Readywise (formerly Wise Food Company) provides an incredible variety of emergency food. I’ll take you through each of their meals one by one, reviewing cost, packaging, nutrition, and most importantly, flavor.
Wise food company (now Readywise) is actually the reason I started writing emergency food reviews, many years ago. Back when they were Wise Food Company, I couldn’t in good conscience recommend them, but times have changed and so have they.
They’ve completely reworked their emergency food kits, and now they contain plenty of calories, nutrition, and variety. I’m happy to say they’ve changed their tune, and now they’re a really promising option for emergency food storage.
I’ll take you through all of their offerings, including taste tests on more than a dozen of their emergency meals from a number of different emergency food supply kits.
In 2018, a friend pointed me toward their website and asked what I thought. I looked through everything and carefully analyzed their claims.
At that point, everything was done in terms of “servings” and it took some real searching to determine what a “serving” actually entailed. Eventually, I did find the total calories and nutrition in the packaging, and I was incredibly disappointed. At that point, most of their kits offered 600 to 800 calories per person per day, and claimed families could stretch it a lot longer since kids only needed half servings.
I started looking at other emergency food companies, and I found that many of them made similar claims and were really vague about what the kit contained. At that point, the only company I considered an honest and transparent company, at least in terms of their online marketing, was Valley Food Storage.
Since then, with everyone suddenly stocking up on emergency food in 2020, emergency food suppliers have faced a lot of scrutinies. Just about all of them have reworked their product lines, some for the better and others for the worse.
Mountain House is one of the companies that has declined in serving sizes and quality in recent years, but Readywise has dramatically improved its offerings. They’re nothing like they once were, and while I never would have recommended Wise Food Company, I happily recommend what they’ve become as Readywise.
I’m especially impressed by their emergency food calculator (front and center on the homepage), which allows you to specifically enter the number of people, calories per person, and duration.
It’ll then automatically populate your cart with a variety of foods that will meet that goal. They start you at a default of 1800 calories per person, expecting that you’ll add in things like freeze-dried fruit, meat, vegetables, or milk. That’ll bring up the total calories, but also give you much-needed snacks (and bonus nutrition).
Change the daily calories to whatever you’d like, depending on your family’s needs. It’ll still give you concrete recommendations and help take the guesswork out of planning an emergency food supply. For example, for my family of four, I asked for enough emergency meals to provide 2,000 calories per day for 14 days.
The calculator suggested:
They’re now completely transparent, even more so than many other companies. I couldn’t be happier, and I’m so glad they’ve completely turned the company around.
So now the important questions…
- What does Readywise sell? And, does it offer enough variety and nutrition?
- How does Readywise food taste?
- Is Readywise food a good value?
What Does Readywise Sell?
Readywise has an incredible variety of emergency food options. They mostly focus on ready-made meal kits where you just pour boiling water over the food and wait until it rehydrates. (The actual cooking instructions by meal type are available here.)
They’re one of the few providers that have organic emergency food, and they also have gluten-free emergency kits as well. They also have vegan and vegetarian meal pouches that you can order individually by meal type (rather than in a bulk bucket).
Their Starter Kits have a good selection of short-term food storage kits with well over a dozen different meal types available. Their long-term food storage kits include options for various durations, all the way up to full-year food supply kits.
Beyond prepared “just add water” emergency meals, they also sell freeze-dried pantry supplies to help you add variety to your regular shelf-stable food storage. That includes:
I will note that their “milk” is not actually milk, but a “whey milk alternative” that’s made with about a dozen ingredients (including dried milk, so it’s not exactly vegan or lactose-free, but it’s not “milk” either). I’d suggest avoiding that one and sticking with regular dried milk packed for long-term storage.
Beyond that one, the rest of their meals contain reasonable ingredients and are good options for long-term storage.
Readywise also sells emergency gear, including:
- Survival Backpacks and “Grab & Go” Bags
- Water Filtration and Storage
- Emergency Generators and Power Banks
- Misc Emergency Supplies (Camp Stoves, Fire-Starting, Seeds, etc)
Most of what they carry in terms of supplies is also available from other providers, so it’s just a way of making their store a “one-stop-shop” for preparedness. I will note that they’re the only emergency food provider anywhere that sells Radiation Removal Water Filters, which is a nice bonus given the heightened concern around nuclear conflicts.
