Side By Side Comparison: Hibernate vs. Costco Food Storage

Ever wonder where the best place is to buy your emergency food supply? Check out this side-by-side comparison of Hibernate vs Costco food storage where we talk pricing, nutrition, quality, and brand promises. Click to find out which company is best for you!

In recent years, food storage has become more readily available through a variety of sources on the market. Because of that, it can be difficult to narrow down which products and companies are going to provide you with the best in food storage quality, variety, nutritional value, and flavor, without gouging your wallet or overpromising on things they may not be able to definitively deliver. And sometimes it may feel like you’re never going to get everything you want from one place, which is why we’re going to compare the emergency food storage products of a tried and tested food storage company—Hibernate—with a well-known bulk supply store—Costco.

We should note that it is often difficult to get a direct apples-to-apples comparison in food storage offerings, but we’ve picked several popular products from both companies, and we will break down the benefits and potential cons of each to help you decide which is the better fit for you and your family.

We should note that it is often difficult to get a direct apples-to-apples comparison in food storage offerings, but we’ve picked several popular products from both companies, and we will break down the benefits and potential cons of each to help you decide which is the better fit for you and your family.

Read on for a Hibernate vs. Costco food storage breakdown and find out which products are best for you!

Hibernate vs. Costco Food Storage: 1 Year Food Supply

For the families ready to dive in with an entire year of meals at the ready in case of an emergency, the XMRE BlueLine Emergency Food Pallet and Hibernate 12-Month Premium Food Supply options are probably the best picks from Costco and Hibernate, respectively. Let’s break down the various claims, nutrition, brands, and value of each.

Sizes, Portions, And Nutrition

The Costco food storage option offers 576 servings of emergency food, with each meal offering between 800 and 1,200 calories. Hibernate’s 1-year food supply provides more than 4,000 servings and over 2,000 calories of nutrient-dense food allotted for each day.

Meal And Snack Variety

The meals in Costco’s XMRE pallet are broken down into 6 different daily menus consisting of a variety of meals and snacks including vegetarian taco pasta, spiced apples, strawberry pastry, roasted and salted sunflower seeds, and lemonade. You should be able to expect two of each menu in your emergency food pallet, however, the site does point out that due to inventory issues, your pallet may actually contain a different combination of daily menus than advertised. Hibernate’s 1-year food supply of emergency food contains 12 different food options—ranging from maple brown sugar oatmeal to cheddar broccoli rice and buttery herb pasta—easily mixed and matched for a variety of meals throughout your emergency situation. And it’s guaranteed that what is advertised is what you’ll get. 

LEARN MORE: What Does Freeze Dried Food Really Taste Like?

Shelf Life

One major difference in this particular Hibernate vs. Costco food storage matchup is the shelf life of each of the products. Because the XMRE meals are packed in high density water and do not require boiling in order to eat, they have a shorter shelf life of just five years. On the other hand, yourHibernate food supply will be at peak freshness for up to 25 years on the shelf (and we can stand behind that claim because our manufacturing partners have been in the business long enough to have tested it for ourselves).

Top Reviews

While the XMRE food supply offering has yet to be reviewed online, we know that Hibernate customers have fallen so deeply in love with their food storage that they’re not waiting for an emergency to put it on the menu. One buyer shared:

“I purchased a 3 months supply recently after seeing an excellent review on Facebook about how tasty and easy to make these meals are. After preparing, tasting, and letting the kids try them…we couldn't agree more! And there is a ton of food in one serving, so much so that my wife and I can share a pouch and be completely stuffed! Your family deserves to have this in the pantry…but don't wait for an emergency to try it.”


At $4,999.99, this Costco food storage option comes out to about $8.68 per serving. However, a 12-month Premium Food Supply from Hibernate, costing $2,999.00, will run you just over $.60 per serving (and no, that’s not a typo!).

It seems clear that there are a couple of key differences in these two food storage options. One key difference is that HIbernate meals require simmering before you can eat them, whereas the XMRE food is prepared with high density water, leaving the consumer with virtually no mealtime prep. 

Another difference is the large price gap between the two, particularly for the amount of food received in each option. Hibernate is going to have the upper hand on that one. We’d also bet that because the XMRE meals are packed in water, they’ll be more difficult to store and move, especially in an emergency situation, and they have a fraction of a Hibernate meal’s shelf life.

As with any comparison, it’s going to come down to what matters most to your family. In this case, we’d boil it down to where you want your convenience to come from (Hibernate’s ease and longevity of storing vs Costco’s convenience at mealtime) as well as the amount of money you’re ready to invest for said convenience. We’ll leave that up to you, but based on our values we’re declaring Hibernate the winner of this 1-year food supply comparison.

Hibernate vs. Costco Food Storage: Two-Week Food Supply

FEMA recommends that you have on hand a minimum of two weeks worth of food supply for each member of your family. A two-week supply is a popular pick when it comes to shopping for your emergency supply. Let’s compare a couple of options from Costco—namely the Nutrient Survival 122 Serving Emergency Food Supply and the Readywise 150 Serving Emergency Food Bucket—with the Hibernate Two-Week Premium Food Supply.

