Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Product Review - MRE from Meal Kit Supply


Packaging – Delivered by UPS, the mre s come in a clearly labeled white and black box. Although this makes them easily found and identified in a prepper’s storage room, your UPS guy has no need to guess what’s in the box. Fortunately for me, my UPS guy seems pretty oblivious as to what they are, and having gotten only one case, probably didn’t raise any eyebrows. However, regular orders being delivered in order to bolster your supply could draw some attention. One could consider this an OPSEC issue, but it is only a minor one in my opinion as most UPS guys are more interested in getting back home to dinner than what they are actually delivering. Although, Meal Kit Supply might want to consider a more discrete package.

Contents – Inside the case is twelve complete meals, the sample sent to me included the flameless heater option. There were only 2 meals that were duplicated and those were more suited to a breakfast, which they say is the most important meal of the day anyhow. Each meal is packed in its own thick plastic bag which proved to be quite durable and waterproof, albeit somewhat frustrating to open using the “open here” pull tabs, but a pocket knife makes this a non issue. Here is the meal breakdown…
Apple Maple Oatmeal – 2
Maple Flavor Pork Sausage Patty – 2
Chicken With Tomatoes and Feta Cheese – 1
Beef Ravioli in Meat Sauce – 1
Spaghetti With Beef and Sauce – 1
Meatballs in Marinara Sauce – 1
Chili With Beans – 1
Chicken, Noodles, Vegetables in Sauce – 1
Ratatouille (Mixed Vegetables and Penne) – 1
Vegetable Lasagna – 1
Instructions & Nutritional Information Booklet – 1

The vegetable lasagna meal was packaged in a way that I could not read the meal description, so curiosity got the best of me and this is the first meal I tried. As I mentioned, the thick plastic bag that these meals are packed in can be difficult to open, which is probably a good thing if you think about it, but a pocket knife makes quick work of that issue. Inside the bag were the different components of the meal which consisted of…
Main course
Grape Jelly
Fudge Brownie
Carbohydrate Electrolyte Drink Mix
Cocoa Beverage Powder
Accessory Packet (Spoon, Instant Coffee, Coffee Whitener, Sugar, Salt, Pepper, Moist Towelette, Napkin)
Ration Heater

When I added up the calorie content of each item, I found that the complete meal had about 1200 calories. Two of these per day would meet minimum requirements and three would certainly sustain you in an active environment. Although not every daily nutritional requirement was met by the meal, vitamin C was well represented with over 500% of the daily needs and several other vitamins such as B6 were very well represented.
Item By Item –
The first thing I did was get the main course started with the heater. This required the heater bag being filled to a line with about two ounces of water. The bag is then folded around the main course meal pouch and set outdoors. The reason for this is that the reaction that produces the heat also produces no toxic exhaust steam and hydrogen gas. I put mine outside the back door on an old piece of scrap drywall and waited the recommended ten minutes.

Next, I figured I would go for the drink mix, as most of us wake up with a pasty mouth and need some liquid refreshment. The pouch contains enough powder to mix with twelve ounces of water and was very reminiscent of Tang from the seventies. The powder can be mixed in the pouch, but would be awkward to drink from given the shape of the pouch. I poured mine into a water glass.

Next came a little appetizer, the crackers and grape jelly. The crackers were a lot like unsalted soda crackers and were a bit broken up from being tossed around a bit. With the grape jelly spread on top, they were actually quite palatable. The picture only shows half the portion as I had already given some to my tasting team, my two and four year old kids.

Now that the ten minute heating was done on the main course, let’s take a look at what we have. The heat pack has to be handled carefully as it does what it is supposed to, which is create heat. The foil pack with the main course opens along the width, which helps when you need to eat out of the foil.

Wondering just how much food is in this little packet? Me too, so let’s take a look on a plate.

Doesn’t look like much does it? Well believe it or not, it’s not a bad sized portion.
At first glance it looks kind of like a can of Chef Boy Ardee, but on closer inspection you can see some beans and veggies mixed in there and let me tell you, it may not be gourmet, but it’s a lot better than the stuff in a can and I didn’t even need the salt & pepper!

Now for a little dessert. I started with the applesauce. The foil pouch it comes in had a label touting the words “…enhanced with maltodextrin for enhanced performance”. Malto-what?
I had to look this one up to find out more. Simply put, it is vegetable or grain starch broken down into sugar that has a very high absorption rate by the body which will give you an energy boost faster than other forms of sugar. The best thing about the applesauce was the packet, designed to be eaten out of with a narrow opening. The second picture shows the portion size on a plate.

Ok, so now for the piece de resistance…the fudge brownie. I have to admit that it just doesn’t stand up to mom’s brownies, but for something out of a foil package it was pretty good! The portion size is more than what you would expect and was surprisingly big. A desiccant pack is included, so be sure to remove it before enjoying.

Since we’re on a chocolate binge, let’s take a look at the cocoa drink powder. This was probably the best packaged item in the meal. The foil packet had a re sealable zipper and was hourglass shaped. This allows for you to add hot water to the pouch, seal and shake. It was also an ideal shape to hold and drink from. Not too sweet, but pretty good.

Now, to finish off the meal, let’s have a look at the instant coffee. Not worth mentioning you say? Think again! Ok, it’s not a Tim Horton’s double double, but as far as instant goes, it rates better than the jar of Maxwell House I occasionally dip into. I used six ounces of boiling water for it and as soon as the powder hit the water, you could smell that this was something just a bit above your average cup of instant. And guess what…it was pretty darn good!

Summary -
Overall, the taste was not haute cuisine, but it was a heck of a lot better than I expected. Calories are well represented and even though I shared every part of the meal with the kids, I was more than satisfied when we were done. By the way, the kids enjoyed everything too, which is important to many of us, as we don’t need to take special foods along with us in a bug out situation just for them.

The plastic pouch that each meal kit comes in is rugged and waterproof. Careful attention is made to provide variety in both the meals and the case pack. Storage time is 5 years, may be more of less, depending on temperature, but the manufacturing date on the case is a code, which the key to is provided, but could be marked in a way that would make it simpler to read…like just stamping the actual date.

These meals are not going to sustain you in perfect health over long term use, but then again, they aren’t meant to. They make a perfect addition to a bug out kit, or just to take along on day trips to the deer blind or fishing hole. The packaged meals weigh between seven hundred and eight hundred grams each and nutritional info as well as ingredients are on each item. Also, each foil packet of food or drink mix has preparation instructions printed on them.

All in all, these make a great addition to your food storage plans and they will definitely have a place in mine.

Visit Meal Kit Supply at

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that these are shipped out of Canada, so no customs worries at all.


  1. I always wondered at the taste factor. Thanks for the comprehensive review. The only thing I don't think I could get down was the tang :) (shudder)

  2. And isn´t it better to just prepare your own packages? I don´t know but the photos of meals have not convinced me.

    Since I´m a vegan, I prefer to move to Eartship Green Home with my own foods and veggies. I don´t see myself eating pork and beef after so many years of pure vegetable diet :)

  3. Any reviews on the Action Meals MRES? I had bought a mixed case and found them to be great, also they are not in bulky packaging

  4. I believe that a case sells for about $130.00. That's just over $10.00 per meal, but considering that EVERYTHING is included (like coffee, drink mix, dessert, etc.) it's still a pretty good deal.