Things like hurricanes and the North Korea nuclear threat have driven renewed interest in being prepared for the worst.
If you're shopping at Costco, you're already planning on stocking up, so why not go all out? For just $999.99, the warehouse club offers a one-year "emergency food kit" that can get you through a mild apocalypse or just keep you from having to worry about groceries until October 2018.
This ultimate in bulk buys recently came to light over the weekend when the Detroit Free Press published an article on "Seeking to survive a disaster?" The 6,200-serving kit from the brand Nutristore promises to provide "1,200 calories per day on average" with a 25-year shelf life thanks to a mix of real freeze-dried and dehydrated fruits and vegetable. In all, the kit, which comes in the form of 96 coffee tin-size cans, contains hard red wheat, instant white rice, granola, dehydrated apples, freeze-dried bananas, freeze-dried peaches, freeze-dried strawberries, dehydrated potatoes, dehydrated carrots, freeze-dried green beans, freeze-dried onions, freeze-dried sweet corn, lentils, pinto beans, beef textured vegetable protein, chicken textured vegetable protein, instant milk, salt, and in case you want to treat yourself, white sugar.
Sadly, Costco was unwilling to tell the Free Press just how often the store moves this prepper-friendly product.
"We don't normally give out sales data," a Costco rep told the paper. "The idea came about making a great starter kit for a family who wanted to prepare for any kind of disaster. This is a great value with shipping included."
However, seeing as the 6,200 Nutristore kit is on the bottom end of Costco's offerings, you have to assume someone must be buying them. Costco also sells similar one-year emergency food kits from brands like Thrive ($3,999.99) and Mountain House ($4,499.99). Or if you're willing to throw down about $6,000, Nutristore even has a 36,000-serving kit that promises a more substantial 2,000 calories per day for what is sure to be an already pretty hellish year. But then again, with a shelf-life of about two and a half decades, if these kits don't sell like hotcakes, Costco doesn't have to worry about its stock going bad anytime soon.
For the record, though as the Free Press discusses, disaster fears might be renewed due to incidents like the recent spate of hurricanes hitting the U.S. and the escalating tensions with North Korea, these emergency kits aren't particularly new to Costco. Nutristore's $1,000 kit has reviews dating back two years, so it's been on the market for at least that long. And speaking of those reviews, in some ways, they're as telling as the product itself.
"One major issue is that there are no recipes in the kit," wrote one only partially satisfied customer. "It would have been nice to have found a recipe for the emergency food kit." Some people just don't get the whole concept of being "prepared."