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Letter Re: Long Term Storage Foods in Supermarkets and Big Box Stores

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 [1].  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 [2] States is hardly surprising. I did a search using Augason’s Store Locator page [3], 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.