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The Food Storage Companies I Recommend & Why

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Over the years, I’ve purchased “survival” food from a dozen or so different companies, and believe me, not all companies that sell that type of food are the same. In a couple of instances, the food was so bad that even I, a pretty damn good cook, couldn’t salvage the end result. If you’re thinking about dipping your toe in, then read on as I share the good, the bad, and the awful products and quality. And I’ll reveal the business I think is the best food storage company around. Let’s get to it!

If you’re going to invest money in freeze-dried and dehydrated food, then it’s worth the time to research and try sample sizes of a company’s product before stocking up.

Some brands I’ve used and purchased are Thrive Life, Legacy Foods, Honeyville, Emergency Essentials, and the one widely-marketed brand that was the worst and will remain nameless. (Wise consumers will be well-advised to steer clear of that particular brand.)

Thrive Life: The Best Food Storage Company & the One I Recommend

I won’t keep you hanging or make you wait until the end to learn the food storage company I recommend. After all my taste tests, the company I recommend most highly is Thrive Life. Over the years and hundreds of cans of their food, I’ve found their quality, taste, and variety to be the best.

Disclaimer: I like their food so much that I am an “independent consultant” for their company and earn a commission for any sales generated from my link. I am not an affiliate of any other company mentioned.

Why I Think Thrive Life Foods Is the Best

Thrive Life has an outstanding, user-friendly website and a huge array of mostly freeze-dried foods that can be incorporated into thousands of recipes. This is my recommended form of food storage — individual ingredients that give you unlimited recipe options. Thrive Life produce is:

  • picked at the peak of its ripeness,
  • quickly freeze-dried, and packaged.
  • It retains all of the original nutrients.
  • Contains no chemicals, preservatives, or gmos.

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Just-add-water meals come in handy for events like power outages and quick evacuations, but they do limit your meal choices to just the varieties you have on hand. Thrive Life offers the have foods auto-shipped, which has helped me stay on track with food storage goals and build a supply of freeze-dried food. Read more about how to assemble just-add-water meals here.

They also sell three varieties of their Chef Pack, which are like meal kits. They contain 20 recipe cards and 9-10 Thrive Life ingredients, along with a compiled list of all the pantry basics you’ll need to finish off your recipes. These do everything except cook the food for you. I’ve used them, and you can read my review of the Thrive Life Chef Packs here. (Spoiler Alert: I LOVE them!)

In short, they offer some unique features that similar companies do not offer. I’ve been a Thrive Life consultant for ten years, and most of my food storage comes from this company. One downside is that Thrive Life doesn’t sell many grains and other dry foods in bulk, such as wheat, grains, and dried beans. For those, I recommend Azure Standard.

What about the other food storage companies out there?

So what about other companies such as Emergency Essentials, Walton Feed, Augason Farms, and Honeyville?

None of these companies are inferior; they just don’t rise to the top in the various categories that I personally find to be most important:

  • most helpful website and resources,
  • an auto-ship option,
  • consistently high quality,
  • and the largest variety of products.

As well, during the shortages of freeze-dried foods in 2021, Thrive Life was the one company that was able to continue fulfilling their orders while other companies had to temporarily halt new orders.

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For a year or so, I taught classes at a Honeyville retail store in Phoenix and bought quite a few food items each time. Their retail stores no longer exist. Honeyville advertises a low, flat-rate shipping cost (currently $8.99), but the shipping price has to be made up elsewhere. This made it difficult for me to determine which of their products were priced well and which might be more expensive than other brands, whose shipping charges were higher.

For example, a couple of years ago, I priced a 50-pound bag of hard white wheat at the Honeyville retail store, and back then, it cost $19.99 but was $43.99 online. That’s quite a difference and is typical of all their food products. The $8.99 shipping charge becomes meaningless, making it very difficult to truly compare Honeyville’s cost and value with other companies. One thing I like about Honeyville is their baking mixes for cornbread and brownies and their variety of grains.

However, the shelf life of their meats is only 1 month when refrigerated and only a week if unrefrigerated. Thrive Life meats have a much longer shelf life.

Augason Farms

Augason Farms is very well-known in the food storage community. It’s family-run and offers generally lower prices. However, what I’ve found is the quality of food is a mixed bag. In some cases, it’s as good in terms of appearance and flavor as Thrive Life, but too often, the quality is lower. I sampled some of their soup mixes, and they aren’t something I would feed to my family without major improvements on my part, and I’m a very good cook!

