Sopakco Sure-Pak Incomplete Review

Reviews of Civilian MREs (Sure-Pak, aPack, etc.) as well as other civilian ready-to-eat food
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AKross
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Sopakco Sure-Pak Incomplete Review

Post by AKross » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:28 pm

About a two weeks ago a friend of mine gave me an MRE to try out (2006 #23: Chicken w/Cavatelli) and I was impressed. I live in a fairly rural area and with winter approaching I decided to prepare for the inevitable power failures and anything else the winter season delivers onto our region with a sledge hammer. I also go camping a number of times each year and it would be nice to lose a pack weight. Clean place in the basement, First Aid, Water, Emergency heat, Blankets, and other assorted items. The only thing left being food. I shopped around and got a great deal on a Sopakco Sure-Pak 12 and it arrived today. So here on my living floor is my first ever MRE case.

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I ordered with heaters. Cold winter, hot meal. Package came with plastic binding around it and was undamaged.

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Just like mom use to make.

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As advertised, 6 menus 2 of each. Hmm... two of these meals don't look like the others.

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Seeing how I liked the Chicken with Cavatelli MRE I decided to test the Chicken menu first. There is a big difference between this and the military MRE I had the first time. First no matches or beverage hot beverage bag, second two there is two main entrees, third there is a difference in the packaging on a few items.

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Now for the hard part. I am pretty sure these Heater bags are meant for only one entree. After a little work I managed to get it to fit.

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End results

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I added up the nutritional information. Jelly is estimated on same serving size as the stuff in my fridge. Salt, Creamer, Sugar packets not included.

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Now this is a little bothersome. One of my menu items is simply called SPAM. Now if I had seen it in the standard MRE pouch I wouldn't have given it a second thought, but it came in the standard SPAM singles package. I am not a SPAM fan, but to make matters worse notice anything important missing? That's right no Flameless Ration Heater. So the menu items are shortbread cookies, spam, wheat snack bread, and fat free Mayo spread. Knife not included, didn't realize it was in the picture till I uploaded it.

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Information on the SPAM Menu Item.


Other Menu Entrees in Case
Meatloaf
Beef Patty
Veg Lasagna
Sloppy Joe

These are the only two I have tried so far, but I think in the future I may try to get Military MREs they looked to be a bit better built. I still don't understand why they don't include matches in a few of these. If three meals out of the whole case had matches I wouldn't complain, but I can see how they would be useful. With these two menu options two a day would only be around 1400 Calories or 2100 Calories for three meals. This is likely enough for me just sitting in my cold basement during a extended outage, but is far lower than the data on other MREs listed on this site.

This has been a novice's trek through his first case of MREs.

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fdsman
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Post by fdsman » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:58 pm

HAH, wow I can't believe Sopackco actually used a commercial Spam Single retort pouch instead of the "Ham Slice" :lol: Seems as of late Sopackco has been using commercial entrees, possibly due to a shortage?
-73

aquarius
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Post by aquarius » Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:19 am

Maybe they contain no matches because it is easier to ship without them (hazardous materials regulations).
"if you don't read the newspaper, you are uniformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed". (Mark Twain)

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Re: Sopakco Sure-Pak Incomplete Review

Post by housil » Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:06 am

AKross wrote:
This has been a novice's trek through his first case of MREs.
Very well done and welcome from Germany to our little family :D

Some other got also some civilan made/sold rations with missing parts.
Due to a current need of 40 mio MREs a year, I guess they are short in supply and will serve military first.

I would "complain" at the seller/manufacturer, ask for some replacment

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Post by bishopmarine » Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:38 am

very nice review. i definitely prefer the military rations over the commercial ones. i do like the apacks though.
"Do not attack the First Marine Division. Leave the yellowlegs alone. Strike the American Army."
Orders given to Communist troops in the Korean War;
shortly afterward, the Marines were ordered
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AKross
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Post by AKross » Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:10 pm

aquarius wrote:Maybe they contain no matches because it is easier to ship without them (hazardous materials regulations).
I don't know. You would think the MRE heaters would be a bigger concern than a standard book of matches. I vote cost cutting. I thought Menu C MREs had matches, but I don't know that for a fact.

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Post by SoFloAuthor » Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:19 am

bishopmarine wrote:very nice review. i definitely prefer the military rations over the commercial ones. i do like the apacks though.
Back when my preparedness guide was published (2006), I had the opportunity to meet with reps from the Big 3. (Ameri-qual, Wornick, Sopacko).....

A-PACK is (IMHO), thee civilian product to have....most calories in a meal, best co$t for the calories you get & the menu has MORE of what people like to eat....
Check out my new preparedness guide: What To Do 'til The Cavalry Comes:
A Family Guide to Preparedness in 21st Century America AVAILABLE NOW at Barnes & Noble, http://search.barnesandnoble.com/bookse ... 1192&itm=1

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AKross
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Post by AKross » Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:33 pm

I emailed the company that sold me this case and it looks like they are dropping the hammer on Sopakco.
Hello,
This email is written to explain the current state of the SOPAKCO SurePak meal packs received and the delays we are experiencing with shipping the SOPAKCO SurePak MRE’s.

The week of 10/6 SOPAKCO packaged 15,000 to 20,000 cases of SurePak MRE’s with and without heaters. They started shipping these meals cases on or about 10/15. [Company Name] received our east coast shipment on Friday 10/17. After shipping out 196 cases of the SurePak with and without heaters we discovered a significant drop in the SurePak standards. The meal packs had three problems. First, they use of more than one “Light” menu. Of all the menus used to pack the SurePak, some are of a lower weight. For example, most of the menus are 8 oz. menus. Some are lower weight. The chicken breast, pork ribs, and hamburger patties are ~3 oz. menus. Occasionally, SOPAKCO will pack one of the six menus set with a light menu. This lot has as few as three menus and as many as four light menus. Second, one of the light menus was SPAM. Yes, Spam. I don’t think I need to go into any great details on the use of Spam as one of the six menus. Thirdly, EACH meal pack had a dessert inserted that only had a SIX month shelf life. This error de-rates the entire meal case. We still have about 100 cases of this product on the east coast and a full ten pallets on the west coast.

SOPAKCO has been working all week on correcting this issue.

For the customers that have already received the product, there are a few options being considered.
1) Ship these customers a custom packed case of two full meals (not Spam) and ten desserts to replace the Spam meals and the lower shelf life desserts.
2) Exchange the case for a normally packed case of SurePak MRE’s. Shipping paid for by SOPAKCO.
3) Cash discount.
4) Full return/refund.

For the customers that have not received the product, there are also a few options being considered.
1) Cash discount for the Spammed / short life cookie SurePak.
2) Wait for normally packed SurePak. This should be in our east coast facility by next week.
3) Cancel the order.

SOPAKCO should have resolution of this issue on Thursday, 10/30/2008. It requires Presidential approval. He will be in on Thursday.

Please call or email if you have questions.

We apologize for the delays,

[Company and Owner Info]

I didn't check when I did the taste test, but it looks like the cookies have a 6 month shelf life. So I have about 6 months to pack these things away. I removed the company name from the quote because it isn't fair to them. They have been helpful and responsive, It is Sopakco that dropped the ball on this one.

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Post by kman » Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:16 pm

Akross, it's up to you, but I'd be interested in knowing which company it was you are dealing with. It sounds like they're trying to make good on your purchase and it's always good to know about those companies.

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AKross
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Re: Sopakco Sure-Pak Incomplete Review

Post by AKross » Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:19 pm

Note: They never delivered and I don't think they will. Sure-Pak is off my list.
Some people are like Slinkies... generally useless, but you can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.

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