I know you all want to know….
Let’s talk about how THRIVE compares to other long term food storage brands. I don’t want to speak negatively about any other company. I don’t believe there is any one company that comes out below THRIVE in all the following areas. There are other good companies and choices out there. However, I believe THRIVE comes out as the best in each of the following areas. I know that sound prejudicial since I sell the stuff. And yes, since I’m on the THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) board and personally know all the owners and executives. But remember, I didn’t know the owners well or start selling it until after I had done all this research and decided it was the only food I wanted for my family. Plus, being on the board gives me great insight into just how much effort goes into THRIVE.
Quality / Taste
THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) is serious about the quality of their THRIVE foods. THRIVE Life buys their product in bulk, and each batch 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. The THRIVE Life quality assurance team carefully reviews each product to verify that it meets standards of premium quality. Only then is it canned and covered with a THRIVE label. They take great precaution in every step of the process to ensure you’re eating only the best. They have rejected entire batches of food (even if it create back orders) or cut off relationships with suppliers when they don’t meet their high standards of quality. The simply will not sell an inferior product.
They are also relentless in finding the best food sources, and go to great lengths to test multiple sources until they find the best foods available. They won’t sell a product unless they feel it is superior to most others available. They even have an organic food line. And 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 that here.
Plus, they simply taste great! I’ve done blind taste tests with other brands and THRIVE always wins. THRIVE Life’s goal is to provide a food line that works as food storage b/c of a long shelf life, but is actually meant for everyday use. My kids love the fruits, and even many vegetables dry! Because of the great taste, I am easily able to use THRIVE everyday in my regular recipes. This saves time and money and helps me avoid waste.
From my research, I’ve found that most other food storage companies do not package their own foods. This is done by others and the product is simply re-labeled. Some companies also combine various individual ingredients of other companies and package them in ready to eat entrees. In my opinion, both of these situations can seriously limit the control they have over the quality of the food they are selling you. You may get a great batch one time, and a not so great one the next!
I have many, many customers who have purchased from various other companies for years. When they try THRIVE, they are so amazed at the quality in taste that they started purchasing THRIVE instead of other company’s products. I also know of a large preparedness store (Be Ready Inc.) who has carried many food storage brands for years. When they tasted THRIVE, they got rid of nearly every other brand and only carry THRIVE now. It is that much better! THRIVE food really is delicious.
You can get THRIVE for free! Seriously! Just share it with your friends and family in your home, by phone, video or completely online! Learn more about that here. You can also sell THRIVE and earn income! If you are passionate about food storage, that is an incredible opportunity! Learn more about that here.
Most THRIVE food products list the number of 1/4 cup servings on their cans. This is because 1/4 cup freeze dried is usually about equal to 1 serving from the food pyramid. On average, there is about 11-12 cups (by volume)in each #10 can. When I compare costs by per 1/4 cup serving instead of just by #10 can, THRIVE is almost always within $1-$2 (above or below) other companies.
There are a few things that are better compared another way. For example, I compare milk by the number of gallons you get from one #10 can and I compare eggs by the number of large eggs you get from one #10 can (THRIVE has 236 medium eggs in one can or about 177 large eggs).
Some other companies list 1/2 cup serving or have less (or more) total volume in a can than THRIVE. In addition, depending on the exact water content, the same amount of volume may weigh slightly different from company to company.
Make sure you are comparing apples to apples: compare by the number of 1/4 cup servings most of the time! When you do this, the prices of THRIVE are are very competitive! They aren’t significantly lower or higher than most other brands. What sets them apart from other companies is the opportunity to earn free product, 50% off product and even income!
Use / Rotation
Some long term food storage companies sell mostly pre-made entrees. As I mentioned above, I just never feel like eating one for dinner. I’ve tasted many, many brands and most just aren’t that good. And often, it is tough to use pre-made meals as part of an existing recipe. This makes rotating this food very difficult, and often it just goes to waste b/c it is not used by its expiration date. Plus, you can’t eat them for an extended period of time b/c of the high sodium content. (THRIVE Life does offer some just add water meals that were developed by Chef Todd)
Some other companies only offer certain products as part of a package: breakfast packs, starter packs, etc. This makes it difficult to customize your food to fit your family’s needs b/c you can’t purchase them separately if you want to. (THRIVE does offer a pre-made packages, but you can also create your own package with the Planner).
In my opinion, purchasing your food storage as single ingredients is the way to go. You will avoid waste of product and money and get much healthier food! THRIVE meets this requirement for me!
However, in addition to their customer service department, THRIVE Life has thousands of independent consultants (like me!) making it easy for their customers to get individual, personalized service and help when they need it. Consultants are called consultants for a reason: I want you to contact me with any and all questions you may have. That is one of the biggest reasons I started this blog: to help all of you use and enjoy the products you were purchasing from me. This type of support is much better than just an 800#.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I only know of one other long term food storage company who sells their products through independent consultants. If you have questions about most company’s products, you are left to calling a 800 # or “googling” it.
I’d much prefer to have my own personal “food storage consultant” when making a large investment into any brand food storage! Before I became a consultant myself, I relied heavily on my consultant to help me create a plan that would work for my family! In fact, I often still rely on her advice!
THRIVE foods come in #10 cans (aka a 1 gallon can or about 11-12 cups by volume). The cans are double lined to prevent rust from the outside or the “tin-like” taste on the inside. They are already appropriately packaged for long term storage. No need to get your own cans and oxygen absorbers and package the food yourself. No need to worry about if you did it right. THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance)’s on-site quality assurance department and FSIS inspector have already done it for you!
In addition many THRIVE foods also come in two smaller sizes to help meet your needs: , pantry cans (about 2 1/2 cups by volume) or pouches (about 1 cup by volume).
Plus, some THRIVE foods are offered in large 6 gallon buckets! These buckets provide a serious cost savings per serving and the product inside the bucket is appropriately packaged inside a sealed mylar bag ready for long term storage. Once you open the bag, you can access your food while still keeping it fresh b/c each bucket comes with a gamma lid!
And, just for fun (and good looks), all THRIVE cans are also color coded based on the food pyramid, and there is a delicious recipe on the back of every can.
Some companies provide products in bulk (large bags etc), but you then have to find a way to package these products for long term storage yourself. This creates an additional expense and takes additional time.
Some companies line their cans on the outside, but as I am writing this article (June 2011), I personally know of no other company that also lines them on the inside.
There are very few companies that offer sizes smaller than a #10 can. This can be difficult if you live alone (college students or empty nesters) or want to use the product for backpacking / camping.
Once again, THRIVE Life shows their commitment to quality by using high quality packaging materials and their commitment to meeting their customer’s needs by providing many different sized product.
Based on the above research, I decided about in July of 2010 that THRIVE was the food storage I wanted to purchase for my family. I then became a consultant and started selling it in November of 2010. I’m so glad I made both of those decisions! I truly believe THRIVE is the best option available.