Our Story: Truth about buying supplements in India

Buying supplements today is easy. Google ‘buy protein,’ and you will get 57 million search results and plenty of sponsored advertisements to help you decide what to buy and where to buy from. Protein industry in India is booming, and rightly so. People want to stay fit, and supplements have become an integral part of this mission. Some time ago supplements weren’t easily accessible to the masses due to their high price tag. This is no longer true; staying fit is no longer a luxury. Protein offerings begin at a few hundred rupees and go up to several thousand. From an economic standpoint, this is great: supply meets demand. There is, however, a big problem in this industry. Majority of this supply is low quality and adulterated.

We recently visited Bhagirath Palace in New Delhi, one of Asia’s biggest pharmaceuticals markets. We posed as customers and started inquiring about protein supplements. We were shocked to see that products that usually retailed at Rs. 4000 were being sold at around Rs. 1000. Such low prices would alarm any buyer yet customers were purchasing in bulk. These customers do not only end users, but also wholesalers and retailers. On inquiring about the quality and authenticity of the products, the shopkeeper would demonstrate how the product is sealed, and tell you about the feedback they have received from repeat customers. Repeat customers wouldn’t buy a low-quality product, would they? After this conversation, we were a bit puzzled. The prices were undoubtedly alarming, but the shopkeeper had repeat customers. Wouldn’t the customer know the product is low quality after the first use? To answer this question, we decided to introduce ourselves as a protein manufacturer looking to set up a distribution channel. After meeting a few people, we ended up with a shopkeeper who asked us if we could supply flavoured protein packed in sacks. On inquiring what he would do with it, he replied saying he would fill the protein in empty branded jars he had procured from gyms. He would then add a few steroids, seal them, and sell them to customers as genuine branded products. This left us in disbelief; the audacity of this shopkeeper was appalling. Adding steroids would of-course yield results but not the kind of results end users would like. Buyers hence get their desired results and voila repeat orders. It is to be noted that Bhagirath is just one of the many such market places that exist in our country. Furthermore, these market places are vital to the supply of protein across the country. Wholesalers and retailers from all over the country procure their stock from markets like Bhagirath. You might be purchasing an adulterated product from your next door store, and you wouldn’t even know it. Now of course not everyone in Bhagirath deals in adulterated products, but the fact that there is a possibility that you could be consuming adulterated supplements is scary.

As per a joint report by ASSOCHAM and RNCOS, 60-70 per cent of dietary supplements sold in India is either “fake, counterfeit, unregistered and unapproved.” Furthermore, our research found that of the remaining products, there was only a handful that was high-quality supplements. These supplements were imported and they bore a high price tag that made them unaffordable to the common athlete.

Tired of these low quality adulterated supplements and high-quality expensive alternatives, we found Muscle Essentials and set out to provide high-quality supplements at affordable prices. Why affordable prices? Supplements should not be a luxury item. The fact that it is usually expensive and hence a luxury is a problem in a nation with people from diverse economic backgrounds wanting to stay fit. The high price tag drives the customer to purchase pocket-friendly supplements which are usually adulterated and low quality.

At Muscle Essentials, we import the best quality ingredients from across the globe and package them right here in India. Our protein, for example, is sourced from USA where advancements in technology have allowed for manufacturing of the highest quality protein. Our choice of ingredients also sets us apart. Our protein, for instance, is sourced from 100% cross flow filtered whey, unlike other brands that use ion exchange whey. Cross flow filtered whey is considered to be the purest form of whey as its manufacturing is free of chemicals. Likewise, all our ingredients are sourced after careful deliberation to offer you the best quality supplements. By importing protein and other ingredients in their raw state instead of finished products, we save on shipping and customs costs. We pass on the benefits of these savings to our end user thereby ensuring affordable prices.

Once procurement is done, all the ingredients are processed at a FSSAI approved facility here in India. The facility has a state of the art testing laboratory and a strong team of government approved chemists and quality assurance personnel. The facility has systems in place that allow us to deliver the same taste and quality in each batch. Prior to manufacturing, each ingredient is rigourously tested at our in house laboratory. Once the product is ready, the product is tested both in house and at a third party government approved laboratory. We take quality very seriously and hence leave no room for error.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *