It isn’t often that a new food storage company/brand comes into the preparedness industry. While we haven’t had the time to review all of them this particular brand appeared out of thin air and looks to make a serious play within the food storage industry.
Today we are going to talk about them, Nutristore. Their home can be found at foodstorage.com. We first noticed this brand popping up on Costco.com’s preparedness section of their website in 2013. Having never heard of the brand we did what any good internet sleuth would do and started googling for details. Here is the interesting conclusion we came to:
Nutristore is a new brand of food storage owned by Thrive Life (formerly known as Shelf Reliance). A company whose business model is Multi-Level Marketing (MLM).
After speaking with a friend who works for one of the major companies within the food storage and preparedness industry I can now say with 100% confidence that Thrive Life owns and operates Nutristore and FoodStorage.com. Without getting into a lot of details my source (whose job is to create new products for his company) saw a Nutristore branded water filter that he liked and found out who the manufacturer of the filter was. He contacted the manufacturer and expressed interest in purchasing the same filter for resale on their website. He was told by the filter manufacturer that this particular filter was commissioned by Thrive and that he could resale a similar one IF he made some color changes to the actual device as the manufacturer did not want to upset its client Thrive.
While we were always about 98% confident that Thrive owned and operated Nutristore but we couldn’t say with certainty that it was until now. A 3rd party manufacturer confirmed it. We had our doubts at times as we received emails and comments on our site from Thrive employees as well as Executive Management (one of their Presidents) denying the connection. They clearly did not want people this information getting out, if they didn’t mind they would have never tried to convince us otherwise by attempting to set up a meeting or a phone call to discuss the matter.
OUR ORIGINAL ARTICLE WRITTEN BELOW:
Evidence of the owner, comes from a variety of sources:
1. The contact phone number on the foodstorage.com (during the early stages of the site) was Thrive’s customer service line. This has now been changed.
2. Nutristore nutritional panels match up to the details on the same product from Thrive. They are buying from the same source and are merely putting a Thrive or Nutristore label on the cans depending on need.
3. Nutristore uses small serving sizes (typically half of other brands) which is a similar tactic used by the Thrive brand. 1/4 cup is their typical serving size for most fruits and vegetables and both brands use the same serving size. 98% of the other food storage companies have a 1/2 cup serving size for those same products.
4. Nutristore is be available from Costco.com and at foodstorage.com. Thrive is one of the few companies at the time to be reselling product into Costco.com so it looks like they used their in with Costco to launch the new brand.
Here are some interesting takeaways from this new Nutristore brand at this time:
- You can buy their freeze-dried fruits, vegetables, and cheeses from Costco today, they make you buy 6-12 cans as well as large food storage kits.
- The FAQ page of the foodstorage.com website states that foods come from around the world including China, something we have already dug up in our Thrive (formerly Shelf Reliance) review. [UPDATE 9/27/2014] Thrive and Nutristore now claim that no food comes from China but we urge caution in believing this as their track record on honesty is not great.
- It appears to be a non-MLM brand, so not to undermine and anger Thrive’s salesforce of consultants with direct competition. To learn more about what an MLM is check out this article on MLMs.
- Nutristore will be sold through their website without the pressure of seeing a sales consultant inside of the MLM business model. This is great news for people that don’t want someone hassling you to buy more and more each month or come to their house for food storage parties like you will with Thrive.
- Orders are delivered in discreet packaging, a nice plus.
- They sell rotation shelving under the brand FIFO. Thrive (formerly Shelf Reliance) is a company that started out selling gravity racks for #10 cans. They purchased their lone competitor FIFO a couple years ago as it was competing with their shelving systems. It is very clear they are separating Thrive from this new website carrying Nutristore branded cans of food. We have yet to see Thrive or Shelf Reliance products of any kind on the foodstorage.com site though that may change one day when the cat is fully out of the bag.
Of course these details are subject to change early on as the company works to develop its brand and messaging. Some assumptions were made based on the site in the state it was when we viewed it last week (January 2013), clearly they could make some changes so we will come back and update this post as we learn more.
Nonetheless it is interesting to see the new brand pop up and to see who is behind it. Our guess is Thrive is not doing well with their MLM (multi-level marketing) business and felt the need to start a whole new brand that was completely separate from Thrive where they could operate like a normal business. Having talked with 3 close friends who are or have been Thrive consultants they agreed that this is likely (in part) Thrive’s plan to sell product outside of the traditional MLM methods. With the Nutristore product line separate from Thrive it enables the company to go after opportunities that might prove difficult with their existing business model.