Best Emergency Food Company: Our Top 10 Tried & Compared

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After trying dozens of emergency meals, I can confidently recommend Augason Farms as the best emergency food company.

This survival food exceeded my expectations. It tastes superior to many other emergency food brands I tried and is also one of the cheapest companies. Their selection of #10 cans and variety of meals per kit is second to none.

Best Emergency Food Company
Kristin showing all of the food that she tried from 10 different emergency food companies
Some of the emergency food companies that we tried

We understand the importance of emergency preparedness better than most. Our founder, Jason Hitchcock, weathered a devastating tornado and experienced the aftermath firsthand. It’s remarkable how quickly finding something to eat becomes a worry after a disaster!

I don’t just write about survival food—I actively try and compare different brands to provide accurate information on their taste and nutrition. We spent six months evaluating all the different companies. Then we purchased kits and my family lived on survival food for over two weeks. (Let’s take a minute to be thankful for their sacrifice in the name of research!)

I also believe that emergency food shouldn’t sacrifice taste. Beyond mere sustenance, the best emergency food companies provide delicious and nutritious options that combat the stress and anxiety of unexpected situations.

Below, I’ll dive into the ten emergency food companies I taste-tested and lived on and we found to be the best.

Table of Contents

Quick Summary of My Favorite Emergency Food Companies

BEST OVERALL
Augason Farms Emergency Food

Augason Farms

Huge Variety

Affordable

Customizable

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RUNNER UP
MOST NUTRITIOUS
Nutrient Survival Emergency Food

Nutrient Survival

Nutritionally Complete

Easy to Prepare

Not the Tastiest

Save 10% with code “SS10”

BEST TASTE
Heavens Harvest Emergency Food

Heaven’s Harvest

Affordable

Great Taste

Grab and Go Options

Save 10% with code “survivalstoic”


Side-by-Side Emergency Food Company Comparison

I get it. All the information about each brand can be very overwhelming. I’m the one who ate all the food and wrote this article, and it still overwhelms me. To help you pick the best emergency food company for you, here’s a comparison table with the most important features:

CompanyVarietyCost per 100 CalorieTasteNutrition
Nutrient SurvivalSo-So0.15So-SoFantastic
Mountain HouseFantastic0.16FantasticGood
Survival FreshSo-So0.07GoodGood
Valley Food StorageFantastic0.11GoodGood
Heavens HarvestSo-So0.08FantasticGood
Augason FarmsFantastic0.05GoodGood
Ready ProjectFantastic0.06GoodFantastic
Ready HourFantastic0.05FantasticGood
ReadywiseFantastic0.06GoodGood
Legacy Food StorageFantastic0.10GoodGood

Best Emergency Food Company According to Our Testing

Augason Farms – Best Overall

Augason Farms Emergency Food

Save 10% with code “survivalstoic” at Augason Farms Checkout

  • Variety: Fantastic
  • Price: 5 cents per 100 calories
  • Shelf-Life: 25 years
  • Taste: Good

Augason Farms is the best emergency food company, no matter your budget. It’s often described as the best budget emergency food brand, but it beat many of the more expensive brands I tried, too. I’d likely stick with Augason Farms as my go-to choice, even if it was more expensive!

Kristin showing her Augason Farms Emergency Food Kit
Our Augason Farms Emergency Food Kit that we tested

They easily have the biggest variety of practically any other emergency food brand out there. Their emergency food kits contain many different meals and aren’t full of drink mixes.

Where Augason Farms really shines is their #10 cans. They have everything from dried eggs to freeze-dried peppers. Because their food is so inexpensive, I can easily purchase these single ingredients and add them to their pre-made meals, making them tastier and more nutritious.

Kristin showing the Augason Farms Elbow Macaroni Meal that she made and tasted
The Elbow Macaroni Meal that we tried

For instance, their freeze-dried strawberries and blueberries work great in their oatmeal. I also purchase freeze-dried chicken to add to their pasta. Augason Farms even has a whole recipe section that I have tried and wasn’t disappointed.

