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The Highs and Lows of Health Supplement Prices

Date: Aug 08, 2014 · Posted in: Labeling and Regulations
The Highs and Lows of Health Supplement Prices
Why All the Different Prices?

Shopping for a health product or supplement is already confusing enough. Price makes it even more difficult. Visit any health food store, online retailer or pharmacy and pick one category. Be it protein powders, multivitamins or fish oils, for example. Look how the price varies between brands. Why is that and what should we choose?

This is not an easy question to answer.

The most important message to get across here is that price is not always a reflection of quality! The most expensive product on a store shelf is not necessarily sourced from the purest, highest quality raw materials. It may very well be, but in some cases the opposite can even be true. Yes, that’s right. Sometimes the least expensive product can be of the highest quality.

How could this possibly be?

It’s based on economies of scale, or also known as operating efficiencies. Think of a brand you see everywhere, in every pharmacy, in every health food store, in most of your friends’ health cabinets. These are companies that produce very large volumes of their product and turn it over quickly to the consumer. They are continuously repurchasing large quantities of raw materials from their suppliers to restock store shelves. With this in mind, they have a lot of negotiating power with their suppliers and they are able to ask for a much lower price for the materials they purchase. This translates to the lowest price on store shelves.

There is another reason why a well-known and mass distributed brand may be the one with higher quality ingredients. They’re under continuous scrutiny by government and health officials! They produce large volumes and they touch so many lives with their product. It’s natural for officials to think, “Ok, if we’re going to inspect anyone it should be them.” As a result, these companies go through great lengths (and have the resources) to implement stringent quality systems and hire third party consultants to frequently monitor their operations and ensure everything is top notch.

When you think of it that way it makes sense, doesn’t it?

But don’t apply this as the golden rule to your everyday shopping. Sometimes the expensive brands are the ones with the highest quality ingredients. They take great care to travel the world to search for the best materials, to inspect farms and manufacturing facilities, to undertake expensive product testing.

The trouble is setting them apart from the rest. How do you do this? Be resourceful. Search for Health Canada and FDA advisories and warnings for particular brand names. Better yet, try to find the name of the manufacturer of a product in small print on your product’s label. A lot of brands contract the manufacturing out to third parties. If you can find a name search for that and see if you can pull up anything fishy or alarming.

Another idea is to follow the company on a social media network. Some companies are posting legitimate pictures, in the field, of the great lengths they go to in order to source the right ingredients and test your product to make sure it’s pure, potent and free of harmful impurities before it is sent out to store shelves.

One final pointer, try out We’ve already done the homework for you. Our products are reviewed to ensure they meet our four staple pillars. Each product must demonstrate to be Pure, Green, Safe and Fair. Happy healthy shopping.