Update: As of January 2021, I am no longer with Thrive Life. Unfortunately, they made some changes which made it no longer worthwhile for me. I still love their products and feel like they are the most high quality freeze-dried foods you will find, but I simply cannot justify the cost.
So, I’ve mentioned – okay, maybe gushed a little bit about Thrive Life over the last few months, but in case you missed it, let me recap.
Thrive life (NOT to be confused with Thrive Market) is a food company that sells freeze-dried groceries through multi-level marketing.
How’s that for the world’s shortest recap?
If you know me, you know I fell in love them, because they helped my kids switch to eating healthy snacks – we’re talking straight up vegetables! – and their dried fruit took the place of dessert for my kids during our recent Whole30.
But dried fruits and vegetables are only a very small part of Thrive Life. There’s also meat, dairy, and grains to think about – and don’t forget the business opportunity!
They say that you shouldn’t get into a network marketing company unless you 100% unreservedly love everything about them.
Well, I’m in Thrive life, and there are a few things I don’t adore. But we’ll get to that!
An Honest Look At Thrive Life
I ordered my first box of Thrive because two friends kept telling me I would love it. We all live in different parts of the state, so I didn’t actually get to taste what they were selling, but for some reason, decided to try it anyway.
The only thing was, I was totally confused about how the whole Thrive Life thing worked, and ended up ordering a consultant kit instead of just ordering food as a customer (my confusion came from Young Living being the only other multi-level marketing business I’d worked with, because every wholesale member with them is also a distributor).
It turned out to be a happy mistake though, because I loved them, and realized right away that this source of fast, healthy food was something I wanted to tell other busy moms about.
Hands down, the question I get most often is “do they have organic?” and the answer is yes. They have a few things that are certified organic, but it’s a little bit more complicated than that.
See getting a farm certified as organic is a lengthy and expensive process. You can grow your fruits and veggies by organic means all day long, but since the USDA owns the organic label, you can’t all them as organic unless you go through that long and expensive process.
So the next time you buy organic veggies at the grocery store, and you start to pat yourself on the back for paying “the real price of food” remind yourself that you’re actually paying the real price of bureaucracy.
Here’s what their website has to say about their pesticide levels:
“Our foods are fully cleaned and tested before they are packaged to ensure there are no foreign particles or contaminates. Those that are not certified organic may have been produced with fertilizers and pesticides: however, products are tested for pesticides and must fall below the EPS’s required levels. Often, our products test negative for any trace of pesticides.”
Basically, that’s as close as they can legally come to saying, yeah, we don’t use pesticides, but not all of our fields have been certified (Yet. And do I really want the price of their food to go up so they can all get certified? Not really).
It’s no secret that I’m no fan of the Organic label. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of organic produce, but I don’t trust that just because someone wears a USDA label means that they’re above board.
Coming from a farming background, I’ve seen too many rascals bend the rules a little too far. I’d much rather get to know where my produce came from, and learn their farming methods from the source.
When I go to a farmer’s market, I ask detailed questions about growing methods, because some of those farmers will tell you their produce is organic, and when you dig a little deeper, they feel justified in calling it organic, simply because all produce is made of organic matter. On the other hand, there are other farmers who make no claims, but when you do a little digging, you’ll find that they’re 100% organic. So yeah. I’ll try to stop ranting now.
Back to Thrive Life’s food quality.
As you may have guessed, It is nothing short of exemplary. All their produce is flash frozen within 12-24 hours of harvesting, which locks in the nutrients right at their peak ripeness – something you don’t get at the grocery store!
That peak ripeness factor also leads to peak flavor, and that I can totally vouch for! You know how fresh blueberries kind of taste like water in the winter? I’m still a sucker for blueberries and buy them anyway, even if they’re waaaay out of season. But this past winter, I bought my first can of Thrive Life freeze-dried blueberries.
Of course these blueberries were freeze-dried during the summer at then peak of their season.
Talk about blow-me-away flavor! Those blueberries I’d been picking up from the store didn’t even come close!