I recommend purchasing one of their meal kits and purchasing #10 cans of foods that your family already eats. For instance, my daughter loves strawberries, so that’s an easy addition for me. Even though I am technically purchasing more food, I find I spend less due to Augason Farms’ affordable cost.

I’ve already written a full review of Augason Farms if you want to learn more before you buy.

Recommended for:

If you want an emergency food company that will stock your prepper pantry, Augason Farms is the way to go. I can’t recommend this brand enough. I recommend mixing and matching their pre-made meals with #10 cans for best results.

PROS

Very affordable

Large variety

Not empty calories

Quality packaging

CONS

Taste is about average


Ready Project – Runner-Up

Ready Project Emergency Food
  • Variety: Fantastic
  • Price: 6 cents per 100 calories
  • Shelf-Life: 25 years
  • Taste: Fantastic

Ready Project scored very well during our testing. It tastes great and is very budget-friendly compared to other brands we tried. I love that all kits come with a huge variety of meals.

Kristin showing her Ready Project Emergency Food Kit
One of the Ready Project Emergency Food Kits that we tested

For instance, their 2-week kit comes with 13 different meals. For comparison, many emergency food brands we tested only had four or five. That’s a huge difference.

Kristin showing the meals in her Ready Project Emergency Food Kit
The meals in my Ready Project Emergency Food Kit

These meals aren’t just drink mixes, either. Their meals include things like Hobo Stew and Creamy Rice Pudding. Plus, everything tastes good. None of our testers complained about the food.

Kristin showing one of the Ready Project meals that she tried
The Ready Project Spanish Rice meal that we tried

Their food is also very high in protein—60 grams per day, which is a huge amount compared to other companies. Their meals aren’t just carbohydrates.

Recommended for:

If you don’t like the customization focus of Augason Farms, purchase from Ready Project instead. It tastes good, and you get many meals per kit. It’s an easy emergency food kit to purchase once, set in your basement, and forget about.

PROS

Very high in protein

Inexpensive

Tastes good

Wide variety of meals

CONS

Slightly more expensive


Ready Hour – Best Value

Ready Hour Emergency Food
  • Variety: Fantastic
  • Price: 5 cents per 100 calories
  • Shelf-Life: 25 years
  • Taste: Good

Ready Hour is another one of my favorite emergency food companies, especially when I’m on a budget. This company sells tons of different kits and #10 cans. I can purchase ready-made kits to last a few weeks (or even months), individual dry ingredients like flour, and even coffee. They’re one of the few companies that offer a bread mix, which I highly recommend.

Kristin showing her Ready Hour Emergency Food Kit
One of the Ready Hour Emergency Food Kits that we tested

(Their coffee is a bit strong, in my opinion, but some of our other testers liked it. They also sell creamer to go with their coffee.)

Kristin showing the meals in her Ready Hour Emergency Food Kit
The meals in my Ready Hour Emergency Food Kit

I love their huge variety of kit options. For instance, I can just purchase a big case of different beans and rice. Their breakfast options are also more varied than other emergency food companies I tested. Ready Hour’s long-term food storage kits even come with bread ready to bake.

Kristin showing the Ready Hour meal that she tried
The Ready Hour Mac & Cheese meal that we tried

Ready Hour doesn’t have the tastiest food, though. But it’s absolutely edible, and our children taste-testers ate most of the meals. Ready Hour may not be the best option if you’re looking for gourmet meals. However, Ready Hour works great for the average prepper on a strict budget.

Recommended for:

Ready Hour can be a great emergency food foundation to build off of, or you can use their #10 cans to pad out another company’s meals. Their meal kits are great, and they offer some unique #10 cans (like bread) to fill your prepper pantry.

PROS

Extremely inexpensive

Diverse meal selection

Easy to prepare

CONS

Not particularly high in protein


Nutrient Survival – Complete Nutrition

Nutrient Survival Emergency Food

Save 10% with code “SS10” at Nutrient Survival Checkout

  • Variety: So-So
  • Price: 15 cents per 100 calories
  • Shelf-Life: 15 years
  • Taste: So-So

I have a love-hate relationship with Nutrient Survival. This company stands out for its commitment to complete nutrition in emergency food. Their freeze-dried meals provide all the 40 essential nutrients needed to stay healthy.

