global Catastrophe. Academic Press. (Source).

Ratti, C. (2008). Freeze Drying and Vacuum Drying of Foods. Drying Technologies in Food Processing. Blackwell Publishing. pg 225. (Source).

Subramaniam, P., et al. (2010). The Stability and Shelf-Life of Food. Woodhead Publishing. (Source)

The Final Word

Food is one of the most important things a prepper can stockpile, and food kits make it easy. A hundred years ago people spent a considerable amount of their lives planning and preparing food storage, yet today we can preserve food for an extremely long time with freeze-drying technology.

As always, I suggest that you try your food kit out. Make sure you know how to cook it, that it is being stored properly, and that it has enough calories, nutrition, and variation in taste. If you’ve had it for a while, be sure to check the expiration date and cycle your inventory if you have to.

If you are looking to learn more about food storage, check out these articles we’ve written up:

We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our research and testing settled on Augason Farms as the best option based on their quality, selection, nutrition, taste, and value.

Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.

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The Best Emergency Food Supplier

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