Monday , 20 November 2017

Emergency Essentials Review

Emergency Essentials is one of the longest tenured emergency preparedness and food storage companies around. They have been in business for over 25 years. For customers up and down the Wasatch Front in Northern Utah they have 4 retail stores to go along with their presense online. The company was family owned up until late 2012 when it was sold.

Besides selling emergency preparedness and food storageicon online, Emergency Essentials also has a number of retail stores in Northern Utah, something that is not typical for most preparedness retailers. Their house brand Provident Pantry has recently been changed to the name of the company. The brand has a variety of just-add water meals, freeze-dried fruit and vegetables, as well as dehydrated goods to round it all out.

Emergency Essentials differs from some of its competition in that it has a monthly mail order catalog and as mentioned before a number of retail stores for those in Utah.

CUSTOMER SERVICE –  score: 9/10

As we often state in our food storage company reviews, a company is only is as good as the service they provide, which is why we examine service first when reviewing a vendor. Over the years we’ve ordered from Emergency Essentials on numerous occasions via the website and in-person. For the most part we’ve had good experiences when dealing with their customer service team. You can contact them via email and phone, and via chat. The times we have had a question about an order we have been helped quickly.

One thing to keep in mind when shopping from emergency preparedness retailers is if there is a spike in orders (likely due to certain events causing panic or worry) your experience will not be as positive. You’ll likely wait longer for your order to arrive. You”ll probably have to wait longer to hear back from customer service. This is a common issue for all preparedness companies as the industry is incredibly volatile and sales can increase 1000% in the matter of hours which causes problems for these small businesses that can’t ramp up proportionately to compensate.

PRICING – score: 10/10

http://topfoodstoragereviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/emergency-essentials low price guaranteeEmergency Essentials has a huge product offering and generally speaking employs an “Everyday Low Prices” pricing strategy. While some competitors may have lower prices when they have a sale you can almost always use Emergency Essentials as a low price benchmark to see if those other deals are really good or not. For someone that doesn’t want to fuss with promotions they are a great option.

Now this doesn’t mean Emergency Essentials won’t have sales and promotions, they do and sometimes you can score some pretty amazing deals when items are on sale. Their national catalog that’s mailed frequently has specials that match what is seen online. The company also offers promo codes and coupons from time to time for extra savings. Check out our page where we list Emergency Essentials Coupon Codes and highlight the best deals (updated monthly).

Lastly it’s important to look at shipping rates to get the full pricing picture. While we prefer free or flat rate systems that are easy to remember their tier system is very competitive. The shipping system works like this:

Order amount up to $60.00 = $6.00 shipping fee
Order amount between $60.01-$120.00 = $9.00 shipping
Order amount of $120.01 or more = $12.00 shipping

Overall we find Emergency Essentials to be one of the best, if not the best when it comes to product prices.

FOOD STORAGE – score: 10/10

Emergency Essentials carries two brands of food storage, Mountain House and their own brand named after their company. Unlike some companies that only carry their own brand or only carry Mountain House (a national brand), Emergency Essentials carries both brands which is nice. Having options is rarely a bad thing. Between those two brands, almost every food you can think of is covered, whether it is freeze-dried or dehydrated.

They also package foods in a wide variety of options. Mountain House can be purchased in 2 and 4 serving pouches as well as the very popular #10 cans. With their in-house product line you can buy food in a #10 can, MyChoice cans (1/4th the size of a #10 can), combos (6 #10 can varieties), and SuperPails which are 6 gallon buckets with food put in a sealed mylar bag. All packaging it designed for long term storage.

Emergency Essentials also carries a variety of food storage kits. They vary from just add water complete meals to components you have to cook together to make a meal.

PRODUCT SELECTION – score: 10/10

As we mentioned earlier you will feel like you are in a mega-super store when shopping at Emergency Essentials. They have over 1,000 products on their site. The product selection varies from MREs, cook books, water storage, 72 hour kits, and a wide variety of emergency supplies suited for grab-n-go situation as well as sheltering in place. What sets them apart from most online retailers of preparedness goods is they offer so many different types of items to get you prepared.

The enormous variety of products means you will be spending some serious time on the site, over the years they have updated the site to make it easier to browse. In our original review their website was one of our biggest frustrations as it seemed they were stuck in the 90s but thankfully they have updated it and done a great job. Read the Website section below for more details.

Nonetheless the company has one of if not the best product selections in the industry. They are always launching new products so the offering doesn’t become stagnate.

PRODUCT QUALITY – score: 9/10

We have tried a wide variety of different food storage products and found them to be of good quality. Freeze dried fruits have always been great as have other food items. When we lived in Utah we were fortunate to live near one of their retail stores so we could sample product. We’ve probably eaten 50 different items from the company and outside of the occasional MRE we’ve been really happy.