Kristin showing the Nutrient Survival Emergency Food Kit she tried
One of the Nutrient Survival Kits that we tested

I, for one, have always prioritized nutritious food. That said, the food still needs to be edible, and some Nutrient Survival meals came pretty close to not being edible. For instance, their milkshakes are particularly unappetizing (and we tried both flavors). Our testers liked their egg meals, but most others were so-so.

I was also disappointed with Nutrient Survival’s limited number of meals. This company makes only six main meal types, which is not a lot of variety.

Nutrient Survival emergency meals are more expensive than many competitors. If you’re on a budget, this is absolutely something to consider.

Kristin's child taste testing one of Nutrient Survival's meals
Kids like the eggs!

I do like their bug out bag meal kit. It comes pre packed in a dry bag and is easy to grab in an emergency evacuation. I also like how their meals are packaged in individual servings instead of one large bag. This is helpful when I don’t have access to a large pot or my normal stove. See our guide on the best bug out bag food for more on this kit.

Also See my full review on Nutrient Survival to see how we tested their kits at home and out on the trail.

Recommended for:

Nutrient Survival is the most nutritionally complete emergency food out there. If you want emergency food with all the necessary nutrients, Nutrient Survival is the only way to go.

PROS

Nutritionally complete

Several size meals available

Easy to prepare

CONS

Expensive

Not the tastiest

Limited variety


Heaven’s Harvest – Best Tasting

Heavens Harvest Emergency Food

Save 10% with code “survivalstoic” at Heaven’s Harvest Checkout

  • Variety: So-So
  • Price: 8 cents per 100 calories
  • Shelf-Life: 25 years
  • Taste: Fantastic

Heaven’s Harvest is the answer for those who don’t want to sacrifice taste regarding emergency food storage. It isn’t the absolute best-tasting emergency survival food, but it is the best tasting that won’t cost thousands for me to stock up on.

Kristin showing one of the heavens harvest emergency food kits that she tried
One of the Heaven’s Harvest Emergency Food kits that we tried

Like most emergency food companies, Heaven’s Harvest meals are easy to prepare, requiring minimal water and only short simmering times. With a 25-year shelf life, I feel confident storing this food long-term, too.

Kristin showing the Heaven's Harvest Lasagna meal that she tried
This is Heaven’s Harvest Lasagna meal that we tried

My main disappointment with Heaven’s Harvest is the food variety provided in their kits. Most of their kits include drink mixes, which are almost solely empty calories. Depending on the size, most kits only include three to five meals. That’s not a lot of variety. For instance, their one-week kit only includes five recipes, and one is an “orange drink mix.”

While their food does taste good, it’s easy to get bored with the same meals over and over. I absolutely recommend purchasing an entree bucket to avoid drink mixes, though. This bucket includes 12 meals, which provides much more variety than their kits.

See my full review on Heaven’s Harvest for more on their meals and kits that we tried.

Recommended for:

Heaven’s Harvest offers a variety of tasty meal options that will keep you satisfied during an emergency. The food is far from bland and won’t break the bank, either.

PROS

Tasty meals

Easy to prepare

Some grab-and-go options

CONS

Shorter shelf life of some items

Limited variety


Legacy Food Storage

Legacy Food Storage Emergency Food
  • Variety: Fantastic
  • Price: 10 cents per 100 calories
  • Shelf-Life: 25 years
  • Taste: Good

Legacy Food Storage is another emergency food brand that I liked. This company provides ready-made kits and plenty of single ingredients. In this way, it’s a bit like Augason Farms but more expensive.

Kristin showing one of the Legacy Food Storage Emergency Food Kits that she tried
One of the Legacy Food Storage Emergency Food kits that we tried

I also found that they taste about as good as Augason Farms. Therefore, it just makes more sense to me to purchase Augason Farms instead. Don’t get me wrong; I did like Legacy Food Storage. However, I just didn’t find the extra price worth it!

