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.
It is another hot fad. The flames are being fanned by Ike and the Japanese earthquake and nuclear disaster. It will wear off and then only the real preppers will carry on.
Who/what is “Ike”?
I think he was referring to Hurricane Ike…
@PrepperJim — I have to disagree with you on this one… I say it is not a fad. I say that besides the valid natural disasters that are getting the resources, there has been an awakening in many people. Like myself hundreds of survivalist/prepper blogs have popped up by people like me who just recently “got it.” They are seeing the economy, disaster, and potential for man made disaster because of strife in the middle east, Greece, etc. People are scared. Those that are not, are just not awake yet.
It may be a fad for some, but for those serious about securing their future are taking the steps to do so, and not just by securing food. Those that have a larger vision see the food as a vehicle to self reliance and self sufficiency. And, unfortunately, some see their food preps as their only means of survival. The issue with that is that it has a finite end.
Now, personally speaking, and since I live in, and the my life is that of a suburban apartment dweller, I need and will have to rely on those finite resources for some time (short or long term). I certainly am investigating plans to ensure that for my very long term existence I can support myself beyond the consumable preps… Does that make me an anomaly? As I look at some of these long term options, I realize also that they also are financially out of reach at the moment, or at least some of them are financially out of reach at the moment. Nevertheless, they are goals that must be reached if my own future is to be secured.
“I think” that the survivalist stigma is changing and is becoming more accepted as well. Don’t get me wrong, there is still as public stigma. Conversely, preps, gear, and consumables are getting harder to procure regardless of disaster and the business of survival…
Just my 2cents… Thoughts?
I agree w/ Suburban. I think there is now so much access to information and news, its hard for people to keep their heads in the sand considering all that is going on in the world today.
Question for @Suburban. You mentioned the long-term options that are out of reach at the moment due to finances. If you had the finances, what are the things you would be doing? Just curious.
@Nobody — With regard to items that are out of reach financially, I am talking about a plot of land 10 acres or up to hunt/fish/trap on, as well as set up a Fall Back/Bug Out Location with supplies outside the urban / suburban areas (think much more rural). To set up a cabin and all that fun stuff.