One thing you have to watch with Emergency Essentials (as well as a few other preparedness companies) is the quality of the survival items, especially in the lower priced 72 hour kits. Often the components are not up to my standards so instead I look at what type of items are in the kits and buy higher quality equivalent items on my own. It costs more but the end result is better bug out bag.

WEBSITE – score: 9/10

Previously our biggest complaint by far was the Emergency Essentials website. Things have changed though with a big update in 2014. Now the site has easy to understand main categories along the top. Down the side resides a variety of popular links. Below the rotating slideshow are a variety of items that are on promotion.

Emergency Essentials Review

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Once you click through to a product page you are met with ample information that is relevant to the product. On older versions of their site you had to click around for a lot of product related details but now a lot of it are on the pages in clear site. Reviews, nutritional info, additional details, videos and more are there to be referenced. The amount of details sometimes are still lacking or vague. For example not having shelf life information on the page is annoying. They refer you to read a long article on shelf life instead, hoping the product you are interested in is mentioned with a little more detail.

Emergency Essentials Review of Website

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Their website search capabilities work well. With so many items and types of categories you are going to benefit from one of the better search experiences in the preparedness industry, a real important feature when you sell so many items.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES – score: 9/10

Emergency Essentials has a variety of other resources to help inform and educate the customer. Their website has insight articles that are full of good information. The blog is updated from time to time and has some pretty good information. The company offers giveaways on social media which is nice to see. They also have a recipe section with over 150 recipes.

Outside of the resources found on their site, the Emergency Essentials YouTube channel has some quality videos covering recipes and general preparedness information.

OVERALL SCORE – total score: 66/70 – 94%FINAL GRADE: A

Emergency Essentials consistently has some of the best deals around. Aside from the great deals they have, they have probably the widest selection. Overall they’re one of the top vendors in the industry as they get so many things right as seen below in our scoring system. This concludes our Emergency Essentials review!

Click here to visit the Emergency Essentials website.

 

17 comments

  1. I agree, Emergency Essentials is a great company. I am used to their site so no problems there but they do have great prices that is for sure.

    Great site and keep up the work!

  2. I’ve seen more and more companies going to a straight forward can date. The Ready Store dropped their julian code date, I noticed on my last can it has the SKU, name of the product, and the date of manufacturer printed on the bottom of the can. It is really convenient in case the label ever comes off and the can isn’t opened.

  3. Yeah I see more and more companies moving to a easy to understand date system (along with putting the name there too) instead of the hard to decode julian code system that is typical of cans.

  4. I once had them ship me an incorrect product due to a miss label on the website. The customer service was great and they didn’t talk down to me. They quickly resolved the issue and didn’t charge to ship because of the error. Wonderful customer service and all of the products they sell have been good so far. I’m excited they have started to carry Gossner milk, I have missed it since leaving Utah.

  5. Jennifer,

    Your right, they were downright brutal late December. I got an email saying Emergency Essential’s site crashed due to traffic from the Black Friday specials that they had. First time I had heard of a problem like that, I’m curious to see how they handle it moving forward, didn’t seem to be a problem before.

  6. Emergency Essentials is a little slower on delivery, and updating a website account status of deliveries made. That said, I did have a good customer service experience with them when they sent me some “dingy” medical paper tape and I emailed a complaint about it, I promptly got all new rolls in the mail. I can stock up on some more ‘unusual’ medical supplies though their site and order small quantities for my medical kits.

  7. I actually had a lousy customer service experience with Emergency Essentials. I received a shipment yesterday of MRE desserts, which are ridiculously delicious and cheaper than freeze-dried desserts. Well, most are delicious … one type of cookie definitely is not and most of that batch arrived broken with no production dates stamped on the packaging.

    When I called customer support this morning, the rep informed me that breakage (including pulverized products) is normal and should be expected. However, I could pay for shipping back to the company and receive a credit for the purchase price. Harumph, not the most impressive customer support.

  8. I love the company. Mi am never in a huge hurry to receive the items that I order so it never matters to me if they take a bit of time getting my order to me. I simply can’t imagine needing to be in a hurry to get freeze dried foods etc.
    I just ordered a huge amount of foods from them and will continue to give them my business. I think they are great in their pricing. I buy the sale, group special and closeout items. Mi have saved a huge amount of money and will have a huge emergency supply of food to get our family through the next decade.

  9. I’ve had great experience with this company. They’ve resolved several issues to my satisfaction. I live in Hawaii which always causes shipping problems from the 48 contiguous states. My only complaint with EE is that they do not have fixed shipping rates for Hawaii and I must always personally call CS before placing an order and may need to wait up to several days before getting the shipping cost, which is normally very expensive. Because of this, I’ve switched to Thrive Life, even though their products cost more, because they use “Access Hawaii” which allows them to use standardized shipping rates which allows me to place orders from Hawaii online without having to call for shipping costs. If EE they ever started using something like “Access Hawaii” I would love to start ordering from them again.

