The emergency food company 4Patriots has become popular in preparedness circles recently, largely due to extensive advertising campaigns on social media. The real questions are, are the survival food kits from 4patriots worth the money? Is the company legitimate? Is 4patriots the best option for emergency food?
The commercials are long, “infomercial” style ads like you’d see on daytime television in the 1990s. Everything seems too good to be true, and then they say, “But wait, there’s more!” Some of their ads promise things that just don’t seem possible…at least not for a company that’s hoping to stay in business.
We’ll send you 3 months of food, a solar cooker, and all manner of other “bonus” materials valued at $3,000+ dollars, all for just $600. Free Shipping! You can even do a payment plan!
My momma always said when things seem too good to be true, they probably are.
Nonetheless, I decided to do a full review of 4Patriots Survival Food, as I imagine lots of you have the questions. Can this company possibly be legit?
I pride myself on doing comprehensive reviews, so I’d encourage you to read everything if you’re seriously considering purchasing products from 4Patriots. That said, I know people are in a hurry and they’re looking for quick answers.
Is 4Patriots Legit? Yes.
They are a legitimate company that will send you survival food as advertised and as ordered. Believe it or not, the food is even reasonably tasty.
Do I recommend 4Patriots survival food? No.
- They Don’t Produce Survival Food ~They’re a marketing company that re-packs survival food produced by other providers. You can purchase the food direct from the source by going to one of their “competitors” at My Patriot Supply or half a dozen others. They’re transparent about this in their kits (when you receive one), and they explain that they “sourced” the food, rather than “produced” it. (Update: My patriot supply no longer supplies their food, but it still comes from other 3rd party producers.)
- Packaging ~ Their packaging is sub-standard, at least in my opinion, and I doubt it will not hold up to long-term storage. You can smell the maple oatmeal across the room, even though it’s nominally “sealed” and in a pack and inside a durable tote. My packages clumped into bricks inside the packaging after about 6 months in storage, and I had to bash them apart to cook them. (That’s especially impressive, given the amount of anti-caking agents included in the incredibly long ingredients list for each pouch.)
- Up-Selling ~ Their food is often sold on sale as a “loss leader” and then they aggressively try to get you to add on to your order, sending literally dozens of emails and texts before your order is shipped. If you feel you can resist their spammy marketing and not add on, you might save a good bit by ordering some of their kits. In that case, I’d suggest checking their “deal of the week” and “best sellers” pages to find the best discounts. That said, you’d need to be willing to re-pack them in more durable mylar, and mylar bags along with home sealing systems aren’t cheap. You’d lose all your savings that way, not to mention the extra effort.
If you’re looking for quality survival food at a low price, I’d recommend My Patriot Supply instead. They’re the most economical option on the market, at least in terms of providing a good value at a low cost. They also ship fast.
Beyond that, the absolute best survival food companies are on the market are Valley Food Storage and Nutrient Survival. I’ve reviewed every single emergency food supplier out there, and they are by far the best options (though not the cheapest).
Is 4Patriots Survival Food Legit?
Yes, 4patriots survival food is legit, and they do in fact deliver the survival food they advertise. It’s not the best survival food on the market, or the least expensive, but they are in fact a legitimate company (not a scam). At least not at the time of this review.
If the name sounds familiar, that’s because they’ve been around for a quite a few years. They originally started out as “Food 4 Patriots” circa 2013. They ran heavy ad campaigns and focused on up-sale tactics, trying to get you to add on to your order half a dozen times before you could successfully checkout.
The review are absolutely horrible, and you can look at their old Facebook page (retired in 2018) to see that just about every comment is someone complaining about the quality of the food, the poor package seals or the fact that they never received their order. Look them up on scam reporting websites and they have plenty of complaints, mostly that people were double charged and/or never received their order.
(No other survival food company has this level of complaints, I’ve checked each one.)
Around 2018 they rebranded as simply “4Patriots.” They changed their website name, created a new facebook page and tried to leave all the bad press behind. They put a much heavier focus on customer service, and I’ve got to hand it to them, the complaints dropped dramatically….but not entirely.
They doubled down on facebook ads, and quickly sold out of everything when the kerfuffle of early 2020 hit.
They are incredibly good at marketing…and that’s because they’re actually a marketing company, not a survival food company.
Is 4 Patriots Survival Food Produced in the US?
Believe it or not, 4Patriots doesn’t actually produce the food they sell, it’s produced by other companies (formerly My Patriot Supply, but now other undisclosed suppliers). That’s not necessarily a bad thing on its own, I actually really love My Patriot Supply, and I think it’s one of the best budget survival food companies out there.
The thing is, they’re sourcing it from wherever they can get it cheapest at the time, and that means quality is going to be inconsistent. They’re actually explicit about that when you get your food, and they note that,
“In some cases, individual pouches of the same meal, like Macaroni & Cheese, may vary slightly, as we are sourcing meals from multiple qualified suppliers…”
That said, they do note on every package that the food is produced in the United States. They are sourcing from US-based companies, at least at the time I ordered my kit. That, of course, could change at any time based on supply chain demands as they’re not the ones actually producing the food.
