Proprietary blends in supplements have become increasingly popular in the health and wellness industry. These blends are marketed as a unique combination of ingredients that offer specific health benefits. Like everything, there are pros and cons of proprietary blend supplements both as an industry practice and for consumption.
Transparency & Proprietary blends
One of the main objections for proprietary blends is the lack of transparency. Manufacturers are not required to disclose the exact amounts of each ingredient in the blend, making it difficult for consumers to know what they are ingesting. This lack of transparency raises concerns about the safety and effectiveness of the supplement, as consumers cannot assess whether the ingredients are present in sufficient quantities to have the desired effect.
The other side:
On the flip side, this practice makes a lot of sense, especially when it comes to ingredient protection. A core benefit is protecting the exact quantities and unique formulations of ingredients from the competition. If rivals cannot precisely replicate a blend, it adds a barrier to their development of a similar product, like we saw with 110% pre.
Proprietary blends and Mystery Ingredient Amount
Secondly, proprietary blends often claim to offer a wide range of benefits, such as promoting weight loss or boosting energy levels. However, without knowing the exact amounts of each ingredient, consumers cannot determine the potential side effects or interactions with other medications. This lack of information can be dangerous, especially for individuals with pre-existing health conditions or on multiple medications.
The other side:
It’s not just a big question mark over the supplement you are taking. A proprietary blend supplement does list the ingredients, but they do not typically disclose the exact amounts of each ingredient.
This means that a supplement label will mention all the elements that are included in the proprietary blend, but instead of specifying individual quantities, the total combined weight of all ingredients in the proprietary blend is provided.
A lot of people don’t realize that the ingredients within a proprietary blend are often listed in descending order of weight, meaning that the first ingredient listed makes up the largest portion of the blend, whereas the last ingredient listed makes up the smallest portion.
All in all though for most of these ingredients, other than something like caffeine, we don’t really need to know because we don’t have studies that show the number that is the ideal amount for us to take.
Along with this, many consider simplified consumption to be a pro. Rather than taking multiple individual supplements, and trying to figure out how much of something you should be uniquely taking, proprietary blends often combine several ingredients into a single product, making it easier and more convenient for consumers to incorporate them into their routine.
Marketing Strategy or Better Product?
Thirdly, proprietary blends can be used as a marketing strategy to create a sense of exclusivity and uniqueness. This can make consumers believe that they are purchasing a superior product, when in reality, the blend may consist of common ingredients found in other supplements. The inflated price of proprietary blends can further exploit consumers' desire for a quick fix or a magic pill.
On the other side some manufacturers argue that proprietary blends allow them to use specific ingredient ratios that optimize absorption and bioavailability, increasing effectiveness.
There can be benefits to proprietary blend supplements, however the lack of transparency and potential risks associated with undisclosed ingredients make it important for consumers to research and choose reputable brands that they trust.