Packaging And Shelf Life

First up, let’s talk about the packaging of these three little powerhouse emergency food supplies. The Nutrient Survival option comes well-packed into 6 separate #10 cans that can last on the shelf for up to 25 years. The Readywise and Hibernate options have the same shelf life but all their food is conveniently contained in one lightweight, stackable bucket with a handle for quick and easy transportation.

TRENDING: Supplement Your Food Storage With These Costco Items

Servings And Nutrition 

Both the Nutrient Survival option and Hibernate food storage in this comparison are positioned as two-week supplies (which would also work well as a 72-hour emergency food supply for a family of four, by the way). However, while the Nutrient Survival option offers 122 servings across 14 days, Hibernate’s contains 148 servings of food to feed your family for a couple of weeks, giving your family a greater sense of food security in case of disaster. 

Similar to Hibernate’s 2-week food bucket, the Readywise 150 Serving option offers—you guessed it—150 servings. The big difference here is that 44 of those Readywise servings are actually drink packets that won’t offer much in terms of nutrition. And while all three brands claim to come well-packed with essential nutrients for emergency survival, we can only be certain that our claim is true as we use the highest quality ingredients from the start.

Meal Variety

Costco’s Nutrient Survival offers five different meal options in this food supply (including triple mac and cheese and maple almond grain crunch), plus a can of powdered vitamin milk. Opting for the Hibernate food supply would give you more variety all day with 10 different items to choose from. The Readywise food bucket also comes with some good variety in their meal options, which include teriyaki rice and crunchy granola.

Top Reviews

The Nutrient Survival two-week Costco food storage option has an average rating of four stars on the Costco website, but with only five customers rating it, it’s hard to get a feel for what people really think. Compare that to the Readywise bucket that has an average rating of 4.1 stars across over 150 reviews, several of which unfortunately mention finding holes in individual meal packets, but with the hope that the food will be good when they taste it eventually. And finally, while it’s not an official review, Hibernate has gotten reports of families fighting over the last package of cheddar broccoli rice because it tastes that good. (But you can read more about what people think of Hibernate’s products and service here!)


The pricing on both the Nutrient Survival and Hibernate products comes in at just under $200. Per serving, that cost comes down to almost $1.64 for Costco and $1.34 for Hibernate. With an overall price point between these two being negligible, the key differences in this Hibernate vs. Costco food storage comparison are price-per-serving, variety, and packaging. When it’s only the difference of $.30 a serving, it really comes down to which meals you think your family will enjoy most, and if you value the convenience of a one-and-done bucket over the traditional #10 food storage can. The wrench in this seemingly simple side-by-side comparison is the $100 price point on the Readywise bucket, which we can only imagine exists because so few of the packets within are actual nutrient-dense meals (re: orange drink).

We’re inclined to declare Hibernate the winner here again, specifically because our 2-week food supply offers more quality servings of food, all reliably packaged, and in one convenient and stackable bucket.


Hibernate vs. Costco Food Storage: Protein-Packed Food Supply

This next comparison is not as straightforward as previous ones, but it’s an important one. Especially in terms of claims being made by emergency food supply companies. Here we’ll compare Costco’s Ready Wise 110 Serving Emergency Protein Bucket and a few protein-rich options from Hibernate—specifically freeze-dried beef and chicken, as well as peanut butter powder and powdered whole eggs.

Protein offered

Again, this is a difficult apples to oranges comparison, but we’ll do our best to present the basic claims of each option. The Costco Readywise Protein bucket contains 110 servings of food, 70 of which are actually rice and beans—not the meat that most consumers are expecting in a protein-centric product. When eaten together, rice and beans can be a decent source of protein. However, customers clearly expected more meat in their protein food supply, as several reviewed the product and cited they only received one package of meat and not the 40 servings that were advertised on the site, making the price seem questionable for what they actually got. 

Hibernate doesn’t offer a similar protein food supply package, but we do offer multiple high-protein options including freeze-dried beef (23 grams of protein per serving), freeze-dried chicken (25 grams of protein per serving), powdered whole eggs (6 grams of protein per serving), and peanut butter powder (5 grams of protein per serving). These are all great ways to supplement the other well-rounded nutritional offerings from Hibernate. People are particularly fond of the powdered eggs from Hibernate because they’re incredibly versatile and can be used to bulk up a variety of meals as well as bind baked goods.


It may not seem like a big deal if you’re interested in the bean and rice-based meals included in the Costco protein bucket, but Hibernate believes in telling you exactly what you’re going to get, pricing our products accordingly, and keeping those prices low to ensure the best experience for you and your family.

This is a tough one in terms of declaring a winner, as the products offered are so different. We do note that the Readywise offering contains actual meals but we value the clarity and piece-meal options from Hibernate as well.


Should You Buy Your Food Storage From Costco?

Food storage is such an important part of every household’s emergency preparation, but that doesn’t mean that every household should be stocking up on the same things—even if they come at a discount. And while many shop Costco for the bulk offerings and presumably lower price tags, Costco emergency food storage doesn’t necessarily fit the bill for every family.