However, I’ll be the first to tell you that we haven’t loved all of their products.
Particularly, we don’t care for the bananas. I know a lot of people like them, and I suspect that they’re the people who eat greenish bananas. I like my bananas very ripe though, and these definitely tasted green to me, and I’m really glad that I only got a small sample packet because none of us liked them.
The chicken is made of all white meat, and in the entire cans that I’ve used, I haven’t found a single bit of gristle. It’s all good, chopped chicken that soaks up water in 5-10 minutes and tastes like it just came off the bird (sorry for THAT grizzly image you’re now stuck with).
The beef is sourced from the United sates, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Uruguay. I know it gets a lot of hackles raised when we North Americans start talking about buying beef from other countries, but it’s a well-known fact that growing practices in Australia, New Zealand, and Uruguay are much healthier than here in the US, and that makes me incredibly happy to buy beef that’s already cooked, and drained for me!
All of the fruits and vegetables, meats and cheese we’ve bought have been top quality goodness, with flavors on point and no waste.
As you can tell, I’m a HUGE fan of Thrive’s single ingredient products, because here’s the thing: they really are single ingredient. The can of chicken contains chicken. The strawberries contain strawberries. The kale, kale (and now I feel like Willy Wonka “The snozzberreis taste like snozzberries!”).
They are flash frozen, dried, and thrown into a can with an oxygen absorber. No need for preservatives. End. Of. Story.
Then of course you have other foods like Express meals yogurt bites, baking mixes, and mixed fruit snackies.
This is where I’m going to have to admit that I haven’t even really looked at baking mixes. We’re a gluten-free family (and mostly grain-free for that matter!) so baking mixes don’t make it onto my radar very often. Same goes for express meals.
The grains, meats, and vegetables in these mixes and meals are excellent quality, and non-GMO, but I recommend reading the product labels carefully before you buy them, looking for possible allergens such as soy products, and natural flavors.
There are a lot of things that come in snackies bags for convenience, but there are three things that come only in snackies bags (much to my disappointment – I want a #10 can of beet fruit crisps dadgummit!)
These are Beet Fruit Crisps, Carrot Fruit Crisps, and Spinach Fruit Crisps. If you have a hard time getting your kids to eat beets or spinach, then this is the answer you’ve been looking for!
The beet fruit crisps taste like a mixture of peaches and apples to me – and that’s exactly what’s anthem – Peach Puree Concentrate, Apple Puree Concentrate, Blueberry Juice Concentrate, Red Beet Juice Concentrate, Blueberry.
The spinach fruit snackies contain apple, orange, banana, and spinach, while the carrot fruit snackies contain peach, strawberries, apple juice, carrot juice, and black carrot juice.
This is where I get a little miffed – and unpopular with my fellow Thrive Life enthusiasts. I’m not a huge fan of yogurt bites.
I mean they are GOOD, but one look at the ingredient label, and you’ll know why.
Sugar is first – before the yogurt. Then after the yogurt is usually a concentrated fruit juice (depending on the flavor), tapioca starch, flavor (what is that even?), and riboflavin.
I get that drying yogurt isn’t the same as drying fruit, but let’s call it what it is: candy.
And for us, we treat it as such, with the occasional pantry-sized can of yogurt bites serving as a delicious, sugary treat every now and again.
Sure, I have quite a stack of snackie packs full of yogurt that you’ll probably see in pictures and videos if you hang around here, but just between you an me, I keep those on hand for samples and party door prizes.
What About The Cost?
So now that we’ve talked about the products themselves, what about cost-effectiveness?
It often confuses people that I would be using and recommending something so seemingly expensive.
That’s where this whole multi-level marketing thing comes in. It’s as confusing as heck, and took me a while to figure out, so I totally understand the head scratching.
The first thing is, since it’s all peeled, seeded, chopped, and etc. there is literally no waste. NONE.
The second thing is that freeze-dried food is very light. This may seem obvious, but I actually had someone yell at me for selling a 1.8 pound can of chicken for $45 – once you add the water back to it, it’s 8-10 pounds – still not cheap, right? But like I said, It’s confusing as heck.
