The 5 Best Survival Food Bars of 2023

These options stood up to our scrutiny

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Best Survival Food Bars

The Spruce Eats / Sabrina Jiang

The "survival food" category, one that was likely dominated by outdoor enthusiasts and those serving our country, may be getting more attention from ordinary citizens now, as supply chain issues can cause growing concern over food security. We wanted to check out what survival food bars are out there, and how they stack up against each other. Whether you're headed on an outdoor adventure or simply want to be prepared in case of an emergency, survival food bars are a great staple. Here are our recommendations for each necessity.

Best Overall

Ultimate Survival Technologies 5-Year Emergency Food Ration Bar

Ultimate Survival Technologies, Emergency Food Rations, LxWxD: 6" x 4.5" x 1.25"


This ready-to-eat bar has all the necessities: It’s high in calories (2,400 calories per packet), offers a long shelf life (five years), and is "perfect for keeping in your backpack, survival kit, or shelter-in-place kit," according to the manufacturer. These apple-cinnamon-flavored bars come vacuum-sealed and are great to have on hand in your family’s emergency supplies. The bright orange and silver packaging is great for visibility, in the event of power loss. Each 3-ounce bar contains 400 calories, 19 grams of fat, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of protein, and plenty of vitamins and minerals (especially iron and calcium).

Price at time of publish: $10

Flavor: Apple cinnamon | Weight: 18 ounces per bar | Servings Per Bar: 6 | Calories Per Bar: 2,400 | Shelf Life: 5 years | Allergens: Soy, wheat

Best Plant-Based

PROBAR Meal Bar Variety Pack

PROBAR - Meal Bar 12 Flavor Variety Pack - Natural Energy, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Plant-Based Whole Food Ingredients 12 Count (Pack of 1)


These gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO bars come in a variety of appealing flavors, such as Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Banana Nut Bread, and Wholeberry Blast, so there’s something for everyone in your family. They range from 370 to 410 calories per bar, perfect for a quick energy boost, and they are organic and plant-based for those who are vegans or vegetarians. TOne bar contains around 22 grams of fat, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 19 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of protein, as well as other vitamins and minerals (numbers will vary based on flavor).

Price at time of publish: $29

Flavor: Assorted | Weight: 3 ounces per bar | Servings Per Bar: 2 | Calories Per Bar: 370-410 | Shelf Life: 12 months | Allergens: Peanut, tree nuts, coconut

Best Flavor Assortment

Freccia Rossa 18-Pack Market Millennium Energy Bars Assorted Flavors

Millennium Energy Bars Assorted Flavors Including Emergency Guide


In an emergency situation, your priority would likely be any kind of sustenance, no matter the flavor, but, with that said, having a variety of options to switch things up certainly can’t hurt! These bars offer a fun mix of flavors (cherry, mixed berry, orange, tropical fruits, lemon, etc.) to keep you from getting too bored. They offer a 5-year shelf life and have been vacuum-packed in BPA-free packaging so you don’t have to worry about any spoilage no matter the extreme circumstance. Each bar contains over 400 calories. As an added bonus, the variety pack comes with a survival guide booklet.

Price at time of publish: $37

Flavor: Assorted | Weight: 2.95 ounces per bar | Servings Per Bar: 1 | Calories Per Bar: 400 | Shelf Life: 5 years | Allergens: Wheat, coconut, soy

Best Coast-Guard Approved

Shield-Safety 3600 Calorie Survival Food Bars

Shield Safety - 3600 Calorie Survival Food Bars


Mayday’s survival food bars are U.S. Coast Guard-approved—so you know they’re good to have on hand in an emergency. Each bar contains 400 calories, 19 grams of fat, 51 grams of carbohydrates, and 7 grams of protein, plus a substantial amount of vitamins and minerals. The 5-year shelf-life will ensure you don’t have to restock too often. These bars taste similar to a shortbread cookie.

Price at time of publish: $20

Flavor: Apple cinnamon | Weight: 27 ounces per bar | Servings Per Bar: 9 | Calories Per Bar: 3,600 | Shelf Life: 5 years | Allergens: Wheat, soy

Best Lower Sugar

Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations 3600 Calorie Bar

Grizzly Gear Emergency Food Rations- 3600 Calorie Lemon Bars (2 Pack) - 6 Day, 144 Hour Supply For Disaster, Hurricane, Flood Preparedness - Less Sugar,...