How Does Readywise Food Taste?
One of the most important questions, of course, is does Readywise food taste good. Calories aren’t all that helpful if they’re just not palatable, even in a true emergency.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed every single meal I sampled. Normally when I’m writing an emergency food review, I sample every single meal made by a particular emergency food company. In this case, that’s just not practical.
They make such an incredible variety of meal types that I could eat their food for a month and not have the same meal twice.
For this particular review, I sampled more than a dozen meals so that I’d have a good cross-section of their offerings. A dozen options are more than most providers carry all together, so it’s a good number to compare to other emergency food providers.
Overall, I liked all of their meal options. They all tasted great and were easy to prepare.
Most of their meals use a simple ratio of 1 cup of water to 1 serving of food (so 4 cups per four-serving package). You then bring the water to a boil, add the food and simmer it for about 15 minutes.
None of the meals were too salty, and in some cases, I even added salt. That’s not common with emergency food, or freeze-dried prepared food in general, which tends to be a bit on the salty side.
Their offerings include a lot of pasta, and they even added pasta to dishes that didn’t really need it. Things like Tomato soup and Chili, turning them into tomato soup with pasta and Chili Mac, respectively.
At first, I thought this was a bit odd, but the pasta serves to give the food more bite and texture, and it actually tasted better than it would have without it (plus it added much-needed calories, which will help keep you full).
Here are some of my favorites:
- Creamy Pasta & Vegetables ~ They describe it as “Pasta and garden vegetables in a creamy bechamel sauce,” and that pretty well covers it. Incredibly flavorful, and not salty at all. Just enough veggies for flavor and color (tomatoes, carrots & peas), pasta cooked nicely and the sauce thickened well too.
- Mac and Cheese – A classic comfort food dish, it’s better than most of the just add water mac and cheese options made by emergency food providers. My kids loved this one.
- Creamy Loaded Baked Potato – Chunky, rich and flavorful. Tastes like it has bacon and fresh herbs in it. Lots of “bite” to it, unlike others which are potato starch goo. A bit on the salty side, but potato dishes really need salt to come to their fullest. This is the only one of their meals that had a “salty” flavor.
- Chili Mac – Warm and flavorful, very smoky but not spicy. Tastes like smoked paprika, not hot chilis. Mac is actually really nice in there, and gives it a lot of texture, fills out the dish to make it not “soupy” and of course, makes it a lot more filling. Tastes meaty because of smoky flavor notes.
- Tomato soup with pasta – A fine tomato soup with plenty of flavor. It really calls for a grilled cheese sandwich for dipping, but since that’s hard to pack into a survival meal. The pasta does admirably round out the dish, lacking grilled cheese.
- Mushroom Stroganoff – A rich and creamy pasta with plenty of mushrooms to add umami. Pasta has plenty of bite, and the sauce is incredibly creamy and satisfying.
- Cheesy Lasagna – Hearty and cheesy, with big chunks of tomato in there, this one’s not just pasta and sauce. There’s a lot of cheese flavor like someone took a hunk of lasagna and chopped it up (which helps with rehydration and cooking when you’re working with freeze-dried).
- Chicken Flavored Soup – Rich chicken broth with celery, carrot, and pasta. Simple but gets the job done. No actual chicken, but good chicken flavor. Can add freeze-dried meat separately to boost nutrition.
For breakfast options, I really loved:
- Crunchy Granola – Really crispy and sweet, everything you could ask from granola. Kids loved it, and I served it with UHT milk from my shelf-stable food pantry, and freeze-dried strawberries also from Readywise. You could also use powdered milk, canned milk, or just eat plain. Would be really good on their desserts.
- 6 Grain Hot Cereal – Truly spectacular, not “powdered oatmeal mix” but actually a hearty and chunky hot cereal with big hunks of oats and other grains. Incredibly flavorful, not too sweet, and good maple flavor.
They have a number of other options, including pancakes too.
Is Readywise Food a Good Value?
At this point, Readywise offers an incredible variety of emergency food meals at a reasonable price. They’re not the least expensive option, that’s My Patriot Supply, but they are a good mid-range choice.
The thing that really sets them apart is the variety of meal choices they offer, and it’s far more than any of the other emergency food suppliers currently on the market. Add in ease of preparation and yes, I do think they’re a good value.
If you’re looking for the least expensive option that still offers quality food, then I’d suggest going with My Patriot Supply.
If you’re looking for the absolute best nutrition possible and you’re less concerned about price, then go with Nutrient Survival. They’re not cheap, but they are by far the most nutritious option (and tastiest).
The downside with Nutrient Survival is they only have about a dozen meal options, so far less variety. Still plenty for most emergencies, but just not nearly as much as Readywise.
Readywise is an excellent middle-of-the-road option, that’s not nearly as expensive as some of the premier options, but it’s not bargain-basement cheap either. High quality, good value, and a great option for most people.
Pros and Cons of Readywise Emergency Food
So in summary, what’s good and what’s not?
- Large Variety of Meals ~ They offer more meal options than any other provider on the market. If you’re planning for an extended emergency, you won’t be eating the same foods over and over again.
- Gluten-Free, Organic, and Vegetarian Options ~ Readywise is one of the few providers on the market that have emergency food for restricted diets, making it a one-stop-shop no matter who you’re feeding.
- Emergency Food Calculator ~ I really love the emergency food calculator that takes the guesswork (and hard math) out of figuring out just how much food to store for your family.
- Great Taste ~ All of their meals taste great, and they’re less salty than other providers. I actually found myself adding salt to a few of their menu items, which I’d never do with most emergency food.
- 4 Serving Package Sizes ~ Each meal is packed in a 4-serving pack that’s about 800 to 1000 calories once opened. Most emergency food companies do this to save on packaging, but it’s not the best option if you’re eating alone. In that case, Nutrient Survival and Mountain house are better options, as they have single-serving packaging. (Both are more expensive though.)
- Very Little Meat ~ Most of their meal options do not contain actual meat, but rather bullion to give it a meaty flavor. If you want actual meat in there, you’ll have to pay a bit extra for their freeze-dried meat bucket and add it in yourself.
- Cost ~ While they’re not the most expensive option on the market, they’re not the cheapest either. They’re right in the middle cost-wise. Once you add in extras like meat and fruit, they are one of the pricier options. Given how many meal options they have available, and the flavor, I still think they’re a great value.
It can be tricky to navigate all the emergency food companies available these days, and while taste and quality are important, there are other considerations as well.
Is Readywise Made in the USA?
Yes, Readywise emergency food is made in the USA. It says so on every single one of their packages.
Some emergency food companies are just distributors that are re-packing food made elsewhere, but in this case, all their food is made in the USA at the time of this writing.
Are Readywise and Wise the Same Company?
Yes. Readywise was formerly called “Wise Food Storage” and they’ve recently rebranded to “Readywise.” Though they are technically the same company, just about everything about their marketing, packaging, and portion sizes has changed (and for the better).
If you’ve formerly purchased from Wise food company and been disappointed for any reason, they’re worth a second look now that they’re Readywise.
Are Readywise and Ready Hour the Same Company?
No. Readywise is a stand-alone emergency food supplier that was formerly known as “Wise Food Storage.” Ready Hour is a relatively new brand that’s sold by My Patriot Supply and Emergency Essentials.
I also recommend My Patriot Supply (sold as Ready Hour) as the most economical emergency food option on the market, and their food tastes excellent as well. You can read my full My Patriot Supply Review for more details on their meal offerings.
Emergency Essentials also sells Ready Hour food, as well as bulk non-perishable pantry staples like no. 10 cans of freeze-dried vegetables, meat, fruit, etc. They’re the best option for individual emergency food ingredients (rather than prepared meals).
Emergency Food Reviews
I’ve reviewed just about every emergency food supplier on the market to help you make an informed choice.
- 4Patriots Survival Food Review
- My Patriot Supply Emergency Food Review
- Valley Food Storage Review
- Nutrient Survival Review
Looking for more preparedness resources?
- Planning an Emergency Food Supply for Your Family
- Best (and Worst) Survival Food Kits
- How to Prepare for WWIII
- Survival Gardening: Our Real Life Dry Run
- Best Survival Seed Banks
- Canning Water for Emergencies