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Menu C MREs

"Menu C" MREs are one of the newest brand of MREs on the civilian market. These MREs are the closest thing out there to real military MREs. The look of the meal bag, case, and the contents themselves are very much like the real thing.

Menu C History

In late 2007, a new brand of MREs came onto the market. These weren't quite a civilian commercial brand like the Ameriqual aPacks, Sopakco Sure-Pak 12s, or the MREStar MREs. Instead, these MREs were initially produced by one of the major MRE manufacturers for a US military contractor working in Iraq. Civilian agencies aren't allowed to buy MREs so this company wanted an MRE-like product built to their menu specifications. Since military MREs already come in "A" and "B" menus, these new contractor MREs were nicknamed "Menu C" MREs.

Before the entire order could be delivered, the contractor scaled back operations in the Middle East and this left the manufacturer with a large supply of extra Menu C MREs. Fortunately, an emergency preparedness company named MREDepot.com picked up the entire lot of MREs from the manufacturer and began selling them on their website and through eBay. Additionally, MREDepot.com is working with the manufacturer to ensure a continued supply of these MREs for at least the next few years.

The first set of menus for the Menu C MREs was created in 2007. Then in 2008, the manufacturer changed the menus but the changes weren't immediately noted on MREDepot.com's website. This led to some confusion and dissatisfaction with people who bought a case of Menu C MREs in 2008 or 2009 and were expecting the 2007 menus. The 2008 menus contained a number of item changes and reduced calorie count. Fortunately, the menus currently listed on MREDepot.com's website are now accurate of what's shipping and MREDepot is spot-checking cases from every new batch to ensure the menus match.

Menu C MREs

Here's a look at a Menu C MRE:

Notice how the MRE meal bag itself looks similar to the 2007 and earlier military MREs. But if you look a little closer, you can see that the soldier logo on the bag has been changed and the "Government Property" and "Commercial Resale Is Prohibited" warnings are not there. These changes were made because the Menu C MREs are not government property and because these are perfectly legal to sell to any civilians.

Menu C MRE
Military MRE

Because the manufacturer wanted to be sure there was no confusing Menu C MREs with military MREs, they made a point of changed the soldier logo that appears on every meal bag. Here's a comparison between the Menu C logo and the military MRE logo:

Menu C Logo
Military MRE Logo

This is what a Menu C MRE looks like after you open it and remove the contents:

Looking inside the MRE bag Contents of Menu C MRE
Menu 5 - Meatloaf w/Gravy
Menu 10 - Meatballs in Marinara

The actual food items inside are usually the exact same items as found in military MREs (and in most other civilian MREs). There are some cases where the crackers or desserts will be in silver packaging as you can see above. Those are items from the Humanitarian Daily Rations (HDRs). The only difference between HDR components and military MRE components is the color of the packaging.

Even the accessory pack (toilet paper, matches, etc.), spoon, and Flameless Ration Heater (FRH) are exactly the same as the military MREs.

Overall Rating

Overall, these are very solid MREs with a good variety of food. Unlike most other civilian MREs, the Menu Cs contain 12 unique entrees so there isn't the "menu fatigue" you might get with other MREs that only contain 6 different entrees. With an average calories count of 1,146 calories per MRE, these are a little lower than military MREs (with their 1,300 calories) but are still on par with its competitors.

Menu C Menus - 2008/2009

MENU 1
Calories
MENU 2
Calories
MENU 3
Calories
Chicken Pesto Pasta
Clam Chowder
Granola w/Blueberries & Milk
Cherry Blueberry Cobbler
Beverage Base, Lemon
Tabasco Bottle, Green
Candy I
Accessory Packet A
Spoon
Hot Beverage Bag
360
150
210
210
0
0
108
45
Chicken Breast Fillet
Lentils w/ Vegetables
Crackers
Apple Jelly
Shortbread Cookies
Beverage Base, Orange
Candy III
Accessory Packet A
Tabasco, Red
Spoon
150
560
180
70
210
0
240
45

