Tuesday , 30 August 2016

Wise Food Storage Review

Wise Company food storage marches to the beat of its own drums. There were a variety of differences we noticed as we conducted our research for our Wise Food Storage review. We look forward to sharing them with you. So read on to find out what we’ve uncovered.

Wise Food Storage ReviewFounded in 2008 from a messy split from partner Food For Health International, this Utah company decided to skip the traditional route of putting food storage in #10 cans and instead package it in metalized pouch bags instead. This idea has since grown in popularity within the preparedness community and Wise has been at the forefront of it.

Before we do get too deep, we’d like to point out that since Wise Company only sells food items. They are naturally going to score low vs other more well-rounded preparedness companies we have reviewed. Nonetheless there’s a lot to talk about so let’s jump in!

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Normally when we review a company it means we have purchased from it directly. That isn’t the case with Wise Foods as we were able to buy various pouches at our local Cabela’s instead of being forced to buy a large pouch-filled buckets from their website. Their retail presence is spreading into other store fronts. Often you will find them sitting side by side Mountain House pouches the industry stalwart and titan when it comes to long term shelf life meals in easy-to-take-with-you pouches.

Buying at a variety of retail locations was a convenience many other brands can’t offer. We didn’t get to experience the buying process through their E-commerce website which was a bummer but we did still have some customer service experiences to share in our Wise Food storage review.

On a few occasions we reached out to their customer service reps via phone and email to ask a variety of questions. Generally speaking they have been knowledgeable and quick to respond via email though we would like to see a live chat feature added to the site. Julie and I prefer the option for quick chat sessions opposed to calling in or emailing questions.

Our only gripe with their customer service was the unsatisfactory response we got over one of our biggest problems with Wise Food Storage. Advertising food kits by servings. Wise Food advertise’s their product by serving count as opposed to calories per day, a much more informative and worthwhile number. They had no logical reason for marketing their product that way. In our opinion that is deceptive and should be changed. The end result of this marketing pitch is it makes people think they are getting a lot more food than they really are.

For example, their food storage calculator and the majority of their product pages tell you that a person only needs 2 to 3 servings of food per day. When you look at the nutrition panels you quickly recognize that they are on average 250 calories per serving. That is hardly a meal. I don’t know about you, but I would like more than 500-750 calories a day to live on. You are going to want to supplement their buckets with other calories.

PRICING

When you compare Wise Food Company food storage pouches to other similar products such as Mountain House and Backpacker’s Pantry you will see that their food is priced very competitively. On average we found them to be about 15-20% cheaper than Mountain House. A Mountain House pouch that yields 2.5 cups (prepared) is on average $8.09 while the average Wise Food pouch is $6.99.

While their pricing is lower, our experience is that the Wise Food products are not as good as Mountain House meals. This of course subjective opinion. In the near future we hope do perform a blind taste test to get more opinions on the matter but for now you’ll have to take our word or try it yourself.

Lastly, it is important to look at shipping and other miscellaneous costs. Because they have a free shipping deal going on, almost always you are going to save some money there. If you are out of the state of Utah you will also save on sales tax when placing an order online.

FOOD STORAGE

It didn’t take long when we started doing the research for our Wise Food Storage Review that we noticed Wise Foods is just selling the tip of the ice berg when it comes to food storage. Wise has the just-add-water meal pouch product line down pat but offer no other packaging options like most food storage companies. That means no #10 cans, 6 gallon buckets, nor the smaller pantry size can. As for food variety that is lacking as well. Wise Food Storage has only been carrying meats and fruits for a year or two, you are going to be hard pressed to find the hundreds of other traditional food storage options most other places carry but that might not be a bad thing if all you are looking for are entrees.

Wise Foods is a solid option for people that want just add water meals (and a few other items) but don’t want individual food components like baking soda, wheat, oats, ect . People that prefer the convenience of a pouch and don’t mind the reduced shelf life (more on that later) are going to definitely want to look between Wise Foods, Mountain House, and EasyPrep foods.