A product I’ve heard very good things about is the gluten-free Black Bean Burger Mix. One of our Survival Mom writers found it at her local Walmart and says it’s a very versatile mix. While it can be formed into patties for burgers, it can also be used as a taco or burrito filling or a crumble for a taco salad or nachos. Here’s how freeze-dried food makes your favorite Mexican recipes even easier!) She does like to add more seasonings to it and says that those who like spicy foods will probably find it bland without the addition of some heat. It makes a good base for a variety of meals and would be a good addition to my Macho Mexican Rice.

Augason products are sometimes priced very low on Amazon, and Augason sells some products other companies do not, such as Peanut Butter Powder and “vegetarian meat substitute“, aka Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP). Read the ingredients before buying.

Rainy Day Foods

Rainy Day Foods was the very first food storage company I encountered, and the ordering process, at least back then, was quite confusing and complicated for a newbie. It really helps to know what you want and will use before perusing the site.

When I first began my food storage project eleven years ago, I had no idea what adzuki beans were or whether we would ever eat a #10 can of ABC soup mix! On the Rainy Day website, you’ll see quite a few products that may be unfamiliar to you, such as 7 Grain Mix, Cracked Cereal, Ezekiel Mix, and Buttermilk Powder. Most of their products come in large #10 cans or buckets. That’s a downside for many people who want to use these foods for everyday cooking as well as long-term storage. Eating a #10 can of 16 Bean Mix can take a long time! I’ve got more on how to decide the best freeze-dried food can size to order here.

Rainy Day carries Ova Easy eggs, a highly rated egg mixture (contains only eggs), at a much lower price than Amazon, but not much freeze-dried meat.

Unlike Thrive Life, their website is functional but offers little additional help or support. However, they have monthly specials, and you can download their price list—helpful for comparison shopping with a similar company, like Azure Standard.

In my experience, Rainy Day products are of good quality. If you want to look at their products and pricing, it’s best to place a huge order with other people, if possible, to save on shipping. When I did this, an 18-wheeler delivered the order to my friend’s house (she was the coordinator), and she divided up the orders for each person.

Azure Standard

Azure Standard carries a huge variety of products, and you’ll have fun browsing through their website. If you’re looking for organic, these are your people!

For the purposes of this article and company comparison, Azure Standard is a great choice for bulk foods. Not only do they sell many certified organic products, but most come in several sizes. This is perfect if you want to try out a particular food before buying it in bulk.

I did a quick price check for white navy beans and compared Azure Standard’s price with Rainy Day. A 25 lb. bag from Azure is currently priced a little below $39, while that same amount costs almost $52 from Rainy Day. Azure sells fresh cheeses and eggs (!) but not freeze-dried cheese or egg powders.

This website is fun for browsing and shopping! Keep an eye on shipping charges, though.

Mountain House / Legacy Foods

Two other well-known brands I’ve tried are Mountain House Foods and Legacy Foods. I tried several of their freeze-dried entrees. Like all “just add water” meals, try one flavor/variety first before stocking up. Some Mountain House meals we liked and, for me, at least, their beef stew was barely edible.

Pro Tips for Choosing a Food Storage Company

  • Research the company’s reputation: Find reviews from independent sources and prepper communities. Check for complaints about quality, shelf life, or customer service.
  • Verify shelf life claims: Shelf life can vary depending on packaging and storage conditions. Make sure the company clearly states the shelf life for their products and how it’s achieved (e.g., oxygen absorbers, nitrogen flushing).
  • Consider your dietary needs: Look for companies that offer options for vegetarians, gluten-free, or other dietary restrictions.
  • Read the ingredients list: Avoid businesses using excessive fillers, artificial flavors, or unhealthy ingredients.
  • Cost per serving: Don’t just focus on the total price tag. Compare the price per serving to get a better idea of the real value.
  • Customer service: Choose companies with responsive and helpful customer service in case you have any questions or problems.
  • Look for sales and promotions: Many businesses offer discounts on bulk purchases or during specific times of the year.

Why is a lot of “survival food” is surprisingly similar?

One factor many don’t realize is that all this food, whether it be wheat, strawberries, corn, and everything else, comes from only so many farms! Just as food processing plants package food and then place different labels on them for different brands, these farms and packing plants do the same thing. So wheat purchased from Emergency Essentials just might come from the exact same farm as Augason Farms wheat or vice versa.

Very few plants freeze-dry massive amounts of produce, so it’s logical that the food itself is the same from one company to the next, and only the label and, possibly, the packaging process is different. Exactly where the food comes from is highly confidential, and you will probably only find out the country from which it originated. Thrive Life has their own large freeze-drying facilities.

