So I have been doing a little research in to identifying brown bag MREs year of packing. Specifically I am looking at production from 1981 to 1987 prior to the addition of the large numbers on the sides of the bags. There is a lot of great information on this site including bag design and menu changes so I am looking specifically at manufactures during that time period. I was hoping that someone here on the site might have additional information that I can add to my research. I will update this thread as I gather more information.
Here is what I have so far:
Cadillac Products inc. - 1981 - 1983?
I can't seem to find a lot of information regarding this company's production of MREs. There's a picture here on the site of a Cadillac Products MRE labeled as 1981. I also recently purchased one on eBay that claimed It was 1981 /1982 (only $14.00 so I grabbed it up) It hasn't arrived yet so we'll see.
Freedom NY inc - 1984? - 1986?
AKA - HT Food Products
Freedom NY Was first awarded a contract in 1983 to manufacture MREs and I'm assuming that they first produced MREs in 1984. Freedom NY subsequently got into a legal dispute with the U.S. gov't involving a breach of contract and failure to deliver on orders between November of 1985 and May of 1986. I do not believe that they produced MREs after 1986 But I am not sure.
Right Away Foods co. (RAFCO) - 1981 - Present
AKA - Wornick Foods
RAFCO Was formed by united fruit in 1960 and subsequently was awarded a MRE Contract in 1979, starting production in 1981. From what I can tell in 1995 they consolidated operations it Cincinnati, Ohio under the Wornick banner that we are all familiar with today.
Southern Package and Storage Co. - 1981 - Present
AKA - SOPAKCO
Southern Package and Storage started producing MREs In 1981. In 1985 they change their name to SOPAKCO and started production a new facility the following years. We can assume that any MRE bearing the Southern Package and Storage Co. was made between 1981 and 1985. Brown bags without the large numbers on the side and bearing the SOPAKCO brand were made between 1986 and 1987.
CinPak and Ameriqual both did not start making MREs until after the time frame I am looking at.
Feel free to add anything you might know on this subject.
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