With regards to the shelf life claims Mountain House has challenged Wise Food Storage’s shelf life claims. They had a 3rd party lab measure 02 levels in both brand’s pouches and found that Wise Food Storage’s recently packaged pouches had unacceptable levels of oxygen a few months after packaging while Mountain House had nearly undetectable oxygen levels. Wise Foods took a lot of heat for this in the preparedness community and responded by improving the pouch quality and making sure 02 absorbers are going in every pouch.

PRODUCT SELECTION

As we mentioned in the opener, Wise Foods has only carried just-add water meals for the majority of its existence. They are sorely lacking non-food survival gear so there really isn’t much more to say here. They are slowly adding to this but are at only 35 non-food items.

PRODUCT QUALITY

Wise Food Storage makes their meals from a blend of dehydrated and freeze-dried components. They are sourced and packaged here in the good ol US of A, a great thing compared to some companies going overseas to places like China for ingredients.

As for taste, of the 5 entrees we tried, we preferred the Mountain House equivalent more. In some cases they were not close, while a few were almost on par.

Wise Company Pouch DifferencesThis doesn’t mean Wise’s foods are not worth buying. Many people are ok with trading quality for getting more for their dollar, and that is where Wise Foods will be a compelling alternative. Let’s face it, there are many that hold the hope that if they are lucky they won’t ever have to eat it.

While we are not raving fans of the food we like that Wise Company offers free samples for people to test out the food before buying. Over the last 3 years we have tried several of the same meals and have noticed the quality improving. At first they seemed to have a chemical aftertaste but that does not appear to be the case with the last 4 meals we tried from them (July 2014).

[Shelf Life Tip: Buy the “Outdoor” series pouched foods if you want the longest shelf life. They are quality 4 ply mylar bags that are top of the line. The other thin white/cream foil bags are cheap and not sufficient for longer storage. We suspect the test Mountain House ran recently (linked to above) was using these cheaper pouches.] The Outdoor series of pouches allow for you to put boiling water and let the food reconstitute inside the pouch whereas the other pouches you have to pour the food out and heat it in a pot.

WEBSITE 

The Wise Foods’ website is very easy to navigate. It is helpful in getting most of the information someone needs to make a purchase. Simply hover over the various dark maroon menu buttons to expose a variety of sub-pages that will take you everywhere you need to go.

Wise Company Food Storage Review

Product pages as the one seen below are helpful in that they have tabs of information like Nutritional Specs, breakdown of what comes in each bucket, and more. We wish the images of the food were actually their food (their lasagna doesn’t look like that) but we can’t harp on them too much for that as it is done almost everywhere in food marketing. Ever been to a fast food joint and compared the hamburger in front of you to the one you saw on TV?

wise food storage review

Lastly, there is an online chat as well which we appreciate as we can ask questions while we are doing things on our computers and have their answers in writing which is never a bad thing for a consumer.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES 

Just like Wise lacks in the product variety department, they also tend to lack in the information and resourcefulness department. Their blog publishes a new post about once a week. The quality of the content is ok. Often topics are covered on a surface level and many details are left out.

Wise Food Storage does have a decent sized YouTube channel with 50+ videos, though a good percentage of the videos are of commercials from radio talk personalities pitching Wise Foods. If  you get excited hearing glowing reviews from paid conservative talk show hosts or Marie Osmond then this is the YouTube channel for you!

In closing, we would have preferred to have access to some bank of resources to peruse through. When companies go out of their way to contribute to my families preparedness knowledge through education, my skepticism barrier comes down and my trust starts to be earned. I think Wise Food Storage could go a long way in getting better in this regard and hopefully they do as we can all learn more and get better educated on preparedness.

OVERALL SCORE

As you can see Wise Food Storage has some big ground to gain if they want to be more than just a quick meal pouch company. That’s why they scored so poorly in the overall score for their review, but if you are in the market for a lower cost alternative to Mountain House pouch meals, give Wise Food Company a shot. They do a pretty good good at what they focus on.