Cheese Tortellini
Pears, Sliced in Syrup
Crackers
Peanut Butter
Mixed Fruit Cocktail
Candy II
Accessory Packet A
Spoon
Hot Beverage Bag
280
110
180
250
120
80
45

Total:
1,083
Total:
1,455
Total:
1,065
MENU 4
Calories
MENU 5
Calories
MENU 6
Calories
Chili Macaroni with Beef
Mexican Corn
Crackers
Apple Jelly
Shortbread Cookies
Beverage Base, Lemon
Candy IV
Accessory Packet A
Tabasco Bottle, Red
Spoon
340
150
180
70
210
0
70
45
Penne Pasta with Sausage
Clam Chowder
Crackers
Cheese Spread
Shortbread Cookies
Candy IV
Accessory Packet A
Tabasco Bottle, Green
Spoon
200
150
180
250
210
70
45
Chicken w/ Noodles
Clam Chowder
Crackers
Cheese Spread
Blueberry Cobbler
Candy II
Accessory Packet A
Spoon
Hot Beverage Bag
270
150
180
170
210
80
45
Total:
1,065
Total:
1,105
Total:
1,105
MENU 7
Calories
MENU 8
Calories
MENU 9
Calories
Chicken w/Salsa
Mexican Corn
Crackers
Cheese Spread, Bacon
Blueberry Cobbler
Candy II
Accessory Packet A
Spoon
Hot Beverage Bag
170
150
180
170
210
80
45
Beef Patty
Fried Rice
Crackers
Peanut Butter
Shortbread Cookies
Beverage Base, Lemon
Candy IV
Accessory Packet A
Tabasco Bottle, Red
Spoon
200
220
180
250
210
0
70
45

Beef Ravioli
Spiced Apples
Crackers
Apple Jelly
Shortbread Cookies
Candy I
Beverage Base, Orange
Accessory Packet A
Spoon
320
180
180
70
210
108
0
45
Total:
1,005
Total:
1,175
Total:
1,113
MENU 10
Calories
MENU 11
Calories
MENU 12
Calories
Meatballs in Marinara
Peas and Pasta
Crackers
Apple Jelly
Shortbread Cookies 
Candy III
Accessory Packet A
Spoon
Hot Beverage Bag
310
470
180
70
210
40
45
Meatloaf with Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Crackers
Apple Jelly
Cherry Blueberry Cobbler
Candy IV
Beverage Base, Orange
Accessory Packet A
Tabasco Bottle, Green
Spoon
280
120
180
70
210
70
0
45
Pork Rib, Boneless
Mexican Macaroni & Cheese
Fried Rice
Crackers
Cheese Spread
Granola w/Blueberries & Milk
Candy IV
Accessory Packet A
Spoon
230
150
220
180
170
210
70

45
Total:
1,325
Total:
975
Total:
1,275
In some cases, the spreads may change between Cheese Spread, Peanut Butter, or Apple Jelly
Calories:
Average per MRE:

Total per Case:

1,146
13,746


Accessory Packet A Accessory Packet B Accessory Packet C Candy
Coffee
Sugar
Creamer
Salt
Chewing Gum
Matches
Toilet Tissue
Towelette
Lemon Tea
Salt
Chewing Gum
Matches
Toilet Tissue
Towelette
Apple Cider
Salt
Chewing Gum
Matches
Toilet Tissue
Towelette
Candy I: Peanut M&M's
Candy II: Skittles
Candy III: Red Hots
Candy IV: Tootsie Rolls

 


Menu C Case Pictures


Menu Cs vs. Military MREs

It's not just the Menu Cs' meal bags that are similar to the military MREs - the cases are similar, too. But there are enough differences that you should be able to tell the two apart:

Top - No Time & Temperature Indicator (TTI) on the Menu Cs, no Menu A/B markings. Bottom - slightly different markings
Side - "Commercial Resale Prohibited" label removed on Menu Cs Front - looks the same
 

Where to Buy

Menu C MREs are available through the MREDepot.com website or through their eBay store . On their website, the Menu C MREs are priced at $79.95. Shipping from California is NOT included (comes to around $22 from CA to NC) .