Tuesday , 21 November 2017

FACE OFF: Rocky Mountain Food Reserves VS Provident Pantry

[NOTE: The Provident Pantry name has been retired and replaced with the name Emergency Essentials (named after their store). Anywhere in this comparison you see mention of Provident Pantry substitute that name with Emergency Essentials. All of the information is still applicable today].

At Top Food Storage Reviews we love looking at preparedness products, especially new products and brands as hope springs eternal. Today we are going to take a look at Rocky Mountain Food Reserves, a new in-house private label brand for Nitro-Pak and compare their freeze dried green beans head to head with the Emergency Essentials Freeze-Dried Green Beans.

Freeze dried Green Beans reviewComparing freeze-dried foods from brand to brand can be interesting. The cost of having a freeze-drying tunnel is very high and the market demand is not high enough for most re-sellers to vertically integrate and do it themselves, so in the end they are often buying from the same sources. Most people don’t realize it but there are only 4 or so freeze-dryers in North and South America. There are more when you look at Europe and China but overall this isn’t something unique that is being done by either of the two companies here. They are simply ordering in freeze-dried green beans and canning them.

There are several other key points to look at when buying freeze-dried food though. The factors we look at are the following:

1. Brand reputation. Quality matters and buying from a brand that is trustworthy is a good bet.

2. Dryness. Believe it or not some freeze dried food is dryer (better) than others. That is why you don’t pay so much attention to fill weights when it comes to freeze-dried foods. A can that is a little heavier means the quality might not be as good. As long as the fill levels are comparable, you will actually want the product that weighs less. Crazy huh? But it is true.

3. Price. Freeze-dried foods are more expensive by nature when compared to dehydrated food storage and you can find some significant price differences from brand to brand.

4. Shelf Life. Traditionally speaking #10 cans have outperformed mylar pouches when it comes to keeping the food decaying properties out of food’s reach. Most companies advertise a 20-30 year shelf life on 100% freeze-dried items and the real life experience from almost 50 years of experience from Mount House (Oregon Freeze Dry) shows that 30 years is absolutely attainable with freeze-dried items.

5. Nutrition. It is food after all right? Make sure that the two foods you are comparing are similar. If not the differences in some cases can sometimes be significant enough to warrant paying more.

Freeze-Dried Green Bean FACE OFF! Provident Pantry VS Rocky Mountain Food Reserves 

Rocky Mountain Food Reserves vs Provident Pantry Food Storage

1. Brand Reputation. While Nitro Pak has been around for even longer than Emergency Essentials, Nitro-Pak’s in house brand, Rocky Mountain has not been around nearly as long as Provident Pantry. Thousands of customers have been buying and rebuying that brand for a long time as opposed to the newer Nitro Pak offering.

WINNER: Provident Pantry

2. Dryness. In our taste test, both freeze-dried green beans were of high quality. Crisp when eaten dry, the two offerings were a nice snack on the go but also good when reconstituted by sitting in water for 5-10 minutes. Disclaimer: even though the Provident Pantry can was purchased from a Scratch and Dent sale in Salt Lake, the seam did not appear to be compromised so this head to head test should still be accurate.

WINNER: Tie

3. Price. Provident Pantry walked away with this part of the competition. At a price of 14.95 per can at the time of this review, the Emergency Essentials can was 25% less than the Rock Mountain Food Reserves. Both cans advertise a 6 oz weight so there is no need to compare cost per ounce since the food amounts are the same.

WINNER: Provident Pantry

4. Shelf life. Both Emergency Essentials Freeze-Dried Green Beans and the Nitro-Pak brand advertise a 25 year shelf life. Again most items that are 100% freeze dried food are going to last about the same time when stored in a #10 can. No real difference here so they tie again.

WINNER: Tie

Rocky Mountain Food Reserves vs Provident Pantry Food Storage5. Nutrition. Both freeze-dried green beans have about the same nutritional data. Only real differences are a few calories and a little more fiber both of which are slightly superior in the Provident Pantry brand.