How to Avoid Making an Expensive Mistake

Before making a large purchase of this food, even if you’re in a huge panic and think that time is running out, please don’t buy anything you aren’t familiar with and may not actually use. Here are my 15 Food Storage Commandments to help you lay a good foundation.

Mistake #1

I have about a dozen cans of germade — a hot cereal I have never eaten in my life. One of these days, I’ll crack open a can and serve it to my family. If they like it, great! If not, I’ll look on Pinterest for other recipes that call for germade or sell it on Craigslist! You especially don’t want to store food items you don’t know if you like because it takes up space you could use for other supplies and food you’ll actually eat!

Mistake #2

Another mistake I’ve made is to buy far more wheat and less rice. Rice is in many ways more versatile. It’s also advantageous for families dealing with gluten issues. On the upside, I have loads of wheat to barter with, and now I’ve started to look for 50-pound bags of rice that I can repackage.

TIP: If you buy food in large quantities, you’ll probably have to repackage it for the longest shelf life.

Mistake #3

Another mistake I made early on was buying all my food in gallon-size #10 cans. Once opened, the food inside will be affected by humidity, oxygen, and light, and its flavor and color will deteriorate. I wised up after a while and now buy mostly the smaller, #2.5 cans. This tutorial will help you decide which can size is best for you and your family.

Whichever companies you choose, start by buying small quantities. Thrive Life sells small, #2.5 size cans, which are more budget-friendly. This is a very, very good way to check the quality, taste, and versatility of a food. Many foods from Azure Standard come in three or four different sizes. Honeyville and Rainy Day tend to use #10 cans and buckets.

As the old adage states: There’s a first time for everything. And lucky you! If this is your first time placing an order, you can benefit from what I learned my first time. Head on over and read my tips for placing your first survival food order.

This Food is for More than Just Storage

One reader asked me if I ever actually eat this food right now!


Currently in my kitchen, I have open cans of freeze-dried blueberries (used them in a baked oatmeal this morning), freeze-dried strawberries (we use them in smoothies), freeze-dried cheese (ran out of fresh cheddar one day…), oats, parboiled rice, cocoa powder, bell pepper slices, and instant milk. Although most of my food is specifically for long term storage, rotating these foods is pretty important to maintain maximum freshness.

After a while, you figure out which of these foods you should probably stock up on more than others. For me:

  1. Berries: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries
  2. Freeze-dried corn:  (We use it a lot in chowders.)
  3. Freeze-dried sausage crumbles. These are amazing and such a great way to have sausage for pasta meals and pizza. Learn more about using sausage crumbles here.
  4. Instant milk. Good to have on hand when we don’t have any fresh. Read more in this post about how to used dried milk.
  5. Freeze-dried cheese — I can’t say enough about freeze-dried cheese! Take one cup of the cheese and mix in 3 T. water. Stir, let sit for a few minutes to rehydrate, and you have fresh-looking and tasting cheese ready to go! I go in-depth on using freeze-dried cheese with recipes and a video demonstration here.
  6. Ground beef: Super versatile!


What shelf life should I expect for freeze-dried food?

Shelf life can vary (usually 25+ years) depending on packaging and storage conditions. Verify the company’s claims and how they achieve long shelf life (e.g., oxygen absorbers, nitrogen flushing).

What’s the best way to compare prices?

Don’t just focus on the total price tag. Compare the price per serving to get a better idea of the real value.

Can I buy freeze-dried foods besides fruits, vegetables, and complete meals?

Absolutely! Besides fruits, vegetables, and complete meals, you can find freeze-dried meats (chicken, beef, fish), dairy products (cheese, milk powder, yogurt, sour cream), and even emergency baking supplies (eggs, flour, sugar, yeast). Look for these options online from retailers specializing in emergency preparedness or outdoor supplies.

Get your FREE freeze-dried food primer now!

Click here for everything you need to know to get started using freeze-dried food:

  • What it is and how to use it
  • Which brands are the best quality
  • How to decide what to buy
  • How to save money buying freeze-dried food

Click here to get your FREE freeze-dried food primer!

Final Thoughts About the Best Food Storage Company

Whichever company you purchase from, try to compare prices and quantities. Also, pay attention to serving sizes, especially when buying just-add-water meals. Those can be deceiving and are a topic for a separate article!

Let me know what products you like to use and how you use them!

Updated June 29, 2023

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