[UPDATE: Our Wise Foods review has recently been updated to reflect current pricing and details that have changed since our original review in 2012.]
Wise Company food storage marches to the beat of its own drums. There were a variety of differences we noticed as we conducted our research for our Wise Food Storage review. We look forward to sharing them with you. So read on to find out what we've uncovered. Founded in 2008 from a messy split from partner Food For Health International, this Utah company decided to skip the traditional route of putting food storage in #10 cans and instead package it in metalized pouch bags instead. This idea has since grown in popularity within the preparedness community and Wise has…

Wise Food Storage Review Score

Customer Service - 75%
Pricing - 90%
Food Storage - 70%
Product Selection - 45%
Product Quality - 60%
Website - 85%
Additional Resources - 65%

70%

Average

Big threat to Mountain House but too many issues compared to alternatives in the market. If you are ok with their short comings then they might be a good options.

User Rating: 1.76 ( 7 votes)

28 comments

  1. Can the ready-made gourmet meals be prepared ion a crock pot. Non emergency situation and would like to try at home

    • L,

      We haven’t tried it but a lot of these quick qook meals would NOT work out well being cooked for a long period of time. Many of the ingredients are made to be ready fast and when prepared differently they can get soggy and or have a bad consistency.

  2. I have bought many of the Mountain House foods and was shocked at how good they taste. So one day I decided to check into Wise as they were lower in price. I got a six pack variety pack to try. I literally hated them. My favorite in Mountain House is their Terriaki Chicken and Rice so I was glad one of the Wise Meals had the same name. OMGosh it was horrible. I couldn’t even eat it all and I am not a picky eater. I immediately felt sorry for all the people who bought big quantity packs of Wise. And, I wished I had bought the 4 pack to try them out instead of the 6. None of them were great. They were edible (except the Tierriaki one mentioned) but that is about it. HUGE difference in taste between Mountain House which I really liked and Wise, which I could barely eat. My 2 cents…

    • Brenda,

      No doubt sampling is the best. When Wise first came out it was all really bad. They have improved some of the items since. I have had Mountain House meals before that I would not buy again. Overall though Mountain House is king for sure. It just cost a fair amount more.

      No doubt the best way is to buy in small amounts and test THEN buy in bulk to save.

  3. If you can’t eat it, why buy it? Wise has a lot of negative reviews on Amazon. They’re all over the map regarding taste, quality, shelf life and so forth. Overall? A poor product. It makes more sense to go with the best. You do get what you pay for in this life.

  4. I place an order for 1 year supply. Got a notice that they received my order and MY MONEY. 5 days later no word when it has or will ship. When I called the Arrogant call taker, he sad I should called instead of web order and good customer service. He told me that their product is just too good and they don’t have time to let you know when your order will ship.

    • I’m a big fan of calling and talking to businesses when I place large orders. Also still to this day use my AMEX on all internet orders. I have found they do a great job backing the customer and not the business when things go south. I’m sure you will get your food. From talking to a couple of my sources things are pretty busy in food storage land right now (always is during this time of year – see my article on the busy seasons here: http://topfoodstoragereviews.com/best-time-to-buy-food-storage) but it is also busier than normal with the ebola scare going on around the world.

      Good luck and thanks for dropping by.

  5. I haven’t sampled their product, but not for lack of trying. There are apparently no real people who have the time to answer calls. And luckily I wasn’t starving, because it took them weeks to call me back. The person who called me was very flip, totally lacking in any semblance of customer service. After a brief run around, I ended the phone call. Yet today, I received an email from them which if I didn’t know better was coming from a long lost friend. I’ll look elsewhere.

  6. As a seller I tried a couple of Wise pasta products. If you like tasteless wallpaper glue, you’ll really like these.

    What is Much Much Worse is Wise promoted on their website and too their sellers a product which they did not have USDA APPROVAL to sell or ship. Numerous orders were placed by individual buyers and wholesalers.
    TONS of customers were left trying to get refunds.
    CONCLUSION:
    Avoid WISE at all times. (we like Survival Care–canned Meats.