Unfortunately, quality is often sacrificed in the name of quantity at big box stores. They cut corners in order to keep costs low, and advertise that promise without addressing the cutting corners part. Other companies that specialize in emergency supplies and emergency food storage in particular, likely have heightened motivation to provide high-quality products based on their strong beliefs in the importance of preparation. Hibernate is that kind of company. We don’t want to provide food that will simply get you by when worse comes to worst, so we offer a variety of meal kits and supplemental emergency food add-ons, so you can specifically choose food options that suit your family’s particular tastes and needs. We also have high quality control standards, fast shipping, and a great customer service team to help with anything you may need.

TRENDING: Our Freeze-Dried Chicken Noodle soup Recipe

One other disadvantage of shopping at Costco for your emergency food supply is that you won’t have the knowledgeable staff that can guide you through what types and how much food you’ll need for your family. Those kinds of benefits come with an experienced company who has dedicated their efforts to providing the best product in their field.

So if you’re looking to get your food storage in one quick Costco run and hope for the best, it’s definitely a convenient and quick solution for your emergency food supply. If you’re looking for consistently high-quality products at a comparable price (often a better one!), with plenty of customizability, excellent customer service, and loads of professional tips on building your food supply, purchasing from a company like Hibernate is probably the best choice for you.

Tips On Buying The Best Food Storage For Your Home

Looking for some of those tips on buying the best food storage for your home right now? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Before buying your food storage, some things to consider are what types of food to buy for an emergency, how to store your food supply, and some bonus ideas on what else to keep on hand for when something unexpected hits.

5 Questions To Ask Yourself BEFORE Buying Food Storage

Jumping in to purchasing an emergency food supply before you’ve done a little planning isn’t the best idea. Here are five great questions to ask yourself before you purchase anything!

  • How much food will you need for at least two weeks for each of your family members?
  • What kinds of foods will your family need and want to eat during an emergency?
  • How and where do you plan to store your emergency food supply? Do you have a plan on how to transport your food supply if necessary?
  • What is your emergency food supply budget, and will you be slowly building your supply or purchasing everything at once?
  • Do you have a plan for food rotation and replenishment when foods get close to their expiration dates?

What Types Of Food Should You Buy For An Emergency?

Maybe it seems obvious, but too much of one thing won’t serve your household well, even in an emergency. You’ll need a good variety of emergency food items to get your family through the situation without sacrificing nutrition, enjoyment, or too much time or effort. Consider investing in and storing these types of foods for your family:

    • Foods your family will enjoy. This means everything from mouthwatering spaghetti to favorite candies that’ll last for several years in storage. Take inventory of every person’s tastes and tailor your food storage accordingly. You don’t want anyone getting a case of the hangries because you didn’t plan for their preferences.
    • Foods that are nutritious. You know we all love a bowl of pudding now and again (go ahead and put that in category #1), but it’s also important to make sure that essential nutrients aren’t being ignored. You’ll want complete protein, carbs, and all the vitamins and minerals that come from fruits and vegetables in your diet to ensure a positive performance from your mind and body during an emergency.
    • Foods that are easy to prepare. No one wants to waste time and energy getting gourmet in the kitchen during an emergency—and that’s if you’re lucky enough to still have your own kitchen come emergency time. Plan for a variety of easy-to-prep and even no-prep meals and snacks so your time and energy can be spent elsewhere.
    • Foods you don’t need power to prepare. Speaking of the no-kitchen possibility, make sure you have some foods that won’t require electricity to make. This can be anything from freeze-dried food prepared on a portable boiler or fire to cans of tuna (so long as they’re in date and not damaged).

How To Store Your Emergency Food Supply

Everyone is going to have a slightly different solution for food supply storage, but there are a few rules of thumb to live by, no matter what kind of food you choose to store for your household.

  • Do not keep your food storage on the floor. This will help avoid issues from flooding, pests, and chemical leaching from untreated flooring.
  • Store your emergency food supply in a cool, semi-dark, and dry place. For most that means somewhere besides the garage, shed, or even basement if there is a chance of water damage there.
  • Only purchase and use food-grade storage containers specifically designed for long-term food storage to keep out mold, pests, and even air that can destroy your food supply.
  • Make sure you store your food in such a way that makes it easy to see expiration dates and rotate older items out and into your pantry for immediate use.

Necessary Emergency Supplies You Need At Home

Food is a key part of emergency preparedness, but it’s not the only thing your family will be in need of when an emergency situation arises. Make sure you have at least these items in store just in case.

  • Plenty of clean water stored in water-safe jugs or barrels
  • A basic first aid kit
  • Any necessary medications your family depends on
  • Food and water for beloved pets
  • Basic tool set
  • Extra clothing and blankets
  • A flashlight with extra batteries
  • A solar powered cell phone charger
  • Duct tape


Ready to start your own emergency supply with Hibernate food storage? Whether you’re looking to get started with just a week supply or an entire year, Hibernate has your back with high-quality, nutritious, and delicious meals shipped straight to your door. Plus, they’re made to last on the shelf for years to come—no sweat, no stress, and plenty of peace of mind knowing you’ve done your best to prepare for the worst.