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Buying Civilian MREs

19 Apr, 2016

What's the difference between Civilian MRE Meals Ready to Eat and Government/Military Issue MREs? We provide a look at what to look for and what to watch out for when purchasing MREs.

TheEpicenter.com has been a reliable dealer/reseller of Civilian MRE Meals Ready to Eat for over two decades. We purchase our MRE products direct from U.S. MRE manufacturers who also produce Military MREs. Our current MRE vendors include:

  • Ameriqual Foods
  • Thermo-Pac
  • Sterling Foods (formerly Caravan Trading)
  • Bridgford Foods
  • and others

Civilian MREs vs Military MREs

  • Buying from Legitimate MRE Dealers/Resellers = Legitimate MREs (beware of counterfeit, older-production, or unknown storage conditions when seeking MRE's)
  • Known manufacturer/packaging origins (U.S. military MRE manufacturers)
  • Known storage conditions (i.e., stored in a cool warehouse; not left in the desert for 6 months)
  • Reliable lot pack production dates are provided for MRE products at TheEpicenter.com (NOT the "Inspection Date" [3 years after the production/pack date] — we publish the actual Production Pack Dates for the MREs in our inventory!)
  • Commercial sale of Civilian MREs is not restricted like Government/Military-issue MREs (it's generally considered unlawful to resell government/military issue MREs!)
  • The food in Civilian MRE is exactly the same! The exception is there is no "Government Issue" stamp and the full meal cases do not contain military issue accessories like Gum, Toilet Paper, Tabasco, and Matches.

Private-Label MREs

Besides the most popular and best rated name brand U.S. manufactured Civilian MRE's, you might see some other MREs that are "Private Label" or "Store Brand" civilian MREs.

"Store Brand" name and "Private Label" MREs are basically non-factory packed cases customized with MRE and/or commercial product components, put together by companies or people who want their own brand of MREs.

These custom MRE case packs may also be called simply "MRE Full Meals" or "Field Ready Rations" — without a manufacturer origin — or simply just "Meals Ready to Eat". Most companies are up-front about how these MREs are locally produced but be careful about places selling them as "Military Rations" or "Military-like MREs" as a disguise to make you think they're the actual military version of the MRE components in the case pack.

Where to Buy MREs

TheEpicenter.com has been a trusted source for buying Civilian MREs since 1995! We carry the most current MREs available on the market, and identify production pack dates for the MRE products on our website (not "inspection date" which is 3 years after the production date — we provide you with the actual production pack/lot date).

In Summary

What we want you to take away from this is:

  • Know the production pack dates of the MREs you are purchasing (vs the "inspection date")
  • Know the storage conditions of the food products you are purchasing
  • Know who you are purchasing from
  • If you are unable to obtain this information from the seller, RUN!

For more information about MREs, please visit our MRE Meals Ready to Eat FAQ pages: MREs - Meals Ready to Eat Informational Links.

To see our current selection of available MREs Meals Ready to Eat, please visit our MRE Meals Ready to Eat page @ TheEpicenter.com.