Kristin showing the Legacy Food Storage meals that she tried
The meals in our kit that we tried

Legacy Food Storage makes a big deal about their larger serving sizes. While this is true, it’s important to focus on a meal’s calorie count (which is what we did), not the serving size. Serving sizes are completely subjective.

Kristin showing one of the Legacy Food Storage Pasta meals that she tried
The Legacy Food Storage Pasta Primavera meal that we tried

I do love that you can purchase their entree buckets with freeze-dried meats. They also sell some unique single-ingredient packs, like refried beans and dried pineapple chunks. While they may not be #1 on our list, I do recommend checking out their single-ingredient bags to see if there is anything your family would benefit from.

Recommended for:

Legacy Food Storage is perfect for a customizable emergency food storage solution. Their long selection of single ingredients allows you to stock up on what you normally eat, though at a more expensive price than Augason Farms.

PROS

Familiar flavors

Many single-ingredient options

Large variety of recipes

CONS

More expensive than similar options


Mountain House

Mountain House Emergency Food
  • Variety: Fantastic
  • Price: 16 cents per 100 calories
  • Shelf-Life: 25 years
  • Taste: Fantastic

Let me start out with the obvious: Mountain House meals are very tasty. It is easily the best-tasting emergency food available. It doesn’t taste like survival food in the least. However, it is also exceedingly expensive – over twice as expensive as many of my other favorite emergency food brands.

Kristin showing the mountain house meals that she tried
The Mountain House meals that we tried

Each Mountain House meal comes in its own package, and I can cook the food directly in the package. I just add hot water. In my experience, two or three people can typically share a package, so it’s a great option for smaller families.

When my family eats Mountain House, we make two entrees and share.

There are many types of Mountain House meals, too. You can find tons of different recipes, and this company also sells several emergency kits.

Kristin showing one of the mountain house meals that she tried
I like how I can cook and eat these right in the pouch

Again, though, it’s just too expensive for me to consider it practical. Most people won’t be able to afford it, which is why I didn’t recommend it higher on the list.

Recommended for:

If cost isn’t an issue at all, then Mountain House is the tastiest option out there. If you know the amount in your bank account, though, you should probably look at one of the other brands I recommended.

PROS

Very tasty

Cooks directly in the package

Many meals available

CONS

Extremely expensive


ReadyWise

ReadyWise Emergency Food
  • Variety: Fantastic
  • Price: 6 cents per 100 calories
  • Shelf-Life: 25 years
  • Taste: Good

ReadyWise offers various kits and buckets, from individual 72-hour kits to larger family-sized options. I love that they also offer #10 cans. On top of pre-made meals, I like to stock up on single ingredients (like powdered eggs), and the #10 cans let me do just that.

Kristin showing the Ready Wise Emergency Food Kit that she tried
One of the Ready Wise Emergency Food kits that we tried

They even have #10 cans like “Cosmic Berries,” which are basically freeze-dried Skittles.

I tasted several ReadyWise meals and found them edible. I wouldn’t mind eating their meals in an emergency, but many other companies had better-tasting food. They’re also more expensive than other companies, though just slightly.

Kristin showing the Ready Wise Meals that she tried
The contents of the 72 hour Ready wise Emergency Food kit

ReadyWise largely ranked lower on this list because of its pricing and lack of value. You can find better emergency food companies for cheaper.

Kristin showing the Ready Wise meal that she tried
The Ready Wise Mac & Cheese meal that we tried

That said, ReadyWise offers some unique products you may want to purchase, like its freeze-dried candy. I have purchased several #10 cans from ReadyWise for products I wasn’t able to find elsewhere. Its dehydrated meat is also very good. I particularly like their seasoned beef patty crumbles.

Recommended for:

ReadyWise offers several unique food options, like freeze-dried candy, that I recommend. I also like their freeze-dried meat, which is cheaper than many competitors.

