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5/22/12

Thrive Express

A new THRIVE Express pouch & box, pictured next to an old-style #10 can Entree.
Shelf Reliance/THRIVE recently did away with their line of Entrees, replacing them with a new product line called THRIVE Express. Here's the bullet points:
  • Big difference - packaging. No more #10 cans, which is a bit odd for a company known for their can rotator shelves. Now, you get four individually vacuum packed pouches inside a conventional-shelf friendly cardboard box.
  • The meal selections themselves changed a bit. If you had a favorite Entree, it might be gone.
  • Total cost, advertised shelf life and calorie counts remain similar.
Likes & dislikes after the jump!



 What I like:
  • The individual pouches make the food easier to eat and work with. No need to open a #10 can, and you can space out your consumption of the food without worrying about half a can going stale. Buy a box, sample one and save the rest for later--hard to do with a #10 can. 
  • The pouches are a handy size to take on a camping trip, or even for an emergency kit--weight is around 10 ounces, and about 1000 calories in a pouch gives you a pretty good weight/calorie ratio.
  • According to our Shelf Reliance sponsor, Jade Garn, part of the reason for the move to the pouches was to avoid the "settling" that was common with the #10 cans. The flavor & good stuff would settle to the bottom of the can--no longer a problem with the pouches. That's a good thing.
What I don't like:
  • The boxes are way bigger than they need to be--they're only half full with the pouches inside. This leads to wasted space on the shelf. Basically, same amount of food as contained in the #10 can, more than twice the space on the shelf. Yes, you can skip the box and repack the pouches more efficiently...or Shelf Reliance can just use a smaller box. Or cram more pouches inside. When you're stacking food deep, efficient use of space becomes a big consideration.
  • There's no option for #10 can entrees from Shelf Reliance now--if you've invested in their rotator shelves, probably not something you're thrilled with. Of course, competitors do offer full meals in #10 cans, and Shelf Reliance offers a wide variety of dried and freeze dried ingredients in #10 can packaging.
Overall, a bit of a mixed bag, but the move to pouches is probably more practical for those who will occasionally use their THRIVE food for an easy-to-prep meal.

As always, Shelf Reliance independent consultant Jade Garn is available to answer any and all questions you may have about Shelf Reliance food, and you can purchase the it from the Shelf Reliance website, right here.

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