Americans prepare for the worst.
Are you afraid the country will erupt into mayhem on November 9th? Some of your neighbors are. According to manufacturers of emergency "survival food," sales are booming as fearful Americans prepare for the worst possible post-election scenarios.
Though elections and natural disasters have historically driven up purchases of "long term food," this year's sales are unprecedented, NBC News reports. According to Keith Bensemer, the vice president of marketing for survival food company My Patriot Supply, sales have tripled in the lead-up to the election. The company's sales doubled in anticipation of the 2012 election, but Bansemer says that this cycle is unlike anything they've experienced before, noting: "We have everyone we can on the phones... we are overwhelmed."
Purchases of these products, which are typically freeze-dried or dehydrated and sold by the plastic bin or bucket, are being driven by groups of "survivalist" consumers anticipating post-election chaos including riots, financial collapse and perhaps widespread power outages.
One such survivalist—who asked not to be named so hungry neighbors wouldn't attempt to mooch off his supply—is "Frederick Reddie," a 41-year-old Pittsburgh resident who recently expanded his six-month survival stock to last him up to two years. Reddie believes his supplies will be necessary in the case of either election outcome. If Trump wins, Reddie anticipates widespread riots will break out across the nation, leading to the imposition of martial law; and if Clinton wins, he believes that will likely lead to "World War III in 2017" against Russia.
Phil Cox, owner of survival food brand Legacy Foods, anticipates a further spike in sales in the coming weeks if Hillary Clinton is elected. At Legacy—which offers freeze-dried and dehydrated items like cheesy broccoli and rice soup, chocolate pudding and a pasta dish called Hawaiian Style Sweet n' Sour—$2,000 will get your three meals per day for a year.
For those who aren't thinking so long-term, My Patriot Supply offers a 3-month package for $497, and competitor TheEpicenter has a 14-day supply for $235. Even larger retailers like Costco and Wal-Mart are getting in on the survival food trend, with their own plastic supply bins on offer.
According to Bansemer, for his customers it's about taking a "positive step" to "secure what's important," no matter what election-related incident or unrelated disaster might come their way.