PROS

Unique freeze-dried products

Affordable, tasty freeze-dried meats

Variety of meals in each kit

CONS

Not much value for the added price


Valley Food Storage

Valley Food Storage 175 Serving Long-Term Food Kit
  • Variety: Fantastic
  • Price: 11 cents per 100 calories
  • Shelf-Life: 25 years
  • Taste: Good

Valley Food Storage is a very popular emergency food company, so I had high-hopes for their food. However, they were much more expensive than most companies I tried, and there weren’t many added benefits for the price.

Kristin showing the Valley Food Storage Emergency Food Meal Kits that she tried
We purchased these Valley Food Storage Emergency Food kits to try

Don’t get me wrong; they do make some pretty good food. I’ve tried several of their freeze-dried meals, and they were surprisingly delicious and satisfying. The Irish Pub Cheddar Potato Soup was particularly impressive, with a creamy texture and rich flavor.

Kristin showing the meals she tried from Valley Food Storage
Some of the Valley Food Storage meals that we tried

Valley Food Storage does offer a very large variety of individual meals that taste good. Their white bean & lime chili far outperformed other chilis I tasted. However, they’re just too expensive for me to build my whole prepper pantry out of their food.

Kristin showing the Valley Food Storage meal that she tried
The Valley Food Storage Sweet & sour Asian Rice meal that we tried

I chose to get the bulk of my meals from cheaper companies, and then I purchased a few interesting entree packs from Valley Food Storage.

You’ll see Valley Food Storage a lot on other emergency food company reviews, where it is often rated very highly. My only explanation is that they offer a higher affiliate payout due to their higher price. Don’t let the other reviews fool you; they aren’t worth paying double for.

Recommended for:

Valley Food Storage makes great food, but it is expensive. I recommend purchasing entrees that look unique and different from what you already have. Unless money isn’t an object, don’t plan on purchasing only from Valley Food Storage.

PROS

Interesting entree options

High-quality packaging

Huge variety of meal options

CONS

Expensive


Survival Fresh

Survival Fresh Emergency Food
  • Variety: So-So
  • Price: 7 cents per 100 calories
  • Shelf-Life: 25 years
  • Taste: Good

Survival Fresh is Survival Frog’s emergency food brand. If Google knows that you’re interested in prepping, you’ve probably seen their canned meat commercials dozens of times.

Kristin showing the Survival Fresh Emergency Food kit that she tried
One of the Survival Fresh Emergency Food Kits that we tried

Obviously, they’re trying to push their canned meat heavily. But they do sell other emergency foods, including 4-week emergency kits. Their kits aren’t my favorite, as they’re very heavy on the oatmeal.

Kristin showing the meals inside the Survival Fresh Emergency Food Kit
This Survival Fresh kit was full of meals.

I can purchase instant oatmeal from the store if I want to live on only oatmeal for four weeks. When it comes to emergency food, I’m typically looking for something a bit more substantial.

This company also doesn’t offer very much variety. They don’t offer any single ingredients except for their pervasive canned meats.

Recommended for:

I don’t recommend Survival Fresh unless you want to try their expensive canned meats. At the moment, that’s really the only thing they have going for them!

PROS

Sells canned meats

CONS

Expensive

Very limited variety


Tips for Building Your Emergency Food Supply

Now that we’ve gone through all the survival food companies popular in the prepping space let’s look at how you can actually use all this information. This is what I recommend doing:

1. Choose a Base Emergency Food Company

First, I recommend choosing a base emergency food company. While you can technically use any company I mentioned above, I recommend purchasing a kit from either Augason Farms, Ready Hour, or Heaven’s Harvest.

The amount of food you’ll need to purchase depends on your family size and how long you want to be prepared for. However, it’s better to purchase a little bit than purchase nothing at all. Here are the specific kits I recommend from each company:

Purchase around half of your family’s caloric needs in one of the kits above. For instance, if you have a family of four and want to have a 2-week supply of food, that’s around 84,000 calories (assuming your children are still kids – not teenagers). Half of that is 42,000 calories, so you’d need to purchase two Augason Farms kits.

2. Buy Things Your Family Loves

Next, it’s time to fill out the other half of your family’s caloric needs. I recommend buying things your family likes to eat in #10 cans. You can use these ingredients as snacks or to make your meals more filling. Consider the meals that come in the kit you purchased and think about what extras would make those meals better.

