The collection includes 600 cans of food to get your family through the first year of the apocalypse (should it ever come)
Updated: March 12, 2018
It’s the end of the world as they know it — and the doomsday preparation industry is doing fine.
Costco is the latest retailer to get in on the doomsday prep business, selling a $5,999.99 Nutristore 1-Year Premium Food Kit for all those hungry for a sense of security in the event of a catastrophe.
The pallet contains 600 cans of food that can feed four people a well-rounded 2,000-calorie-per day diet for 12 months, including carbs like rotini pasta, proteins like black beans, beef and chicken, as well as fruits including apples and bananas, and freeze-dried veggies like broccoli and green beans.
There are also slightly less expensive alternatives, including a $4,699.99 collection of 220 cans of food (for a 1,986 calorie-per-day diet); or a $3,999.99 collection of 378 cans (also good for four people for a year).
For context, “doomsday preppers” — a subculture of people who prepare for the apocalypse — stock up on food, survival gear, and even the construction of secure facilities to endure a potential cataclysmic disaster like a nuclear attack. Sales of such merchandise typically spike in concurrence with scary world events, Doomsday prep retailers say.
The owner of NukePills.com told BuzzFeed News in January how President Trump’s “my button is bigger than your button” tweet was a catalyst for upping the sale of radiation protection kits tenfold over a normal day.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
Previously, merchants told Moneyish their business was skyrocketing over threats traded between the US and North Korea last summer.
“[Kim Jong Un] has managed to spike our business unbelievably,” said Keith Hillen, owner of doomsday equipment store Prep and Save in California. “We’ve had the largest days we’ve ever had. Our business [has seen] between a 200% and 400% increase.”
Preppers see threats of nuclear war as a reason to stock up on products like 72-hour survival kits, food and water, and weaponry — such as this $24.99 throwing axe.
At the moment, Hillen’s best sellers are gas masks ($40), iodine pills ($15.99), and Geiger counters to measure radioactivity in an area ($200 and up).
Hillen says “upper class” consumers — “doctors, lawyers, architects” — make up much of his customer base, adding that “the other big group is military… because they know what’s going on out there.” Sales are up “every time there is a fire, flood, earthquake, or any type of terrorist or nuclear attack.”
Preppers shell out impressive cash in the name of survival. One prepper, Bob McDevitt of Reno, Nv., told Moneyish that he’s spent between $150,000 and $200,000 stocking up on supplies, including two years’ worth of medical equipment, food, and water. He now lives full-time in an RV.
For McDevitt, prepping is far more about practicality than panic. “Preparedness gives us a fall-back and peace of mind, similar to having a smoke alarm in your house when you go to bed,” he said, adding that, “We don’t believe in doomsday. No one I know does.”
Doomsday preppers aren’t as rare as you might imagine. “Estimates [say that] between 20 to 35 percent of Americans think that we can have either a nuclear war or something religious will happen that will mean the end of the world,” said Dr. Matthew Lorber, a clinical psychiatrist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.
“[Preppers] develop a sense of community and support each other,” Lorber added. “There’s a feeling of safety and companionship when you get groups of these people who start talking about this and they check with each other to make sure they’re not forgetting materials.”
This story was originally published on August 17th, 2017, and has since been updated.
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