Maybe it’s a case of life imi­tat­ing art.

Maybe it’s just com­pa­nies tak­ing advan­tage of a pub­lic trend.

Or, maybe it real­ly is a wave of fear sweep­ing the nation.

What­ev­er “it” is ‘sur­vival’ today is becom­ing a big busi­ness!

The sit­u­a­tion isn’t mere­ly the usu­al well known web­sites and cat­a­logs that sell food, stor­age, and sup­plies. Many very well  known com­mon retail­ers are quick­ly get­ting into the act.

Recent­ly I saw a YouTube video tak­ing at a Wal­mart in Ida­ho that had an entire isle labeled as “Prepa­ra­tion Cen­ter”. It showed shelves full of canned freeze dried and dehy­drat­ed foods (I didn’t rec­og­nize the brand but there are so many pri­vate labels these days), water stor­age bar­rels, first aid kits, even portable solar pan­els. Even my local Wal­mart stores, while not near­ly as well stocked as the one in the video, has been car­ry­ing a sur­pris­ing­ly good vari­ety of Moun­tain House meal pouch­es all with the max dates (indi­cat­ing they are fresh/new stock).

On the Cost­co web­site (as of writ­ing this) they have expand­ed their sur­vival foods to include food pack­ages from Thrive (as well as expand­ing to include more water stor­age and first aid items). I don’t see any par­tic­u­lar rea­son to buy Thrive from Cost­co instead of direct­ly from their web­site but I sup­pose some peo­ple would feel more com­fort­able buy­ing from a known retail­er like Cost­co than from Thrive direct­ly. Some blogs and web­sites have said their local Cost­co has canned long term stor­age foods and oth­er sup­plies on the store shelves as well (haven’t seen it yet in mine).

And I have been told BJ’s has sim­i­lar offer­ings too.

So the ques­tion is: Why?

Why the sud­den inter­est for large nation­al retail­ers to be not just car­ry­ing but high­light­ing prep­ping items? (Glenn Beck doesn’t have that large of an audi­ence!)

As I stat­ed in the open­ing of this arti­cle, it could sim­ply be see­ing a grow­ing niche mar­ket and busi­ness­es mov­ing to ser­vice that mar­ket. Or, per­haps it’s an indi­ca­tor that prep­ping isn’t such a “niche” mar­ket after all; That prep­ping has been adopt­ed by far more of the broad­er Amer­i­can pub­lic than dis­cussed (and usu­al­ly por­trayed as ‘extreme’ or ‘rad­i­cal’) by the media at large.

Some “experts” claim that when every­one and their grand­moth­er gets into a field then it’s time to get out. A clas­sic exam­ple is the New York City taxi cab dri­vers in the 1980’s turned stock bro­kers because at the time it was where the easy mon­ey was. The same peo­ple are say­ing that about gold as there are “We Buy Gold” signs pop­ping up in stores every­where.

So is it the same for prep­ping?
Does it mean there real­ly is no like­ly eco­nom­ic dis­as­ter loom­ing that would lead to wide spread short­ages?
Does it mean this is all just a pass­ing fad, fueled by fears of uncer­tain­ty?

Nat­ur­al dis­as­ters can and do always hap­pen.
Finan­cial events, the so-called Black Swan events, can hap­pen for rea­sons that even “experts” find hard to explain.
And the unknown is by def­i­n­i­tion unknown.

But these things have always been with us. Yet few retail­ers have shown an inter­est in cater­ing to prepa­ra­tions for such events.

Until now.



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