As I said, they’re marketing survival food, not making it.
Is 4Patriots a US Based Company?
That’s not exactly easy to answer.
In theory, they say they’re based out of Nashville Tennessee, and they claim old-fashioned “middle of the country” values with no political affiliation whatsoever. That’s obviously best for marketing. They’re registered as an LLC that does business in Tennessee as well, under a parent company for a dozen other brands that market survival food and a bunch of other products (including tattoos and weight loss products).
They claim that they’re US owned, and as far as the records show they are in fact owned by someone who is a resident of Tennessee.
Their website, however, is (or at least was at one time) registered to a company in Panama, which makes sense as it is a tax haven. Their Facebook page “disclosures” note that the page is managed by people with IP addresses in the Philippines and Jamaica.
It’s possible they’re actually “based” in the US, and they just outsource their customer service work overseas. Given that they also outsource the production of their food to another closely related survival food company, where they’re actually based isn’t all that important. Their “base” is just where their marketing headquarters is.
They’re a marketing company that plays up the hype of emergency preparedness. They’re not selling food they produce, but they are selling food that is produced in the US by a company in the US, most of which are based in Utah. They’re just writing convincing ad copy, and their real base of operations is anyone’s guess.
Each package says “Distributed by 4Patriots, LLC” and it’s important to keep in mind that they’re just the distributor, more or less a middle man that’s really good at creating compelling facebook ads.
What’s It Like to Order from 4Patriots?
Normally I wouldn’t go into the ordering experience, and I don’t in my other reviews of survival food. In most cases, you order the food…and then they ship you the food. End of story.
I feel like it bears mentioning that this process was really different from any other company I’ve dealt with to date, for survival food or anything else.
They try to up-sell you at every single step of the process, from adding something to your cart, to the ordering pages, and even after your order is placed. I received nearly 2 dozen emails encouraging me to add to my order, just in the time between when my order was placed and when it was shipped.
By focusing on up-selling, and repeatedly spamming your email box and text inbox after your initial purchase with ad copy that’s specifically designed to create panic and a sense of imminent danger.
That deal that seems too good to be true? It is. That’s the loss leader, and they intentionally take several weeks to ship your product. During that time you’ll receive several emails (and texts) a day, each one more urgent, trying to get you to add to your order.
Frank Bates, the name the emails nominally come from, is incredibly convincing. I received literally dozens of emails from him before my food was shipped, all stressing that my survival depended on adding on just a few more things to my order…literally, my life depended on it. ACT NOW!
When your food does arrive, they’ll be several leaflets in the package stressing the importance of signing up for their text club. Your packing slip even has a note saying that it’s imperative that you call their number (800-207-9186) to hear a “Very Important Recorded Message” before you open your kit. That recorded message is a sales pitch, and at least right now they’re pushing their bug out bag. The message (at least at the time of this writing) is just under 5 minutes long, truly well crafted and yet another targeted infomercial.
What Does 4Patriots Sell?
The tagline for their website is “survival food and solar-powered generators,” but they also sell just about everything else you could possibly need (or think you need) to survive. Since the food is their loss leader, they focus on selling equipment at a higher margin.
Their “Best Sellers” page starts off with their 3 Month Survival Food Kit and then quickly goes into generators, emergency power banks, solar cookers, and water filtration systems.
Everything is branded to 4Patriots, though if you’re familiar with the preparedness space you know that their power banks are similar (at least in appearance) to name brand Jackery power stations, and their water filtration unit looks very much like the name brand Berkey water filter.
Here’s the full line of products sold by 4Patriots:
- Survival Food – They’re one of the few companies to call it “survival food” instead of emergency food, and they really play up the apocalyptic nature of these preps.
- Generators and Power Banks – All of these are very similar to name brands on the market today but re-branded under 4Patriots. Buying direct from the name brand will give you both a higher quality product, better customer support, and a lower price. Compare with similar options from Jackery and Ecoflow Delta to see what I mean.
- Water Filtration – Very similar to the name brand Berkey filter in appearance, other companies have their own versions too, like this one.
- Camping & Survival Gear – There are only a few options here, namely their own version of a solo rocket stove, and a few different types of flashlights.
- Home & Garden – Mostly small garden hand tools and survival seed packs.
They also have a deal of the week page, which does have some good deals on it…assuming you don’t add on anything else to your order to lose the savings. There’s a similar page called the deal of the day from My Patriot Supply, a totally different company, that’s always got amazing things.
- Inexpensive ~ The food is incredibly inexpensive, but you will need to repack it if you expect it to keep more than a few months.
- Tastes Fine ~ The food is surprisingly decent, though they bulk out the calories with sugary drink mixes.
- Incredibly Spammy – They sent me literally dozens of emails before my food arrived, kept pushing their “text club” for more deals.
- Slow Shipping – Incredible amount of advertising, and sell out quickly, but then take weeks (or months) to actually ship the product.
