RecPak: Complete Liquid Meals Packed with Nutrition and Purpose

Ali Becker


During his time as a military officer, Deed Ziegler led his team through harsh, rugged and remote environments in which each individual had to carry the gear, military rations, and snacks they would need to survive out there for days on end.

It was in these extreme conditions that Deed realized that a lightweight, portable food that provided complete nutrition for anyone on the move would be incredibly beneficial, not only for his team, but for anyone else doing demanding activities outdoors.

This idea led to the formulation of RecPak - a calorically dense, nutrient rich liquid meal that comes packaged in powder form in a flexible, durable, and resealable soft pouch to which you simply add water, knead and drink down as needed.

“We very deliberately chose a powder that the user adds water to for a number of reasons,” explains Joy Seward, Deed’s partner and RecPak’s co-founder, “First, as a powder, weight and space are saved while packing in a lot of nutrition. Second, in liquid form, nutrition is absorbed more quickly and easily.”


 RecPak Co-Founders Deed and Joy

RecPak has an incredible caloric density to weight ratio as each meal contains a whopping 700, well-balanced calories and comes in three delicious flavors choices - Vanilla Chai, Coffee, and Chocolate - while barely tipping the scales at 6.6 ounces when dry.

“Every part of the formulation - from the macro nutritional balance to the vitamin and mineral composition - was designed for endurance activities by a couple of top endurance sports dieticians,” explains Joy, “it was also designed for digestive tolerance, so it’s a great way to get 700 calories without feeling weighed down or bloated.”

After spending a few years on product development, working with sports dieticians to design the nutritional formulation and the custom packaging and getting input from ultra endurance athletes, military special ops personnel and mountaineers, Deed and Joy felt that RecPak was ready.

“We ran a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2021 and launched the brand one year later in October of 2022,” says Joy, who met Deed in Alaska when she was teaching him a mountaineering course. “The team is me, Deed, and a marketing expert, so we’re new, small, and scrappy! For technical expertise, we have a top food scientist and a packaging engineer that provide guidance and testing as needed.”


The meals go through a two stage production process in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The second location is needed because it’s a manufacturing challenge to get the powder through the top spout. Fortunately, they have a packaging partner that can handle the task.

But packaging up their powder formula hasn’t been the only challenge that Joy and Deed have faced while starting up their small business. 

“Most of the time when you have a job, you’re a specialist of some kind and you don’t need to worry about anything other than your role,” explains Joy. “As a business owner, it’s just you. All of the decisions that need to be made, all of the tasks that come from those decisions, it’s all on your shoulders.”

“Even when you have employees and can pass on those tasks, at the end of the day, the buck stops with you. That’s an enormous responsibility, and it can often feel lonely and confusing. You just need to accept that mistakes are inevitable and to keep learning and growing.”

Trials and tribulations aside, Joy and Deed have been so moved by the feedback they’ve received from the people whose journeys they have supported through the creation of RecPak, like climbers summiting Mount Everest, the first Black female team climbing Kilimanjaro, and explorers venturing to the South Pole and everything in between.



“We know how important proper nutrition is,” says Joy, “When we attend trade shows and hear people’s reactions, saying this is the product they’ve been waiting for, it feels like an affirmation that we’re contributing something valuable - truly fueling people’ s adventures.”

RecPak’s contribution continues well beyond selling their liquid meals. As a mission driven team, Deed and Joy are dedicated to giving back through supporting 1% For The Planet, and donating RecPaks to a number of outdoor veteran organizations, as well as to refugees and first responders in Ukraine.

With so much on the go, it’s hard to believe the dynamic duo has any spare time, but Joy also works as an educator for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), leading students on extended wilderness expeditions and teaching technical outdoor skills like mountaineering, course packing, and backcountry skiing. She’s also training to become an avalanche forecaster and an AIARE (avalanche) instructor.

Deed still has a day job to keep the lights on while they grow RecPak. When outdoors, he loves skiing, mountain biking, and trail running; and when indoors he can be found reading, trying to oil paint, and composting. He loves talking to other entrepreneurs or folks interested in it.


[Photo: Ben Kitching]

As for the long term vision for RecPak? 

“Our vision is for RecPak to be the go to fuel of choice for outdoor adventurers who need to complete nutrition on the move,” says Joy, “One product can’t satisfy everyone, but we tried to make it as functional as possible for those we thought needed it the most.”

The duo plans to continue innovating their products and developing a plant based version and more custom formulations based on different outdoor activities.

“We want to grow but continue to be a brand that stays grounded and humble. Whether you’re a wildland firefighter or an ultrarunner, we want to continue to build our community of folks who are passionate about the brand in an authentic, organic way.”

For RecPak, the future's looking bright, bold, and fluid.


Ali Becker is a freelance writer and adventure storyteller who spends half the year backpacking and bikepacking and the other half sleeping in strangers' beds as a professional house sitter. She and her partner, Mathieu, share their ups and downs on their IG channel at @trip.longer and hope to inspire others to get outside, adventure in nature and find their own freedom. You can learn more about them here:



RecPak Meals
RecPak Meals



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