As a consultant, I earn back 10% of everything I order, which brings that $45 price tag down to $40.50.
Then I attach it to a party, so that I earn another 10% back in free product, bringing the price down to $37.
And if the party is big enough (sold a certain dollar amount), I also earn half off product with it. (You can see why being a consultant is a.w.e.s.o.m.e.)
Not to mention, I wasn’t the only person to buy under that party I hosted, so I earned 10% and half off back on everything they ordered, which likely made my whole order free.
Told you it was confusing.
Then of course, not everyone is a consultant. How do they save money?
Why, host a party of course! An in-person party, where the hostess invites a bunch of friends over to her house, and her consultant brings Thrive Life food for them to taste, and talks about Thrive Life.
Or a Facebook party, where we create an event on Facebook, and do a whole bunch of posts getting your friends as excited about the products as we are! Bonus points if you have been able to let your friends sample Thrive food before or during the event.
Of course the consultant has to explain this whole confusing thing called “The Q” which is basically a monthly subscription to a certain amount of Thrive Life products each month.
She’ll recommend starting with at least a $100 Q, with a 3 month commitment so that you can be a free lifetime member of the Q Club, earning points back toward free products, and getting the monthly “Qpons” (coupons and deals).
Hopefully the consultant can explain the whole thing clearly enough that people understand (maybe I’m showing my insecurity here 😉 ), and someone joins the Q from that party.
Great! The hostess then received 10% of that spend back in free product. $100x 3 months equals $300 x 10% = $30.
If two people signed up with that amount, she’d get $60 in free product, and because her party is now over $500, she’d get $60 at half off.
Of course, she probably signed up on the Q from another party (or a blog post like this one, and the hostess from that party got those benefits from her sign up, right? Right. But so does she. It’s called “double dipping” Where if you get on the Q, and book your party from that party, you get to add the spend from your Q at her party, to your party as well. (anyone who gets on the Q under me gets attached to a party so he or she can double dip) So if you set up a $100 Q, you’d immediately be entitled to $30 in free product.
I told you this is confusing.
Since I live in Texas, and reach a lot of people all over the United states, I end up doing a lot of Facebook parties for my Q customers. It’s great fun, non-invasive, and you don’t even have to clean your house for it! We give away prizes, and generally just have fun. On your end, you need to already have some products to try (likely your first Q order), so you can give your honest opinion, and ideally, let your friends try them, as well as be available for the party.
As a consultant, and a person who adores Thrive Life’s products, I hate how confusing this is. I mean, I love how it can end up making Thrive products – the ultimate healthy convenience food – super affordable, but I hate how complicated it is.
And the website also isn’t easy to navigate. But that’s JMHO.
Do I recommend Thrive Life to all my friends? Yes!
Would I recommend Thrive Life to you? Absolutely!
If there’s ever a time when you’re tempted to get takeout, or when you settle for fast-food burgers, because you’re busy, but feel guilty because you know how bad they are for you and your kids, then YES, Thrive Life will save you time, money, and stress.
We’re going on a long camping road trip in a few weeks. Wanna know what I’m taking with me? Thrive Life. Our the choices include 1. brining a cooler, which we don’t have room in the car for (it’s camping + firearms conference trip, so suffice to say, that trunk will be packed!) and then buy bag after bag after bag of ice, or 2. eat out.
Guess which one is cheaper, healthier, and easier? Yeah, Thrive Life.
Just add water baby!
Oh my goodness, this got long ya’ll, and I don’t even think I covered everything, but it goes without saying that I would LOVE to have you on my team!
I’m all about empowering women to save money, and make money, and for that, I’m always available to email, Facebook, or phone chats with Q customers and consultants.
We also have two private Facebook groups just for our little branch of Thrive Life – one for Customers where we share recipes, tips, and ideas, and one for consultants (so we don’t clutter up the customer groups with (do you have a picture of…? requests ;)).
Any questions? just shoot me an email, or leave a comment below this post and I’ll get back to you!
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