Doomsday food is all grown up, and it's not just being marketed for "preparedness" anymore. "The zombie apocalypse isn’t going to happen," a rep for freeze-dried food maker Mountain House, tells the Wall Street Journal, which had staffers try different foods and got myriad reactions. "But you might get snowed in and not be able to go the grocery store.” Such companies are trying to market the heaps of so-called bunker food—typically freeze-dried and dehydrated into pouches and tubs—as helpful in many situations, including camping, or needing something quick when a bunch of guests suddenly show up, or not being able to shop when you're sick. "The Holy Grail for long-term, shelf-stable food is to become an everyday purchase,” says vice president of marketing for Blue Chip Group Inc., the maker of hundreds of types of freeze-dried entrees sold at Walmart.
That's because the typical bunker purchase—say, a $3,599 Blue Chip kit that can feed four people for a year—is a one-time deal, and this $300 million specialty market needs repeat customers to thrive. Phil Cox of Legacy Food says bunker food buyers tend to be "fiscally conservative, politically independent or Republican, and adds: "The best thing that can happen for my business is Hillary Clinton winning the presidency." Meanwhile, one customer who wanted to save money giving her kids milk switched to a dried mix of whey protein, coconut oil and corn syrup called Morning Moo’s. She says they can't tell the difference and she keeps a dozen cans locked in her hall closet, next to her gun. "I hate to be one of those prepper people," she says, "but if something major happens and we are stuck in our home, we have milk." (Scientists warn we're on the verge of a post-antibiotics apocalypse.)