About Us

We believe in pushing the limits, just like our customers.

Since 2012 from our factory in Nelson, New Zealand we’ve been on a quest to make the tastiest freeze dried meals in the world. We merge cutting edge food science, intense outdoor testing and innovative ingredients to create freeze dried meals that perform anywhere and always taste amazing.

“Absolute Wilderness has done something few outdoors food companies have: made great tasting pre-packaged food that you actually look forward to eating.” – Wilderness Magazine 2015

We use ingredients like Marlborough saffron, Heilala Vanilla and Sauvignon Blanc wine to create meals so good you’ll want to eat them at home. We don’t just test the meals ourselves though, we work with some of the worlds leading outdoor athletes and enthusiasts to fine tune our meals. That is why they’ve been enjoyed from the top of the French Alps to the deepest cave systems in New Zealand and everywhere in-between.

Our user centric approach to product design has not only led to tastier meals, it has also helped us create a whole bunch of innovative design features. All our meals are 100% freeze dried, this makes them ultra light-weight and it means that they rehydrate really really fast. We are also the only company in the world that completely vacuum packs all of our meals. Although it may seem like a small detail, we found that customers weren’t just after super light weight meals, they were also looking to save valuable space in their backpacks.

“Its one of those lights at the end of the day, its delicious” - Kieran Mckay (world renowned caver).

At the core of Absolute Wilderness is Dr Grant MacDonald, Andrew MacDonald and Nathan Fa’avae. Grant is an award winning food scientist and dedicated mountain biker, fly fishermen and orienteerer. Andrew is a well known entrepreneur with a degree in business design and a passion for food and the outdoors. Nathan is a world champion adventure racer and event organiser with over 15 years experience in the outdoor education and adventure tourism industry.

Originally started as an idea on a trip into the Kahurangi Wilderness Area in early April 2012 . Grant and Andrew realised that there was a distinct lack of tasty freeze dried meals available in New Zealand. Together they set about cooking, testing and refining the meals until they had created a small range of meals. As one of their first customers Nathan was quick to pick up on the value of having lightweight meals that actually tasted like real food. It didn’t take long for him to join as a partner in the business.

Why Freeze Drying?

We use freeze drying because its able to preserve the natural flavours, nutrients and shape of the food. The end product is super light weight, packed full of flavour and quick to rehydrate. Freeze drying is able to get moisture levels down four to five times lower than dehydrated food.


our team