I recently had a discussion with management at the Clarkston, Washington Wal-Mart [in eastern Washington, on the Idaho state line.] The General Manager has definitely got a finger on the pulse of consumers. They have a huge display set up at the entrance to the store of freeze dried food [in #10 cans] from Augason Farms. The display was an island two pallets wide and 8 pallets long. They offer a full line of freeze dried foods from alphabet soup to Whole Egg Powder and whole raspberries. They also had a display of breakfast and dinner emergency cases of food.
They also have heirloom seeds in #10 can and a separate section in the food isles for when the special display goes away. They also had mid-isle pallet display of storage food in food grade plastic buckets. They carry oatmeal (quick & rolled), white rice, long grain brown rice, sugar, corn meal and flour. Over 60 items on the shelf. No shipping! Prices are competitive.
They are carrying Tomato Powder-hydrates to form paste and we especially like the Vitamin C Orange drink.
Manager stated this display was “His” baby and didn’t know of any other stores in the area (the Inland Northwest) carrying these products. I’d bet a dollar if the sales are good the other stores will follow based on Wal-Mart revenue numbers the last 8 quarters. They will be motivated to find niche products with wide appeal. I doubt that Target stores [headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota] would follow suit because they won’t even sell toy guns. – B.H. in North Central Idaho.
JWR Replies: From what I’ve read, the Augason storage foods are sold by dozens of stores, primarily in the northern Rockies and the Great Basin. The correlation with the American Redoubt States is hardly surprising. I did a search using Augason’s Store Locator page, and also found their products are sold at a variety of outlets in 11 western states–most heavily in Utah. No great surprise there either, as the company is headquartered in Salt Lake City.