One of the biggest issues with the supplement industry comes down to the huge variations in pricing.
Especially when it comes to protein.
I mean, in all honesty, most whey protein supplements come from similar places.
Yes, some companies get theirs from New Zealand, some from America, and some from here in Australia -- but in the end, the vast majority are made via the same production processes and using the same ingredients.
It is actually for this reason that you see very little variability in the macronutrient content of different whey products -- because they are more similar than they are different.
Which begs the question: why are some supplements so damn expensive?
The Brand Name
One key reason that large companies charge more for their supplements than their smaller counterparts -- and especially for their protein powders -- is because of their specific company name.
Now, just to be clear, I am certainly not saying that larger companies have worse products or anything like that.
But I am saying that they charge more because of who they are, and not what they sell.
Some larger brand name supplement companies have been in this industry since day one. As such, they have built a solid reputation amongst gym goers across the globe, allowing them to charge more for their products.
In this situation you are not only paying for the brand but also for the assurance that you are getting a decent product -- I mean, thousands of reviews from weekend warriors, top tier bodybuilders, and athletes alike, confirm this.
The tradeoff here is that there are plenty of supplement companies that don't charge a premium price because of their brand, and their supplements are just as good -- meaning you could be getting them cheaper.
OK, now this is where things can get a little more shady.
There are a number of supplement companies that spend a heap of money on marketing. They advertise their supplements to the masses, with a specific focus on people who are new to the gym.
In this manner, they attempt to make them feel like they need that supplement.
This, in my opinion, is much worse than increasing prices because of your brand name and reputation.
This is a strategy companies use to pry more money away from people who are not 100% certain as to what they are paying for. In essence, they sell them on unrealistic expectations and a belief that their supplement is going to take their gains to the next level.
Now, this might sound silly coming from a supplement company, but if you think supplements are the key to unlocking your gains, then you are going to be disappointed.
Supplements are intended to be just that -- supplements.
If you think of your training and lifestyle as a cake, then you can think of your training and nutrition as the actual cake batter. These are the things that are going to stimulate growth and provide the nutrients required for progress to occur.
Next up your sleep and stress make up the icing. If you get these in check, there is a genuine possibility that you will improve at a faster rate because, in doing so, you will place your body in a better position to recover between sessions.
And then supplements make up the cherry on top of that cake.
They can definitely help increase the results of your training, but they are going to be completely useless if the rest of the cake is not in place.
So, if you see a supplement company promising the world, they're probably overselling it...
And lastly, we have the packaging.
I may be a little biased here, but I would argue that packaging is the biggest factor that feeds into different protein prices.
Some companies opt to provide their protein powder in these big heavy duty tubs with a screw on lid. Now, obviously these containers are extremely durable, but I kind of wonder what's the point?
I mean, what are you planning to do with it?
Personally, my protein tends to stay in the pantry with the rest of the food I eat. It doesn't get thrown around a whole lot, it doesn't get transported from place to place, and it certainly doesn't need to be in a bulletproof container that costs a lot of money to make.
In all honesty, the best protein packaging is stand up plastic pouches.
Not only are pouches less expensive than heavy duty tubs, but they also use much less material to make. This means that they place less burden on the environment during both the production process, and when they are broken down and disposed.
All of which means more money in your pocket and less weight on your conscience.
Better protein packaging is the key to saving money on your supplements and placing less burden on the environment -- so dont be taken in by fancy packaging and ridiculous brand names.
Keep it simple and remember more often than not the best protein comes in the simplest packages.