June 13, 2013


Recently I was contacted by a representative at GoPicnic to review one of their prepackaged collections of Ready to Eat meals for my wonderful readers. They have created five packages specifically to be purchased as Care Packages for deployed servicemembers! The best part is, if you purchase a Care Package to be sent overseas, there is NO shipping cost!

In order to spread the word about this new offer, they contacted me to test out one of their Care Packages and tell y’all about it. I was thrilled by the opportunity and gratefully received one of their Care Packages to try out.


Before long, this package was on my doorstep. Well, sort of. I’m not sure exactly when it arrived. See, my front porch is fairly open and exposed to the street, and my new, well-meaning delivery guy has decided that just placing packages in front of the door isn’t secure, or something, and so he hides them so they won’t get stolen. Which is great, except he doesn’t leave a note telling me where he’s hidden them. Once I didn’t find a package for 2 days after he dropped it off.


I only mention this say that it specifically said on the package to keep in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. And a specific side UP. I can’t really guarantee any of those things happened before I found it, and even so, the product inside was just fine. That’s all just FYI.

Also, note the use of the word “hangry” on the package. Very cute. Already predisposed to liking this thing.


The Care Package contained 12 boxes of individual meals. I requested the Hickory Farms Care Package. They also offer gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and Kosher options! All the meals are 500 calories or less.


You very clearly see what is inside each meal box. (They’re all identical, since they’re all the Hickory Farms package, but if I ever handed one to somebody else, no explanation necessary. I like that. And it’s cute.) There’s also some handy nutritional info on the bottom, telling you the calorie, protein and fiber content of each meal, as well as assurances that there are no artificial colors or flavors.

I flipped the little box around to decide which end to tear open, when I saw this:


Lookie there! JG-proof! No demolition required, and if I needed to eat in stages – such as on a road trip or sneaking snacks at work – very convenient packaging. Also, cute. Again notice the logo proclaiming no trans fats, MSG or high fructose corn syrup.


Each meal contains 5 pieces, including a whole grain, protein, dried fruit and “dessert”-y item. This Hickory Farms meal had seasoned crackers, cheese spread, beef sausage, dried fruit and sweet almonds. Again, cute, convenient packages. SoldierMan wouldn’t care that it was cute, but I think it’s a plus.

And look – a sudoku puzzle in the box to keep you entertained as you nom!


The cuteness! I’m overwhelmed!

The meal box also contained an adorable little cheese spreading “knife”, but really, this is cheese. You just want to dive right in.


We don’t need no stinkin’ knives.

I pretty much inhaled the crackers, cheese and sausage. It was legit Hickory Farms-quality. Then I got to the other items in the package:


Now, hear me out. I’m not the greatest judge of either dried fruit or nuts. Neither of these items are things I have ever developed a taste for. And I’ve tried. Believe me, I’ve tried. I can only eat peanuts, and only when encased in honey or chocolate. Dried fruit? Fuhggeduhboutit. But, to give a fair assessment, I tried them. And, for dried fruit and candied nuts, they were good. I imagine someone who really likes nomming on such things would really enjoy them. They were good quality. But still not my thing. Gimme meat.

Now, I know what you’re (hopefully) thinking – SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! But how much money are we talking here?

First of all, any of the Military Care Packages on their website include free shipping to all APO, DFO and FPO addresses. I want to mention that first because I think that’s really awesome – obviously, it’s not free for GoPicnic to ship anything, but they’re eating the shipping costs for any Care Packages and I think that is noteworthy.

There are 5 variety packages to choose from – Hickory Farms like I reviewed above, Meat Lover’s, Turkey+Cheddar, Best Selling variety, and Gluten Free. And there are vegan, vegetarian and Kosher options also available. Each Care Package comes with 12 individual meal boxes with a protein, whole grain, fruit and sweet thing. And all under 500 calories a box.

