Wednesday , 7 December 2016

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 later 2012 when it was sold .

Besides selling emergency preparedness items online, Emergency Essentials also has their own food product line which they have packaged locally. The name of the brand was Provident Pantry but recently 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 strong mail order catalog program and a  number of retail stores. While some food storage companies have annual catalogs, Emergency Essentials sends them out monthly.

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 past 5 years, Shawn and I have ordered from Emergency Essentials on numerous occasions online and in person and have had very good experiences when dealing with their customer service team. You can contact them via email and phone, and through their forum but we would have liked seeing an online chat feature like some of their competitors. Getting instant gratification from a live person beats emails in our book and most people in our country don’t live within driving distance of their stores to talk to an employee in person. Overall though each time we have had a question about an order we have been helped quickly.

So far we have not had any complaints with Emergency Essentials. After reading up on their 30-day unconditional Customer Satisfaction Guarantee, we have no reason to think we won’t be helped just fine if a problem comes up. Our only complaint is ship times can often be longer than others and some items can be out of stock more often than other companies.

PRICING – score: 10/10

http://topfoodstoragereviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/emergency-essentials low price guaranteeEmergency Essentials is the Walmart of the emergency preparedness industry. They have a huge product offering and employ 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. For those that receive the catalogs, there are deals in the catalogs which are mailed to homes across the country. Check out our page where we list Emergency Essentials Coupon Codes each month to help you save time shopping for the best deals.

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

FOOD STORAGE – score: 10/10

Emergency Essentials carries two brands of food storage, Mountain House and their own brand named Emergency Essentials (was named Provident Pantry previously). 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.

Aside from the two brands, they put foods in a wide variety of packaging. Mountain House can be purchased in 2 and 4 serving pouches as well as the very popular #10 cans.

In the ir 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, which is our only real knock on the company, the website isn’t intuitive and easy to shop as others (update March 2013, they have re-done their site which we will cover below).

PRODUCT QUALITY – score: 9/10

We have been buying from Emergency Essentials for a half a decade now and in that time we have tried a variety of different food storage products and found them to be of good quality. As with a couple of their competitors, we are fortunate to live near their 4 retail stores and have tasted samples and played around with demo products to know that most of the items are of good quality.

One thing you have to watch with Emergency Essentials (as well as a few other preparedness companies) is the quality of the items in the lower priced 72 hour kits. Often the components are not up to my standards so instead I look at what’s in the kits and buy higher quality equivalent items on my own. Surely that costs more but I feel I have a better survival kit in the end.

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 really useful articles. There are frequent giveaways there and on social media like Facebook that are fun to enter (still haven’t won though!). They also have a recipe section with over 150 recipes. We found the forum to be slow moving and unused, we assume that will be shut down any day now.

Outside of the resources found on their site, they have a bustling Facebook page where again there are links to articles and free product giveaways. The Emergency Essentials YouTube channel has some quality videos but they are few and far between with only a handful of videos as of the writing of this review. Hopefully they make more soon since they are pretty well done and educational.

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. While their website may not work well on a mobile phone or smaller tablet it is easy to navigate on a computer or large tablet. Overall Emergency Essentials is 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.

 

28 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. Have they gotten any quicker with their shipping?
    Loved their selection, prices… but waiting a month + or – was just crazy so have been using other companies (yes more than one) to replace them as I can get my orders in a timely manner.

  3. Nice selection when items are in stock. Nice customer service. Unfortunately they are one of the worst when it comes to shipping. Very slow order processing.

  4. I agree with most of what was said above. I have one HUGE PROBLEM with how they Date their Provident Pantry cans. The Manufacturing Date is difficult to decipher being that the way they put the numbers on their cans are different from product to product making it difficult to tell what day and year the product was manufactured. Mountain House makes it very clear what day the item was made and they even put a best by date on the can. This is imperative for those of us buying this food for the “Long Term” 20 plus years. I feel that a company that isn’t clear about the manufacturing date on their food products translates to me the consumer as dishonost and intentionally trying to confuse the consumer. Be transparent and just put the date on the can in clear lamens terms. I.e…March 5th, 2013

    • 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.

  5. Had to wait a while for the shipment that I got as well. I found out that their product is private labeled for them and they don’t actually package it themselves, that may account for the long delay. I also didn’t like the date issue. Shelf Reliance actually prints the date on the bottom of the bottom of the can as well as the contents of the can just in case the label comes off.

    • 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.

  6. 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.

  7. i placed one small order which seemed to arrive without undue delay, but on dec. 2nd placed a larger order ($300+) and they JUST shipped on Dec 20th. i feel 18 days is ridiculous and when i called to inquire, they said basically, it was my fault because i ordered two items that said “backordered”. i most certainly did NOT do so, had they been labeled as “on back order” i would have chosen a different color, as it made no difference to me. when i called, they said they’d change the color and ship right away, but it took another full week to actually do so. My order is tracking to arrive on dec 26th, 24 days after i placed the order. They could not process my order on black friday, which meant i missed out on several deals, and they would not honor the prices, even though it was their website problem. i may order in the future, but not if i want the item(s) that month.

