Valley Food Storage Tries to Prove There is Room For One More In Competitive Food Storage Industry
After the explosion of emergency preparedness companies happened after Hurricane Katrina and through the many rounds of quantitative easing, some wondered if the industry had reached a saturation point. In a world once dominated only by Mountain House (Oregon Freeze Dry), there were now numerous competitors including Daily Bread, Emergency Essentials, Food Insurance, Augason Farms, Food For Health, and many more.
So how could a company break into a seeming commodity business (food) that was becoming increasingly more transparent? How can a company differentiate on taste, price, or shelf life when 10 other companies are making the exact same claims?
Valley Food Storage tries to differentiate in this way:
“When we prepare our foods, we take great care in making sure what you get is the best product on the market. We eliminate all the unhealthy preservatives, hydrogenated oils, MSG’s and many other ingredients that limit the nutritional value, shelf life and taste. What you are left with is simply the highest quality long term food storage you can find.”
We’ll dive into their claims in the next several sections, but I do want to point out Valley has done a good job packaging their products in an easy-to-understand manner. You can buy food by the case (pouches in corrugated boxes), individual pouches, pouches of food packaged in plastic buckets, and single packets for camping. It’s this last category that has me intrigued because I think there are a lot of applications for individual pouches such as customizing home-made 72-hour kits, car kits, and of course, hunting and camping. Recently, Food Insurance/Daily Bread got in on the action by launching campfiremeals.com.
Let’s review Valley Food Storage in more detail:
Valley claims its food lasts “up to 25 years.” I appreciate their honesty in adding the words “up to” since that is really the truth. None of Valley’s food contains real meat or animal products. There could be a little real dairy in their cheese powder, but that’s about it. Rather, you will see ingredients such as chicken base or non-dairy creamer. Keeping real meat and dairy products for at least 25 years is a tough task. We’ll talk more about this in the Taste category.
From a packaging standpoint, I am really impressed with the mylar construction of their food pouches. Each pouch is nitrogen flushed and comes with a resealable liner in case you don’t finish the entire pouch. However, once the seal is broken you may only have days or weeks until the food spoils (depending on the atmospheric conditions)
You can buy the pouches packaged in just corrugated or in sturdier plastic buckets. We highly recommend paying a little extra for the buckets.
Valley Food Storage compares itself to its competitors using servings per package (https://valleyfoodstorage.com/why-were-the-better-choice/). We hate it when companies do this because serving sizes can be all over the board. That’s why we like to look at actual calories. We do make exceptions for junk calories such as sugared drinks. However, we would urge Valley Food Storage to be more transparent and upfront when it comes to stating exactly how many calories you will receive.
- Multi-Grain Cereal (5 Servings)
- Strawberry Cream of Wheat (20 Servings)
- Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal (10 Servings)
- Sweet and sour asian rice (10 Servings)
- Irish Pub cheddar potato soup (10 Servings)
- White Bean & Lime Chili (10 Servings)
- Pasta Primavera (10 Servings)
- Mac & cheese (10 Servings)
Multi-Grain Cereal: 5 servings x 160 calories = 800 calories
Strawberry Cream of Wheat: 20 servings x 220 calories = 4,400 calories
Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal: 10 servings x 300 calories = 3,000 calories
Sweet and Sour Asian Rice: 10 servings x 220 calories = 2,200 calories
Irish Pub Cheddar Potato Soup: 10 servings x 230 calories = 2,300 calories
White Bean and Lime Chili: 10 servings x 230 calories = 2,300 calories
Pasta Primavera: 10 servings x 380 calories = 3,800 calories
Mac and Cheese: 10 servings x 280 calories = 2,800 calories
Total calories = 21, 600 calories
If we divide 21,600 calories by $159.15 we get 135.72 calories per dollar, which puts this package in respectable territory, but still much below the leaders. For reference, the Food For Health 200 serving bucket has 265 calories per dollar.
Additionally, 21,600 calories breaks down into 720 calories per day, which is not enough to sustain an adult. You may want to buy a larger package or a few of the 1 Month Food Supplies if you want enough to eat.
Valley Food Storage Premium kits come in square, stackable buckets, which are the best way to store food. It makes the best use of space and won’t easily topple over if bumped. The Valley Value kits only come with pouches packaged loosely in corrugated boxes. Mylar is a tough material, but I highly recommend buying plastic buckets for your food storage.
I made the pouches of Valley Food Storage in the normal range of time for dehydrated/freeze-dried food. All you need to do is boil water and slowly stir in the packet contents. Then just let it sit for 8-15 minutes depending on how you like the texture of your food.
Taste is always a subjective criterion, but I do feel qualified to offer an opinion based on years of trying practically every food storage offering on the market. For me, Mountain House freeze-dried food is clearly the best-tasting product on the market, and I give it a 100 out of 100. Valley Food Storage would rank a solid B+ or A-. The food texture is good and the taste is as good as it gets when buying powdered food with meat and dairy substitutes.
Again, we talk about this all the time on our blog—you may not care about eating gourmet when you are in an emergency situation. You may just want the food to taste good—not perfect. This product hits the mark.
The last thing I do is feed the product to my kids to see how they like it. My 8-year old and 3-year old ate almost the entire 5-serving package. So take that for what it’s worth.
To me, Valley Food Storage really shines when it comes to customizing a 72-hour kit. These pouches are perfect for, and tough enough, to be put in a backpack or taken on a camping trip. Many of the 72-hour kits on the market right now come with inferior food. This is even a great idea for car kits. Based on the nature of the packaging and the taste of the food, I highly recommend this product for campers, hikers, and anyone needing to take food into the outdoors.
In summary, I think Valley Food Storage offers a good value on pouch-based emergency food. It scores highly in packaging/shelf life, preparation time, and space. The taste is a good value for the price you pay. And I really like how you can buy individual pouches for whatever need you have.
If you are serious about Valley Food Storage, please request a free sample here. You will have to pay shipping, but it’s worth knowing what you are getting before you spend a lot of money.
Food Storage Reviewer