When comparing a vegetables or fruits you will rarely find big differences, it is mostly the ready to eat meals where huge differences occur.

WINNER: Provident Pantry by a slim margin.

OVERALL WINNER: 

So there you have it, by technical knockout Emergency Essentials’ Provident Pantry Freeze-Dried Green Beans has beaten out the newcomer to the ring Rocky Mountain Reserves by a count of  3 to 0. If price wasn’t so significant I’d recommend both but with the difference so big the winner is clear.

WHERE TO BUY

Check out the Emergency Essential’s Freeze-Dried Green Beans

Check out Nitro-Pak Green Beans now.

5 comments

  1. Hi Shawn,

    Just a quick clarification:

    “…almost 50 years of experience from Mount House (Oregon Freeze Dry) shows that 30 years is absolutely attainable…”

    I’d gently point out that this applies solely to Mountain House foods, not to freeze-dried food in general and certainly not to some brands (not the two in this post) that are essentially dry blends with a freeze dried pea or mushroom in the mix.

    To apply to other brands, those other brands would need to have the same level of experience and expertise as Mountain House, not only with freeze drying technology, but also with packaging structures, manufacturing, process control, quality assurance, etc.

    Many brands make claims that their products are just as good and will last just as long as Mountain House. But claims don’t equal proof, and without substantiation they are unfounded.

    Caveat emptor…

  2. Reiner,

    The two products we reviewed here are not just add water meals, they are just freeze-dried green beans, both cans full of only green beans.

    While I agree with you that there are a LOT of meals out there that have a claim of 20-30 years and have never been tested to verify that or lived to show it, that is not what this review is about. It is for green beans.

    I think it is VERY safe to assume that 100% freeze-dried green beans, whether they are processed at OFD or South Am or any other major freeze-dry processor, that the product is going to last up to 30 years when put into a can with an 02 absorber.

    Unless OFD has a proprietary FD process (again not talking meals here, talking just one ingredient) that the other competing freeze-dry companies do not (I’d love to learn about it if true) then I think these suppliers can make that claim with accuracy since they are duplicating processes, measures, ect.

    Again I agree with you 100% on the meals side of things but when it comes to a can of freeze-dried X from one brand versus the same X product from another brand, as long as they are following normal industry standard procedures they will last as long as the Oregon Freeze Dry product.

  3. Hi Shawn,

    Thanks for the response.

    I agree that if a company could duplicate the technology, materials, processes and expertise of Mountain House, the result would probably be similar to Mountain House products. I’d also note that the two companies in this review are both excellent, respectable companies.

    As you observe, however: “Believe it or not some freeze dried food is dryer (better) than others.” I’d add that some brands use better raw materials than others, have better packaging than others, better QA than others, better processes than others, and so on.

    Your qualifier “as long as they are following normal industry standard procedures” is an important one. The brands in your review above almost certainly do. Unfortunately, there is data indicating that others may not.

    So the statement that “Mountain House proves that 30 years is attainable”, while true, is unrelated to other brands. They may field fine products (ingredients and/or meals), but there are just too many variables and too many implementations to make the generalization from one brand to another, that’s all.

    • I agree, Mountain House has shown it is possible to reach those levels and if other companies create a similar product in every way there is no reason to think their’s wont last as long.

      I agree there are some companies like Wise Food Storage who don’t practice smart procedures on some of their products (nitrogen flush and no 02 absorber) as one example. In the end you have to try the product out and error on the side of who has been around a long time to stand the test of time. There are only a handful of companies that have been around long enough to show their shelf life claims are legit so use that as a point to consider when buying.

  4. Just going through some of my supplies after approximately eight years ,the six grain pancake mix honey cornbread muffin mix have all gone bad literally bursting the cans top and bottom these are all from Provident pantry . All were stored inside and air-conditioned house never getting passed 75° . if you can’t count on these being around when you need them then you can’t count on anything from this company

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