    • 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Carlene A Walker

    I would like your permission to use your name and logo and possibly your advertise in a book I have written called SURVIVAL BIBLE FOR WOMEN.
    I have 4 chapters dedicated to long term survival foods.
    Thank you
    Carlene Walker

  13. I wrote the company – most of their products are coming from China. They try to soft-peddle this point, but it’s true.

    A little research shows that Chinese food is very bad for you. They still use chemicals banned in the United States. Would I trust my food storage program with them? Absolutely not.

  14. I had sworn off this company for about a year but recently started using them again due to their competitive pricing with my other favorite company The Ready Store. Last year I bought 6 #10 cans of freeze dried chicken while on sale, however they switched the brand when they shipped, problem was, the new brand had a TON OF SODIUM, where as the brand I initially ordered did not. I called to complain and the associate was defensive of the company switch citing they had a right to exchange like products, and after I repeatedly stated that 810mg sodium does not EQUAL 60mg sodium (just an example, not the actual values), I eventually gave up and told her I would not use their company again. So, as I said I sulked for a year but am back using their products, but am watching them like a hawk.

  15. FYI- I saw Emergency Essentials buckets at the local Wincos. About 50$ for a bucket containing 162 servings. Just thought I would pass it on.

  16. 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!!!

    • Talked to Mark today – very smooth but can’t resolve a $70+ problem. Only excuses, had thought that I finally got a good customer service person. Good luck to you!

  17. I started using Emergency Essentials about 3 years ago and had basically average service from them. While some of their sales prices were OK, the rest were a bit high. Their shipping was also not the fastest.
    However both of my last two orders were screwed up and I will not be doing any further business with this company.
    I had placed an order with Emergency Essentials for several items on 4/20/16 because I needed to ship a few of the items to a friend that is thru hiking the PCT. According to their website all of the items I ordered were in stock. I had intended to ship the items out on 4/27/16, eight days later. (I’d also ordered several items from another outfit on the same day, and they arrived on 4/25/16, in plenty of time to repackage and ship out!) When I checked the status of my order on the day I needed to ship the items out, it said “In Processing”! SERIOUSLY?!! After 8 days and never telling me that there was any problem?! I was told by a service rep on the phone that there were a couple of items still on back order but that my order should ship in 2 to 4 more days! I told her to just cancel the entire order!
    Wanting to give them another chance I ordered a single item from them that was also clearly marked as being in stack. This was on 4/28/16. Just this morning i received an email from a Mr. Mark George telling me that the one item on back order was deleted from my order and they will be shipping it out to me. This is now seven days AFTER I cancelled that order by phone!!!
    Here is the funny part. The second order I placed was for the item that apparently caused the problem with the first order! I guess I can now expect another email from these idiots in a week or so saying that this one has been cancelled as well!
    The people at Emergency Essentials apparently have no idea what they are doing anymore. They are not keeping the info on their website current, and they also don’t keep order info current. Their lack of timely communication with their customers is bad enough. but they don’t even communicate with each other!

    I’ve found other outfits that have the same items I look for at a better price and much faster shipping. One of them even takes payments using Pay Pal! I won’t be using Emergency Essentials again for anything!

  18. No more Emergency Essentials

    I have had a very difficult time getting a refund from Emergency Essentials for a product I wasn’t satisfied with: sliced peaches that were white and tasteless. At first I thought they had mistakenly filled the cans with sliced apples! That’s what it looked like. I sent the order back (6 large cans, I had only opened one) with complete information enclosed including my packing slip and a note attached as to why I wasn’t happy, which should have been sufficient for them to issue a credit to my credit card when they received the package. After 2 weeks of no credit I tracked the package which showed Fedex delivered it to EE 10 days prior. So I called and the Customer Service woman had to track the package herself to verify they had received it! She told me a credit would be issued within 7 business days. 7 business days went by and of course… nothing. I have made the second call telling them if I don’t receive a credit TODAY I will contact my credit card issuer and dispute the charge, and EE can deal with Visa. What a pain in the ass!

    Also, I wrote a negative review for those white peaches and the review never showed up! So that means EE discards bad product reviews and only posts the good ones!

    I have removed my email from their mailing list as I will not do business with companies such as this.

    BUYER BEWARE FOR EMERGENCY ESSENTIALS!

    • 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.

  19. I had purchased from EE for a few years but recently had a bad experience with some of their product. I purchased a case of baking items while they still had the Provident Pantry name and when going through my food storage recently I found three of the cans had swelled to the point that they were ready to explode! These cans were corn muffin, pancake and biscuit mix so I would guess it’s something to do with yeast maybe. I have always properly stored my food in accordance with humidity and temperature so I don’t really know what happened. I contacted EMERGENCY ESSENTIAL about the problem and included lot numbers but they have failed to respond. I won’t be purchasing anything else from Emergency Essential.

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

  20. 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.

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