    • Yeah their food isn’t the best. I think what’s important is deciding what is important to you and deciding how much you want to spend to get it. Some people buy preparedness foods with the idea that if they have to eat it and that is all they have they will be happy. They are willing to invest in items like this if they think it has a lower cost (not always the case). Then there are others that value taste more so than other things. Whether great taste ends up costing more or has other trade offs that is up to the buyer to learn and decide which attributes they value. All you can hope is the person gets educated on the product options and make the best decision for themselves. That’s a huge reason I’ve created this site is to try and help educate people on their quest of preparedness. I don’t view my opinion as the right advice to follow for everyone but learning from my experiences and then learning from other people’s experiences will help them become informed and hopefully help them go in the direction that is right for them.

    • Sandra Mengwasser

      I ordered the dried fruit bucket back in November of 2015, I saw the commercial on r and thought I would call and order the fruit I received it , now just to let you known never did the tell me anything about a 90 day refund policy, nor did I receive any information on this policy when it arrived at my house. So here it is August 2016 and a few weeks back I tried the bananas and strawberries they are awful. So I called to see how I could return ( I only opened I pkg of each ) they were very rude and told me they would not refund the bucket, the told me to keep it or give it away or throw it away I told her word of mouth goes a long way thank you & goodbye.

      • To me I see two parts to this.

        One they were wrong for being rude. Never should a company be rude to a customer. Ever.

        Two, they are in a tough spot with a customer wanting to return a product 10 months later (7 months after their return policy). Reason being is they don’t know how you stored the product. People could store them in a place with too much sun and too hot and then want their money back when it doesn’t taste good anymore. I’m not saying this is what happened with your particular order but it is one of the reasons why I could see a business be hesitant to refund something so far past their return window. Their 90 day return policy is about average in the industry. Some companies like the Ready Store have a 180 day period, others have around 3 months, and others a couple weeks.

  7. The sample of Wise Food that I tried was terrible. I have had K Rations that tasted better. One of Wise Foods competitors has a product that while not exactly a gourmet experience is, at least, a decent base to which to add herbs, spices or meats to make an edible meal.

  8. I felt there was not enough protein in the meals, and the salt (sodium) was ridiculously high. 30-40% of daily intake per meal. It takes a minimum of 2 servings to get enough calories, so thats 6 servings a day, equals 240% of sodium daily reqiurements.
    this is the first long term food storage I have tried since C-rations, ( dad was a marine) in the 70’s.
    I will keep looking, and probably add weight training meal replacements to the mix for protein.

    • Certain, if not most, entrees will need a little modification in my eyes. Those that are too salty you can add more base (rice or noodles) to make more servings and too keep sodium down. I will say that the average American eats way more than they think when it comes to sodium but either way I agree you should watch out for it and alter as needed

  9. Wise Company Rep

    Just wanted to confirm that I have cooked our meals at trade shows many times in a crock pot. I boil water in a jet boil, then add the water and food to the crock pot, cover and keep on low for 15 minutes.

    Also, I completely understand some of complaints about some of the meals not tasting like Olive Garden. I wanted to let you know that we have reformulated many of our meals and have some gluten free offerings as well. Our new Gluten Free teriyaki and rice is really good. I wasn’t a huge fan before, but Ireally like this new meal.

    Lastly, Jack let us know if we can take care of you on your next orders. The buckets you mentioned are shipping now. We learned our lesson on that one.

    Wise Co

  10. Late lunch, we opened up a wise pouch ,can of beans, and a tomato from the garden. We both thought it was delicious. My only issue is they are unnecessary deseptive in there portion size and calories. 60 servings bucket is supposed to be two serving per day for 30 days for 1 person. I guess you’re supposed to eat part and put it in the refrigerator then microwave each day. Not realistic in a “SURVIVAL” situation. Since there are 4 servings per pouch a15 pouches its 4 servings per day for 15 days good to know when planning on how much food you want tostockpile

  11. Their TV commercial is laughable….well-dressed children sitting at a nice, clean table eating from pretty dishes while a mom who looks fresh and happy is serving SURVIVAL meals to her two children. Really? I wonder what Sandy and Katrina victims would think of these survival depictions?

