Since MREs or Meals Ready To Eat have hit the civilian market, sales have skyrocketed. More providers enter the market every year, selling on e-commerce sites as well as their own websites. We've compiled a list of seven of the top MRE providers, what they provide, and where to find them.
What Is An MRE?
The military knows them as meals ready to eat. They slip the tray into a heating sleeve and have dinner in about 15 minutes. Survivalists, campers, and others buy them as well. MRE reviews can tell you more about who buys them.
An MRE consists of an entrée like spaghetti or chili, a side like rice, potatoes, or a vegetable, bread or crackers, a spread of some sort like peanut butter or cheese, desserts like chocolate chip cookies, a candy-like M&Ms, and accessories such as sugar, creamer, salt and pepper, and the like. Most come with a drink of some sort as well like a strawberry milkshake.
List Of The Best MRE Meals
SC sells over $59 million in MREs. Its menu consists of six entrées, six sides, six pieces of bread or crackers, six spreads, six desserts, six powdered drink mixes, and coffee. Our pick for the best tasting MRE is the chicken salsa with clam chowder, crackers, grape jelly, chocolate disc cookies, coffee, and lemon-lime drink powder.
Also impressive is the apple maple oatmeal, grape jelly, crackers, apple sauce with apple pieces, raspberry white chip cookie, tropical punch drink mix, and coffee.
Located in Salt Lake City, UT sells over $45 million in MREs. The meals come in resealable pouches inside buckets meant for weeks' and months' worth of food.
Our pick for the best tasting MRE is creamy beef stroganoff, cheesy broccoli, and rice soup, Granny's home-style potato soup, traveler's stew, Strawberry Fields cream of wheat, and orange energy drink mix.
The kit contains two to four weeks' worth of omelet breakfast kits, super stew kits, kits with black bean burgers, freeze-dried fruits and vegetables, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and powdered milk.
They sell over $32 million in MREs. Wornick produces MREs for the military with their Eversafe packages for civilian consumption. You're not going to believe the best MRE from these guys. Wornick makes six menus with six entrées, six crackers or power bars, six spreads, desserts, drinks, and coffee.
The absolute best-tasting MRE is chili with beans. You'll swear it's homemade. It comes with pepperoni pizza cheese crackers, vegetable crackers, jalapeño cheese spread, cinnamon imperials, French vanilla cappuccino, and coffee.
They sell over $6 million in MREs. Their APack Ready Meals are for civilian consumption and contain six low sodium meals.
You would appreciate the sweet and sour chicken and rice accompanied by a banana apple or sweet potato grape smoothie, cranberry, or chocolate crisp challenge bar with seasonings.
They only sell about $4 million in MREs.
The kits are big on spaghetti, but our pick for the best MRE is the chicken, home-style vegetables, and sauce over pasta with banana apple or sweet potato grape smoothie, sunflower butter, crackers, and seasoning kit.
It sells below $1 million in MREs. MRE reviews tell us this is the only company from which to buy your MREs. Their meal kits come with a three-course meal consisting of chili, spaghetti, meatballs, beef ravioli with sides like fried rice or potatoes au gratin.
This meal company differs from others in that they include breakfast with their kits. They offer apple maple oatmeal, sausage patties, pop tarts, hash browns and bacon, pound cake, and strawberry banana milkshakes. We recommend the beef ravioli, potatoes au gratin, and definitely the hash browns, bacon, and apple maple oatmeal.
7. MRE Star of Sarasota FL
They sell less than $1 million in MREs. Their menu includes beef, chicken, pork, and vegetables along with crackers or tortillas, snacks like corn nuts or trail mix, sugar or oatmeal cookies, fruit-flavored drink mix, coffee, condiments, candy, and even hot sauce.
Your best bet is to go with the chicken and vegetables, and if you have any trail mix leftover, we call dibs.
Where To Find MREs
Camping and outdoor stores, Army-Navy surplus stores, Walmart, Amazon, off-grid survival websites, as well as the websites of the MRE companies all offer civilian MREs for sale.
The next time a storm is headed in your direction that could knock the power out, the next time you go hiking the Appalachian trail, or when you just feel like checking out what your soldier son or daughter eats when they're stationed across the pond, just order an MRE package.
Important information about MREs
Before we list the best MRE, you should know that before you buy hundreds of them for whatever reason, they come with an expiration date. They're not meant to last for more than three months.
When something has a short shelf life but isn't refrigerated and is precooked, it can't be done without preservatives. Vacuum packing the MREs is the only answer. If the meals are consumed after their expiration date, then they will react unfavorably.
The best thing to do while heading out to a survival situation is to mix the MREs with other foods like canned and boxed foods. At best, MREs will last for five years, so it's best to chuck them out as they're nearing their use-by date.
The temperature at which you store your MREs is vital to their longevity with around 40 degrees celsius being the best temperature.
We have to eat. We need those calories to hike, survive until the power comes back on, or whatever the situation may be. The makers of MREs know this, and they know that taste has to be good if not excellent in order for our military, hikers, and campers to survive. We've tried them.
They're quite good. Bon appetit!