- Low Nutrition Content ~ They bulk out the calories of their kits with sugary drink mixes.
- Low Calories ~ Even though it’s bulked out with sugar, it still only includes about 1,350 calories per day.
- Poorly Packaged ~ The packages are not air-tight, at least in my experience. I can’t imagine these would hold up to long-term storage.
What’s Included in a 4Patriots Survival Food Kit?
They have a variety of survival food kits, all labeled for a different duration. The exact contents of the kit will vary, and they’re explicit about that. Since they’re sourcing survival food, not producing it, the kits will contain a mix from a variety of producers. Most of it will be re-packed in 4Patriots pouches, but not all.
There’s even a leaflet disclaimer in their kit that says, “In the interest of expediting your order, some food may not be packaged in our standard 4Patriots branded pouches. Printing takes time, and we thought it best to get you your food as soon as possible, without waiting for a pretty pouch.” That’s a nice way of saying we didn’t have time to re-pack it, and we’re branding food under our label from a variety of sources.
The duration listed doesn’t necessarily mean it contains enough calories to last that amount of time, at least not the recommended daily amount of 2,000 calories.
I ordered a 2 week kit and it contained:
- 2 packs Energy Drink, total of 20 servings, 180 calories per serving (3,600 Total Cal)
- 2 packs Oatmeal, total of 16 servings, 210 calories per serving (3,360 Total Cal)
- 2 packs Potato Soup, total of 16 servings, 240 calories per serving (3,840 Total Cal)
- 4 packs Mac and Cheese, total of 16 servings, 260 calories per serving (4,160 Total Cal)
- 2 packs Rice and Vegetables, total of 16 servings, 260 calories per serving (4,160 Total Cal)
How Does 4Patriots Survival Food Taste?
The finished product is honestly, totally fine.
I know, you’re expecting that the food is completely inedible. Who tries survival food before an emergency anyway? Wouldn’t it be easier for them to just not care?
All it takes is a few people actually trying the food and giving bad reviews before people catch on. The food is totally fine, and tastes better than you’d expect for survival food.
It’s not as good as some of the nicer brands at the store, but it is totally on par with budget prepared food. It’s budget survival food at an unbelievably low price, so honestly, that’s pretty darn good.
4Patriots Survival Food Vs. Competitors
I do not recommend buying survival food kits from 4Patriots. I have to hand it to them, they do have convincing commercials, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best option on the market.
If you’re looking for a low-cost survival food kit, I’d highly recommend ordering from My Patriot Supply instead. They ship quickly, have excellent packaging, and their food is tasty. I’m not saying it’s grandma’s home cooking, but it is better than most of the prepared or boxed food options at the grocery store (ie. Kraft Mac & Cheese or Chef Boyardee).
You can see my full review of My Patriot Supply, including photos and taste tests of each and every one of their meals.
If budget is less of an issue, and you’re looking for the absolute best survival food, I’d suggest ordering from Valley Food Storage or Nutrient Survival. I’d encourage you to read my full review of Valley Food Storage, as well as my review of Nutrient survival, which includes photos and taste tests of every one of their meals.
Water storage and filtration are just as important (if not more important) than survival food, and I have a comprehensive guide to emergency water filtration options as well. By far the best option on the market for water filtration is the Berkey filter, and we use ours every day (not just in emergencies). For storage, we can water in mason jars at home, largely because we have so many canning jars on hand (for all my canning recipes). It works well for us, but there are plenty of other options too.
For camping supplies, I’d suggest actually going with legitimate camping and outdoors stores, where people are actually using the equipment on a regular basis. It’s easy to sell “just in case” camping gear that people will just put in the back closet, but it’s harder to get away with that when people are using (and reviewing) the equipment regularly. I’d suggest REI, where I get most of my equipment, or Cabellas, which also sells hunting and homesteading equipment like food dehydrators and crossbows.
Other Survival Equipment
Beyond survival food, there are a number of things that would be incredibly helpful in a true survival situation. While 4patriots does cover most of the main topics, from food and water to power and camping, that’s not everything.
A good medical kit is essential, whether it’s a small everyday carry kit, a car emergency kit, all the way up to a long-term backwoods medical backpack. A little bit of antiseptic can be absolutely life-saving, and it’s inexpensive to buy ahead of time.
Beyond first aid, the main causes of death 100 years ago are all now easily prevented with modern antibiotics. They’re hard to come by short of a trip to the emergency room, but there is one company that prescribes emergency antibiotics for anyone hoping to prepare in advance. A single kit comes with a full course of the five most common types of antibiotics, as well as a book explaining their use.
Things like animal bites, bladder and kidney infections, diarrhea (from contaminated water), pneumonia, and tetanus can all be fatal, but they’re easily treated with simple antibiotics.
Looking for more preparedness resources?
- Best (and Worst) Survival Food Kits
- Survival Gardening: Our Real Life Dry Run
- Best Survival Seed Banks
- Canning Water for Emergencies