Regardless of which Care Package you choose, the cost of each package is $49.99. You math whizzes have already figured out that comes out to about $4 and a quarter a meal, which ain’t bad. When I have sent care packages to SoldierMan this deployment, I guarantee I spent more than $50 per package, especially when you take into account shipping and shipping supplies. (Did you know USPS raised their prices this year? Yeah, the box is free, but it’s almost $20 a pop to send it now! Just to SEND it!) If I had known about this product earlier, I absolutely would have sent one of these to SoldierMan. I think I still have time to get one in to him, and I think I will.

And, truth be told, when I was working, I would have LOVED having a store of meals like this. The nature of the job was such that if I ate, I ate at my desk, and this would have been super convenient for that. So I can even see ordering their products for home use. Much simpler than trying to figure out a healthy, simple, transportable lunch to take to work. And it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, which is a huge bonus.

So, final analysis:
Tasty food - check
Good variety - check
Brand-name quality - check
Easy to send - check
Easy to store - check
Easy to eat - check
Good value (in my opinion) – check

I also want to mention that dealing with GoPicnic’s representatives has been a very pleasant experience. They were very patient with me being slow to get back in touch with them after I went on vacation, and also very quick in answering my many questions. I have full confidence in their customer service if any of you wanted to contact them with your own questions.

AND – if you would like to purchase one of these Care Packages, GoPicnic is offering my readers 10% off any Care Package with promo code PR10. Pretty cool, huh?

So, now that we’ve covered all that, time for the fun part! Who wants to win a Care Package??? GoPicnic is letting me give away 1 Care Package to one of my readers! And you can either have it shipped to your house to try out yourself, OR if you’d like to win a Care Package on behalf of a deployed servemember and have your prize shipped overseas, they will do that, too!

Use the rafflecopter below to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I found these at our local Target a few months back and took them on our flight to Rome. They were awesome for travel!

    Having said that, our local Target did not have the Hickory Farms boxes, I didn't even know these exsisted! I'm with you...Hickory Farms all the way.

  2. Okay, these are pretty sweet. Depending on if there's soy or not is which one I'd get. I'd probably get the variety pack, but I'd send the Meat Lover's to my husband.

  3. This is really cool!

    I think I'd like to get one for myself on those "I have no idea what to have for lunch" days. That happens a lot around here, and with my lack of creativity I end up having the same thing(s) a lot. SO, that said I think I'd like to try either the Meat Lover's or Best Selling care pack. And if Joe was deployed, you can bet your boots (or his =P) I'd be sending him one!

  4. These would be so awesome for my husband who often skips lunch. I could stick some in his desk and he'd have something to eat. I love stuff like this! Also love all the options.

  5. Oooh, I'd want to try out the Hummus & Crackers kind.

  6. What a fantastic idea! And way to go, GoPicnic for offering free shipping to our guys and girls downrange! I will be sending my hubby the meat lovers variety very soon!!!

  7. Oh man, these are so cool! I love hickory farms!

  8. How cool!! I've never heard of these before.

  9. If I win I'd hold out a bit and send it to my hubby overseas! I'd get him the meat lovers one because he becomes obsessed with working out and protein etc when deployed... so I know he would love it!

  10. These are awesome! I think they would great for an upcoming cross country drive I'll be taking with my mom.

    I'd love to try the Best Selling pack, as there is a variety. I like to have choices!

  11. Pretty cool! I think the Turkey & Cheese one sounds the best, since I'm like you and don't care for dried fruit. lol

  12. Oh myy! This looks absolutely wonderful. I did a whole lotta stalking and Gold Star Three-Bean Dip & Rice Chips box looks PERFECT. Everything on the list makes my mouth water. These are such a great idea! Wish I had known about this when Hubs was deployed.

  13. I would definitely want to try the turkey and cheddar!!

  14. I would try Turkey Slices + Cheddar Care Package

  15. The Hickory Farms package looks delicious.

    I have a question though. Did it fill you up? I'm sure it's as delicious as you say, and I love dried fruit and nuts, but I'm just wondering if it could substitute a lunch on the go or something...


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