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Why You Should Steer Clear of All Proprietary Blends

By: Glory Finnegan

Have you ever seen the phrase, "proprietary blend"? It’s one of those word combinations that confuses you, yet makes you think, “Hey, that means it’s exclusive and high-quality, right?"


Today we'll give you a look into why you should avoid proprietary blends at all costs. 

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What is a proprietary blend?

"Proprietary blend" is a term commonly used in health & wellness supplements to label a blend of ingredients which are listed one by one, however, no precise amount of each ingredient is given on the label.

A proprietary blend might be listed as a “blend”, “complex”, “matrix” or “proprietary formula". 

Why would a manufacturer create a proprietary blend?

There are a few reasons why creating a proprietary blend is appealing to manufacturers:

  • There are little to no restrictions put forth by the FDA when it comes to these blends.
  • It keeps recipes secret so competitors can't duplicate custom blended recipes.
  • They know that the phrase "proprietary blend" is commonly misunderstood by consumers and mistaken for higher quality. 
  • Not having to list individual ingredient amounts makes it easier to conceal small doses of active ingredients, making the resulting blend less effective. 

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The proprietary blend loophole in action

Unfortunately, all too often manufacturers see proprietary blends as a giant loophole which allow them to avoid listing percentages on their product ingredients. 

In order to demonstrate how proprietary blend labeling is allowing manufacturers to take advantage of consumers, we'll take a closer look at a turmeric curcumin, one of the best-selling supplements today that is often sold as a proprietary blend.

As most health aficionados know, in order to make a turmeric product absorbable for the human body, black pepper, also known as bioperine, must be added. So, to produce this supplement a manufacturer must purchase four ingredients:

  1. Turmeric: $2 a pound
  2. Ginger: $1.25 a pound
  3. Curcumin: $50 a pound
  4. Bioperine: $250 a pound

As you can see, a high-quality turmeric curcumin could end up being extremely expensive for a manufacturer. So what do they do? Cut corners.

They’ll use 99% turmeric & ginger, 0.005% curcumin and 0.005% bioperine; essentially saving themselves money at the detriment of a supplement that actually works. 

Even worse, it goes completely unnoticed and impossible for customers to spot. 

How can I avoid ineffective proprietary blends?

The best way to avoid purchasing an ineffective proprietary blend is to avoid purchasing one entirely. Proprietary blend supplements crowd the market and take the attention away from products that actually work, giving customers only a small fraction of the potential benefits they could get from a quality-made supplement. 

If there's a proprietary blend supplement that you're set on purchasing, be sure to reach out to the company or brand you intend to purchase from and to ask for more details and percentages. Though this step might take more time, it will save you money - we promise!


Please reach out to us with all of your questions and we'll be happy to speak with you. 

About Glory Finnegan

Glory Rae Finnegan is a freelance content writer with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Psychology. Glory is passionate about human psychology, destigmatizing mental health, animal advocacy, and plant-based living.