CINCINNATI, OH — For over 30 years, Wornick Foods has been producing the Meals-Ready-To-Eat (MRE) that are familiar to troops worldwide. As the years have passed, the meals have changed substantially -- and many troops agree -- they've gotten better.
"I remember my first MRE," says Marine Staff Sergeant Nathan Puckett, "It was Country Captain Chicken. It looked like the assembly line worker puked inside the wrapper and then sealed it."
Some new offerings of MRE's that have been popular with the troops include Chili Macaroni, Beef Brisket, and Chicken Fajita. Despite the success of the latest line of meals, Randy Newbold, Director of Wornick's Military Business Unit, says the company is trying to innovate further.
"We've seen what Hollywood does and what the automakers have done. They look to the past to innovate for the future," says Newbold, "so we're re-releasing some of the troops' favorite old-time meals.
Newbold showed TDB some of the meals chosen as part of their "MRE Throwback Campaign."
"We've received a lot of feedback from our soldiers, sailors, and Marines, and they agreed on quite a few," says Newbold, "to include the Hot Dog meal, Bean Burrito, and Pasta with Alfredo Sauce."
"The four fingers of death?" asks Specialist Alan Engel, "Are they fucking serious? I think I may have to kill wild animals or eat nothing but Ramen on my next deployment."
Newbold also believes that these 'long lost meal-time favorites of the troops' as he puts it, will serve another purpose: Preventing swapping. "We believe the re-issue of these meals will significantly reduce the occurrence the troops call 'rat-fucking the MRE box'. Now they'll always be able to get their favorite."
And he says there's even an added benefit for Wornick Foods. Although its not the main reason, Newbold concedes that the campaign is also part of a broad cost-saving strategy.
"The fact is these meals have been sitting in our inventory for almost 10 years, and they're are taking up shelf space. We actually got a big inventory return when we sent a ton of these meals over to Somalia for goodwill. I guess they are not a big fan of Jamaican Pork, but the troops love 'em!"