For instance, my daughter loves strawberries, so I purchased several cans of freeze-dried strawberries to put in her oatmeal. My son prefers blueberries, so I also purchased several cans of those.

Onions and bell peppers can make practically any pasta taste even better, so I stocked up on those, too.

My toddler loves corn (it’s his favorite food, honestly), so I purchased freeze-dried corn from Augason Farms.

And, of course, I had to purchase some freeze-dried candy from ReadyWise. I have two kids, and being able to bribe them with candy is an advantage I’m not willing to give up!

3. Add Protein

I recommend adding protein once you’ve beefed up your emergency food storage with your family’s favorites. Very few emergency food companies provide enough protein, in my opinion. That’s likely because protein is expensive!

Once you have the basics figured out, I recommend purchasing freeze-dried chicken and similar protein options to add to your meals. Again, this stretches out each meal while ensuring your diet stays well-rounded in an emergency.

There are many protein options out there. Augason Farms sells both beef dices and white chicken meat. I also recommend stocking up on beans, too, as they’re easy to wipe into a meal.

I also like ReadyWise’s seasoned beef patty crumbles.

4. Diversify

At this point, you should have enough for your family for two weeks or so. Half of these calories should come from freeze-dried meals, while the other half should be from added ingredients and meat.

You might think your next step is to start all over, but I don’t recommend this! Once you have a good prepper pantry built up, you should focus on diversifying your meal options.

You can do this in several ways. Storing foods long-term, like rice and beans, is a cheap way to add more calories. I keep enough long-lasting foods to make several of my favorite survival recipes.

You can also purchase freeze-dried meals that you don’t already have. For instance, Augason Farms sells unique emergency food buckets, such as their Christmas Variety Bucket. This bucket includes foods not in their usual emergency food kits, so it is a solid way to diversify.


How We Tested the Emergency Food Companies

We dedicated ourselves to living on emergency food for nearly two weeks. We wanted to see what it was really like to survive on these foods! We didn’t want to taste the food once and call it a day. We wanted to know these foods’ true functionality and nutritional value in a real-world scenario.

We went far beyond testing these emergency food brands. We actually used them. Here’s a breakdown of our testing process:

  • Taste & Texture: We meticulously evaluated the taste of each meal. Thanks to our children taste testers, we could determine how functional these foods would be for families. After all, if your children won’t eat it, emergency food won’t be much help!
  • Nutritional Value: We analyzed the calorie count, protein content, and presence of essential vitamins and minerals in each meal. Survival isn’t just about filling your belly; it’s about giving your body the fuel to recover and rebuild.
  • Variety: We considered the diversity of meal options offered by each company. Nobody wants to eat the same freeze-dried chili for a week straight!
  • Value for Money: Emergency preparedness shouldn’t break the bank. We factored in the cost per serving and overall value proposition of each company.

Get Started With Your Emergency Food Supply

After weeks of taste-testing and surviving on emergency meals, we can confidently recommend Augason Farms as the best all-around emergency food company. It delivers on taste, affordability, and variety – everything you need to weather any storm.

Here’s why Augason Farms stands out:

  • Delicious and Diverse: Their meals are far from bland, offering a wide selection to prevent taste fatigue during an emergency.
  • Budget-Friendly: Augason Farms offers the most bang for your buck, allowing you to stock your pantry without breaking the bank.
  • #10 Can Power: Their extensive selection of #10 cans lets you customize your emergency food supply and add variety to pre-made meals.

Very few people have enough money to purchase weeks of emergency food for their whole families, but that shouldn’t stop you from purchasing something. It is best to work up to a complete prepper’s pantry by slowly purchasing emergency food.

Now, Also check out our other food articles in our How to Start Prepping Guide. We have a guide on the Best Emergency Food Kits, and well as How to Store Food Long Term.

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Kristin is a fulltime writer with an obsession for being prepared. She spends much of her time working towards making her family self-sufficient, including homeschooling her children. When she isn’t writing, she’s shooting with her husband or homesteading.