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Kirby Will Be Relieved

Razors Edge

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It's just a "temporary" thing!!!!

In early January, Oregon Freeze Dry, which owns backpacking food maker Mountain House, noticed online sales starting to pick up. Employees weren’t that surprised; they’d seen sales increase during the SARS outbreak in 2002 and during and after natural disasters, like hurricanes. But then, on January 30, after the World Health Organization declared a global emergency, sales spiked again. And last Tuesday, when the CDC told Americans that the coronavirus is a matter of when and not if, things went nuts. 

From February 19 to February 26, there was a 208.6 percent increase in transactions on the Mountain House website, compared to the week before. Year over year, February transactions are up 1,093 percent. “This is different than things that we’ve seen in the past,” says Bruce Bechtel, director of marketing for Oregon Freeze Dry. Perhaps that’s because Americans don’t know what to expect—and so many are expecting the worst. 

As of Wednesday, Costco, which sells packages from Oregon Freeze Dry packaged to provide a year’s worth of food, removed the entire emergency meal category from its website. On Friday, Mountain House had a note on its website saying that it was not taking new orders. So you may be wondering, if this is the apocalypse, can you at least wait out the end times with the comfort of Mountain House’s freeze-dried mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches?

It turns out, it’s all going to be fine. Or, at least, the freeze-dried ice cream will be back soon.   

Bechtel explained the decision to take the company’s website offline this way: “More than anything, it was because the orders were coming in so fast. We were concerned about having our inventory correct because orders were coming from so many different directions.”

People are clearly panicking, which is not good and probably unnecessary. Experts say that having a couple of weeks’ worth of food on hand is probably fine. And if you’re worried  about having something to eat on the Appalachian Trail this summer, Bechtel says not to. 

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