I love Thrive Food.  I’ll just get that right out on the table here.  It is my favorite food storage brand.  It is the brand I buy for my family.  It is top notch.

When you purchase Thrive food through links on my website, I earn a small commission.

But I do occasionally talk about and link to other brands here on my website as well.  And if you purchase through those links, I earn a small commission as well.  (-:

Hopefully, knowing that I earn commission no matter what company I link you to, (except a few I refuse to promote at all), this will allow you to trust the comparisons I give below.

There are a lot of food storage brands available. Find out which ones you can trust and why Thrive food is the best.

There are good things about many food storage brands.  I don’t believe there is any one company that comes out below Thrive in all areas.  There are other good companies and choices out there.

The purpose of today’s post is to help you choose which brand is right for your family.


Quality / Taste of Thrive Food vs Other Brands

The quality of some foods doesn’t really vary between brands.  I recommend buying things like rice, wheat, rolled oats, beans, sugar, baking powder, and many other whole grains wherever you can find them the cheapest.  Costco and the LDS cannery are good sources, and Honeyville is my favorite source for harder to find grains.

But the quality of other foods varies widely.  This is especially true of powdered milk and freeze-dried produce, meat and cheese.

I’ve ordered these products from various different companies on a quite a few different occasions.  I’ve also been a part of conducting a couple of different blind taste tests with large groups of people.  Thrive food always wins.

Their instant milk is the best I’ve tasted.  Their fruits and veggies are the most flavorful and colorful.

Thrive is relentless in finding the best food sources, and they go to great lengths to test multiple sources until they find the best foods available.  Each batch of food received in their facility is individually tested, sampled and approved by an on-site quality assurance department (including one of the owners of the company…he tastes every batch) and FSIS Inspector before it is packaged into cans.  I’ve known them to reject entire batches of product (at huge cost) because it didn’t meet their standards.

The large majority of Thrive foods contain no preservatives, additives, or artificial colors/flavors.  In addition, they are mostly non-GMO, and msg and gluten free.  Learn more about their sources (they are the only company I know of that publishes this info), and additives etc here.


Cost of Thrive Food vs Other Brands

Thrive food is not the cheapest brand.

However, you do need to be careful how you compare prices.  Make sure you compare by total volume instead of # of servings or ounces.  Also, note “amount of food per can below” as this can affect overall cost too.  Some companies are tricky in the way the package, label, and price their food to make it appear to cost less than it does.  Make sure you calculate the cost per cup in order to fairly compare.

My favorite “budget brand” is Emergency Essentials.  I have found the quality of most of their foods to be acceptable (and sometimes even great) and they are often priced slightly below (and sometimes far below) Thrive.  Following their monthly specials and group buys are great ways to get your food at a lower cost.

However, if you really want Thrive food, there are ways to get it for less.  There are some unadvertised packages that are not available on the Thrive site, but you can purchase on my website here for up to 48% off.

In addition, if you are planning to make a $400+ purchase at Thrive, I can credit you some additional free and half off products.  Simply contact me directly to make arrangements for that.  The only company that authorizes me to do this is Thrive Life.

Last, if you wait until Black Friday, I have found that Thrive’s Black Friday prices typically beat most other food storage companies.  It is a great time to stock up on high-quality food.


Amount of Food Per Can in Thrive Cans vs Other Brands

I’ve not done any official research in this area, but when I’ve ordered food from various brands, Thrive’s cans always seem to be the fullest.  Sometimes I’ve ordered from other brands, opened the #10 can and found it to be only half full!  Ouch!  That just increased my cost per serving!

While all freeze-dried foods will experience some settling, every Thrive can I’ve ever opened (and I’ve opened hundreds) has been at least 3/4 full with most being nearly full.


Availability of Various Brands

If you live in Utah, you can visit Thrive Life, Emergency Essentials, or Augason Farms in their physical storefronts and avoid shipping costs.  Honeyville has stores in Salt Lake City, UT, Brigham City, UT, Tempe, AZ and Racho Cucamonga, CA. (And Honeyville’s in store prices are actually far lower than their online prices).

But if you don’t live in Utah, or near a Honeyville store or LDS cannery, you often have to pay to have your food storage shipped to you.  Augason Farms wins here as their product is available in stores like Sam’s Club, Winco, and Walmart.  This makes them easier for most anyone to pick up without having to order online.


Use / Rotation Of Thrive Food and Other Brands

Some food storage companies (none that I link to) sell only (or mostly) pre-made, just add water meals.  While most companies (all that I link to) sell a few of these, I will not link to those that focus solely on them.
These types of meals have their place.  I store a few for nights when I just can’t get around to cooking.  They will also be nice to have in the days immediately following a disaster when I’m not organized yet and just need a quick meal.
However, eating these foods long term will have negative effects on your health.  The mixed ingredients/sauces mean that lots of additives and preservatives are needed.  Sodium, msg etc are all very high in these types of meals.  I cannot imagine eating them long term, and as such cannot recommend them with a clear conscience.  Therefore, I do not link to or recommend any company that sells them exclusively.
Thrive Life, Emergency Essentials, Honeyville, and Augason Farms all offer products that are available as individual ingredients in separate cans.  This means they are easy to use and rotate in your own regular old recipes.  This makes it possible to “eat what you store and store what you eat.”  Thrive has just a few “just add water” meals, and Emergency Essentials probably offers the most (but they have plenty of individual ingredient foods as well).
Thrive offers the most single ingredient cans that have absolutely no preservatives/additives.  This means that a can of green beans is just that: 100% never before canned, frozen, or cooked green beans.  Emergency Essentials, Honeyville and Augason Farms have many such products as well though Thrive has the most.  All four companies have some individual ingredient cans that have a few additives or preservatives, though Thrive has the least.  Be sure to read labels if that is important to you.
Thrive offers a few additional things that make using their food easy: (1) A monthly cooking show with a professional chef  (Chef Todd),  H(2) A recipe site that has Chef Todd’s recipes as well as many consultants and customer recipes.  (3) The Thrive guide: A book with tips on how to use most of their products.  I don’t know of any other food storage company that offers that type of support for really learning how to use their products.  When you know how to use the product, the rotation is much easier and waste is much less.
No matter where you choose to buy your food, if you want to make rotation easier, Thrive Life has fantastic food rotation systems: some for your pantry and others that are free standing.


Packaging Of Thrive Food vs Other Brands

Most food storage comes in #10 cans (aka a 1-gallon can), 5-6 gallon buckets, or in bulk (you have to package it yourself).

Sometimes packaging food yourself can be the cheaper way to go.  For foods where the quality doesn’t vary as much (see #1 above), you should certainly consider it.  But make sure you take into account the cost of the cans, oxygen absorbers, lids, and your time.  Also be certain you know what you are doing so that your food is safe to eat when you need it.

Personally, the cost savings is minimal enough (b/c I only buy food on sale) that it is usually worth it to me to just buy my food already packaged in #10 cans or buckets.

Thrive’s cans are double lined to prevent rust from the outside or the “tin-like” taste on the inside.  The last time I checked (early 2015), Thrive food used the thickest, highest quality cans of any company.  Their buckets also come with a gamma lid which is awesome.

Some companies line their cans on the outside, but as I am writing this article (early 2015), I personally know of no other company that also lines them on the inside.

So there you have it!  Do you like Thrive food?  Do you prefer a different brand?  Why?


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There are a lot of food storage brands out there. Find out which ones you can trust and why Thrive foods are the best