Grizzly Gear’s packaging design may be minimal, but the bars make up for it in their nutrient density. Each pack contains nine 400-calorie bars, enough to last someone three days. Its highly protective seal ensures it can last in any conditions (from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 300 degrees Fahrenheit), and it has a 5-year shelf life. These lemon-flavored bars are key in emergency situations and they’re also kosher. Each serving contains 21 grams of fat, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein, and 12 grams of sugar—plus loads of vitamins and minerals.

Price at time of publish: $35

Flavor: Lemon, blueberry, and vanilla | Weight: 24 ounces | Servings Per Bar: 1 | Calories Per Bar: 400 | Shelf Life: 5 years | Allergens: Wheat, soy, coconut

Final Verdict

For a basic, no-frills bar to stock your emergency kit, we recommend the Ultimate Survival Technologies 5-Year Emergency Food Ration Bar. If you stick to a strictly plant-based diet, go for the PROBAR Meal Bar Variety Pack.

What to Look for in Survival Food Bars

Flavor and Texture

You want to bite into one of these and have a chewy texture, preferably one that tastes good, too. Survival food bars come in many different flavors, including chocolate, peanut butter, a variety of fruit flavors, and more. These bars are not supposed to provoke thirst, so one that is dry and crumbly is not the best option to keep on hand. Try a sample, if you can, before stocking up on supplies. 


Watch the ingredients label to ensure that you are getting what will work for your family, especially if dietary preferences or needs include gluten-free, soy-free, organic, or vegetarian diets.

Storage and Packaging

Check the shelf life for these bars on the packaging to not only see what the expiration date is, but so you know how fresh they are before buying them. Survival food bars are wrapped in a vacuum-sealed package that helps keep them fresh. Some manufacturers wrap them in individually but use the same outer package, and others are wrapped in blocks that are meant to be broken off in pieces as needed. Be cognizant of the type of packaging used, as some will state things like waterproof and easy to open.


What are survival food bars used for?

Besides stashing up those emergency kits and bug-out bags or locations, survival food bars are good to have on hand when backpacking, hiking, camping, boating, traveling, and any other activity.

Where do you store survival food bars?

The shelf life of these bars is usually around five years or more, and for the best storage, they should be kept in a cool, dry place. Keep the bulk of them at that location, but grab a handful to store in easy access places, too. They are able to withstand extreme temperatures and won't spoil, so it is not unusual to have some stashed in different locations including an emergency kit, a bug-out location, or other selected areas.

What should be in an emergency kit?

Besides adequate food and water supplies, other items that you should keep on hand for an emergency include flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, a multipurpose tool, personal hygiene items, a radio, medications, matches, candles, blankets, and pet food, if needed.

How We Researched

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best survival food bars on the market, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, calories, and price—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

The Spruce Eats writer Alyssa Langer is a registered dietitian and foodie, always curious about the next food or ingredient craze and hungry to learn and try more. Having worked in cookbook publishing, CPG label data, nutrition writing, and meal kits, her diverse background and varied interests provide a unique perspective that fosters clear, well-researched, and trustworthy reviews.

Amanda McDonald is an editor at The Spruce Eats and has over seven years of experience researching, writing, and editing about all things food — from what new products are at the grocery store to chef-approved hacks that keep tricky leftovers fresh for days. She updated this article to include the most up-to-date information.

Updated by
Sharon Lockley
Sharon Lockley
Sharon Lockley has over 20 years of experience as an editor and writer and has been contributing to The Spruce Eats since 2019.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Amanda McDonald
Amanda McDonald
Amanda McDonald is a journalist living in New York City and Commerce Updates Editor for The Spruce Eats. She has written and edited health, wellness, food, and fitness content as well as recipes for multiple publications.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Additional reporting by
Sharon Lehman, RDN
Sharon Lehman
Sharon Lehman is a freelance writer and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in food, health, and wellness topics. She is the Small Appliance Expert for The Spruce Eats.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Food and Drug Administration. How GMOs are regulated for food and plant safety in the United States.

  2. United States Department of Agriculture. Labeling organic products.

  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Bisphenol A (BPA) factsheet.

  4. Food and Drug Administration. Gluten-free labeling of foods.

  5. United States Department of Agriculture. Labeling organic products.

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