  12. I noticed that LPC Survival stopped selling Wise Food Buckets some years ago implying they were sub-par or something. I had already bought 4 buckets — at about half price with free shipping. I could not afford the “gourmet meals” of Mountain House at the time, and I still can’t.

    I am genuinely surprised at some of the comments here. If you and your family are sitting in the burned out remains of your home in who knows what kind of weather, would it not be easier to just have a meal that only requires clean water (which you should have anyway) than a working stove and kitchenette?

    If my family is eating and alive after a disaster, then how have I “lost money”? Is the food in the Wise Foods buckets poisonous after more than 10 years? Is it worse than spam? Is it dangerous to eat? I don’t know.

    I never opened it or tried it because it was for an absolute emergency only. If we have something edible after a disaster that only requires water, I doubt we will be “critiquing” it while trying to stay alive. For those who are not middle class, Wise Foods offered something we could actually afford.

    I wish Mountain House would do the same.

    • I personally think they are a decent option but every day that passes I question that. My most recent (as of the date of this comment) post about Wise Food Storage and Mountain House shows 3rd party audits where Wise Food pouches have as almost as much oxygen (the element that makes food spoil) in their pouches as what is found in the air we breath meaning that they might as well not of sealed their pouches and just left them open. If this is in fact true that food is not going to last more than a year (in humid areas far less) before it starts reconstituting itself. If bacteria were to grow on the food you could get botulism and get sick and worse yet die. I’m anxiously awaiting Wise Foods to refute the 3rd party audit.

      Shane

  13. I will never buy from this company again. My order was put in on September 2nd, it is now October 10th and I still do not have my order. It is scheduled for the 13th. I cannot speak as to its quality but it takes forever to get it so if you’re in no hurry, if you’re willing to wait about 6 weeks then okay go ahead but I won’t do it again

    • Don,
      Just a heads up, every company in the industry was seeing a huge spike from the latest prophecies about the end of the world along with a shaky financial market in September. This was not unique to Wise. My guess is if you were to order from them again in a couple weeks now that those worries are mainly calmed, you would probably get your shipment in less than a week.

  14. I just tried my free sample from wise foods, chili macraroni. First of all the measurement of water they reccomend to the sample was one cup , which produced a very soupy mixture.Secondly they suggested a 12 -15 minute rehydrate time which left the ingrediants still dehydrated.After 25 minutes of rehydration it was not fully hydrated,macaroni was still hard and chewy.Thirdly the beef tasted like cardboard, I couldnt even get past 4 bites it was so horrible. I normally buy mountain house and really enjoy the meals, this was NOTHING like mountain house. This was the worst experience of dehydrated food I ever had.

    • Ha! I just made this last week and was about to write my review and post my video. I agree this one is BAAAAAD. I didn’t have trouble getting it to re-hydrate though. Boiled water in the microwave then put it in the pouch and within 12 minutes or so everything was ready to eat.

  15. I haven’t been able to find a comparison of Patriot Pantry Foods with other emergency food companies.

    Can you help?

    Thanks

  16. I wanted to inform people who aren’t familiar with them how they operate. Wise offers a free sample with free shipping which sounds like a great idea, until the sales calls start coming in from them. Just to give you an idea of what kind of company they are, if you’re not prepared to spend a lot of money they’re rude and hang up on you while you’re still talking. I know of DOZENS of people they have done this to. Their website does have different special offers at different times but their products can be expensive for what they are. Considering the fact that they hang up on potential customers they don’t feel are looking to spend a substantial amount of money, that’s the sole purpose myself and others don’t buy from them.

    • I agree, they are more targeting those looking to make larger purchases at a given time and less towards the person wanting to build their supply over time. Almost all of their product offerings are large buckets and kits. They are not in the business of selling small orders. I can understand if that is their strategy and every business should be able to do as they please in this regard but if they are rude to people that are not their ideal customer then that is wrong and it will come back to bite them over time.

      I think if you read all of my company reviews you’ll see that I’ve favored the companies that are more customer focused in their product offering and the way they treat everyone.

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