  10. Sure can, good luck with the book Carlene

  11. Talked with Mark at EE today (he is always nice), I’m a long time customer (over 15 years) and have been mostly very happy with their products and service. Today I called regarding a new gift card offer of $50.00 if you spend $300.00. I purchased that amount 25 minutes before the coupon became effective, and called to see if I could get that to apply to me….hey we all like to save money, and just over the past 25 days my orders to EE have exceeded $1749.00!! I was told no, and told that most companies do not honor such requests, but actually most will under most circumstances! The last 4 orders I have received from them have also been screwed up, wrong merchandise, wrong totals, I actually received someone else’s order who lived in Delaware (I’m in Texas), and have had to make numerous phone calls to get things straightened out. Just this week alone for 3 orders I got no tracking numbers on any order, when I called I was told that was broken, and they were working on it. This has been a pattern for the last several years. Hey guys at EE you need to get it together! YOU JUST LOST A LONG TIME CUSTOMER!!!

  12. Wow, sounds like they are really struggling right now. You can see the responses people have written on this page and you’ll notice most of them are spread out over a long span of time but then there are 3 very recent posts by you, Chris, and Mary where you had horrible experiences! I haven’t placed an order from them since January and it went fine… but I will have to try again and see if I have any issues.

    I do know the industry is going through a spike in demand right now (I have connections that work for freeze dried raw food suppliers) so that could explain the level of frustration since that makes order times stretch out and stock outs increase but either way they need to do a good job helping the customer or they won’t have any left.

  13. Yeah I don’t buy baking mixes anymore from food storage companies, I too have had the same issues with Augason Farms.

  14. YIKES!!!! BULGING CANS. I bought 4 cases of baking mixes 3 years ago and 50% of the product has gone bad. Many of the cans are bulging so bad that the lids are all wrinkled and bowl shaped . My wife is afraid to go near them for fear of an explosion. These products were stored in a basement at 65-70 degrees as specified. They were manufactured by Emergency Essentials under their Provident Pantry brand name. Emergency Essentials claims these products are good for 20 years but will only guarantee them for one year. I called them and got no satisfaction. They said that the product is extremely temperature sensitive and any temperature change can activate the leavening agent. There is nothing on the can or their website that warns of this. TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. I AM DONE WITH EMERGENCY ESSENTIALS.

    • That reminds me of a good blog post… do not buy pre-made baking mixes in #10 cans. It happens from any company that sells them. The leavening agent can get triggered and pressure mounts to the point the can looks like a bag of potato chips in the Himalayas.

  15. We did have some shipping issues but they have now been fixed. We now offer same day shipping on most orders.

    Thanks for your support!

    Customer Success
    Emergency Essentials

  16. Actually, I would rate it lower than Very Poor. This does not relate so much to their products as to the company, itself. I have purchased a large-ish quantity of their products over the past 3 years or so and recently encountered a packaging problem with one of their products. I ordered a bucket of pouches of the mixed meats and also a set of single pouches for tasting purposes. When I opened the box of samples, the main seam running the back of each pouch on one of them, the sausage crumbles, was completely open. I would have thought this was a fluke until I received a phone call from the friend who had originally referred me to Emergency Essentials. She had had the exact same problem. The woman in customer service she spoke to was rude and treated her as if she were lying and trying to get something for free. The woman’s name is Julianna Richardson.

    As the owner of a manufacturing company, I am always anxious to know about any problems with our products our customer encounter. I called and thought to speak to customer service and see if I had the same experience, but even after multiple calls I could never get through.

    So, I called once more, this time choosing the Corporate option. I got a receptionist and asked if I could speak to someone in Quality Control as I needed to report a manufacturing or packaging problem (not knowing if EE makes their own pouches or has them provided to them). She said I needed to talk to Customer Service. I told her I had tried but could not get through. Her excuse was that they were so busy because it was the end of the month and people wanted to get their orders in before then. (?!?) I explained that, as a business owner of a manufacturing company, I was aware that CS in most companies would not know what to do with the situation I was trying to report as I wasn’t looking for a replacement of one pouch, but simply to report a serious problem.

    She said she could not handle that and that they had no such person in QC. I asked to speak to a manager or the owner. Her reply was that I had to speak to CS, whom I knew to be unavailable. (Could they have received so many requests for replacements that they simply took the phone off the hook?)

    Finally, I got transferred to CS, and, as expected, was taken directly to voicemail.

    Sufficiently angry by this time, I went on their site and wrote a review on the Sausage Crumbles page, telling this story. Oh, you won’t see it. Unlike sites that are willing to let dissatisfied customers air their perspective. EE has not allowed my review on the site as of yet.

    If anyone here has purchased buckets that include the Sausage Crumble, be sure to check if any of the pouches have the same problem. Also be sure to post if there are any other products with the same problem.

    I did take a picture of the back of the pouch where the vertical seam is, but there is no way to upload it to this site.

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