Canstar Blue reviews multivitamin brands Berocca, Bioglan, Blackmores, Centrum, Cenovis, Ethical Nutrients, Nature’s Own, Nature’s Way and Swisse, based on their availability, taste, ease of consumption, effectiveness, value for money and overall satisfaction.
* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order.
^ By clicking on a brand or ‘details’ button, you will leave Canstar Blue and be taken to our referral partner to compare. You agree that Canstar Blue’s terms and conditions apply to this referral. If you click on a brand that our referral partner does not cover, you will be taken to a brand page on Canstar Blue. Canstar Blue research finalised in January 2017, published in February 2017.
One day humans will be so busy that all our food will come in tiny little pills consumed three times a day. Until then, we’ll continue to eat our regular meals, and those with a particular vitamin deficiency will look for the nutrients they need through various dietary supplements. It isn’t always easy maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, packed with all the fibres, proteins and minerals we mere mortals need, which is why many of us turn to multivitamins in search of a helping hand.
Medical opinion will presumably always be divided over whether or not vitamin supplements serve a real purpose, but our latest review found that 80% of consumers who take them report feeling better as a result. Is this just a placebo effect? Whatever the case, Canstar Blue aims to shine a light on the multivitamin brands available in Australia with our annual customer ratings.
We asked more than 1,700 adults about the products they buy and how they rate them based on a number of factors, including availability (because some brands are only available through some retailers), taste, ease of consumption (because some pills are hard to swallow), value for money, effectiveness (which is largely subjective) and overall customer satisfaction.
Nine leading brands featured in the star ratings, but for the second year in a row, Berocca rated best of the bunch. You may not associate Berocca as a traditional brand of multivitamin – often reserved for sore heads after big nights out rather than a regular source of vitamins and minerals. But it seems Aussies are changing the way they think about Berocca, and they like what they’re getting.
Berocca rated five stars on availability, taste, and ease of consumption, in addition to its overall five-star review. In other notable results, Cenovis received top marks on value for money, while Ethical Nutrients was the only brand to receive five stars for perceived effectiveness.
Let’s gets an overview of the multivitamin brands in this year’s review and see what they offer Australian consumers.
Instead of swallowing pills, with Berocca you can get your vitamin fix with a drink. Pop a Berocca tablet into a glass of water and it will quickly dissolve to create a flavoured fizzy drink, containing B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium and zinc. The original Berocca Performance supplement now comes in three flavours – orange, berry, and mango and orange. It also comes in fizzy chewable tablets (in orange fresh and berry burst flavours) and traditional film-coated tablets. Berocca Boost tablets add in guarana extract for the caffeine equivalent to a cup of coffee. For a vitamin boost on the go, Berocca has recently rolled out ‘Twist n Go’ which drops the tablet into a bottle of water when you twist the lid. Berocca is also sold in small tubes of 15 in durable packaging for keeping in your bag.
The Cenovis brand focuses on family health, including children’s multivitamins and a wide variety of supplements designed for different health needs. Most of its products are manufactured in Brisbane. The kids’ vitamin range offers multiple ways to get kids to take their vitamins, with chewable tablets, fizzy chews and sprinkles (in either flavourless or chocolate flavour). Cenovis claims to create products not only designed to top-up vitamins, but also to target specific health concerns such as colds, stress, digestion, bones, and energy.
Centrum multivitamins are designed to fill nutritional gaps in one’s diet. The product range includes the original Centrum Advance, plus other special formulas with ingredients targeted towards health for women, men, women over 50, men over 50, kids, eyesight, cardiovascular health, and physical and mental energy. The children’s range includes chewable multivitamins, chewable fish oil capsules, and liquid iron mixture. Centrum also makes adult gummies and chewable VitaMints to make taking vitamins easier.
Ethical Nutrients is the vitamin line of Health World Limited. Its more well-known sibling is probiotic product Inner Health Plus, famous for its marketing using blue cartoon representations of ‘good bacteria’. Ethical Nutrients focuses on targeting particular illnesses, nutritional requirements, and health objectives with its range of supplements. Such products include supplements for arthritis, IBS, immune support, cardiovascular health, stress, and brain health.
Founded in Melbourne, the Swisse brand’s philosophy is described as ‘people, principles and passion before profit’. It produces a broad range of multivitamins, dietary supplements, sports nutrition products, skincare, and ‘functional foods’. The multivitamins range has a particularly large number of women’s products, tailored for those aged 50+, 60+, teenagers, pregnancy, iron boost, menopause, and more specialisations. There are also a number of men’s and children’s multivitamin products.
An Australian-owned brand under the umbrella of the PharmaCare Company, Bioglan offers a wide range of dietary supplements and natural food products. Bioglan produces tailored mixes for health concerns such as immunity, energy, arthritis, respiratory health, digestion, sleep, and brain health, as well as vitamin boosts to address dietary deficiencies. For kids, there are chewable vitamins for eye health, general multivitamins, chewable probiotics and omega 3 capsules. The range further expands into detox products, cold and flu remedies, and even NutriSlim weight loss shakes. Bioglan has a particularly large range of red krill oil products, which are claimed to improve heart and brain health and provide anti-inflammatory relief to joints.
Blackmores claims to combine traditional herbal medicines with the latest research in nutrition to develop its ‘natural health’ products. Founded by naturopath Maurice Blackmore over 80 years ago, the brand maintains strong ties to naturopathy with a free Naturopathy Advisory Service. The product range covers health concerns such as eye, brain, heart, immune system, digestive, skin, and joint health, as well as probiotics, omega 3s, pregnancy, weight management, and superfoods. Multivitamins cover men’s, women’s, and children’s health. Products targeted at kids include multivitamins for teenagers, chewable fish oil, immunity supplements, cough syrup, and infant formula. There’s even a sizable range of pet health products, so every member of the family is covered.
Nature’s Own claims to produce products based on the everyday lifestyle needs of its customers. Across the range are remedies and vitamin boosts designed to assist with colds, immunity and hayfever, digestion, energy, eye health, cardiovascular health, joints, bones and muscles, memory, stress, sleep, and more. Nature’s Own also produces omega 3 supplements, men’s health and women’s health supplements, and a massive range of dietary supplements and herbal products.
Nature’s Way offers a spectrum of health supplements including superfoods, sport and fitness, and weight management products. Combining traditional and modern medicine, plus a commitment to innovation, Nature’s Way claims to cater to the vitamin needs of people at varying ages and lifestyles. It offers many different ways to get your kids to take their vitamins, with supplements coming in the form of drops, milk buttons, chewable capsules, powders, yoghurts, and even chocolate balls. Nature’s Own also makes baby formula. For adults, it offers herbal and wholefoods mixtures as capsules and powders, claimed to address a broad spectrum of health concerns, including arthritis, bone strength, brain health, immunity, digestion, stress, and cardiovascular health.
There are clearly a lot of options to navigate when you’re looking for the best multivitamins for your needs, not to mention the other types of vitamins you’ll see on supermarket or pharmacy shelves. You may find there isn’t a huge difference in ingredients between different brands and certain products, meaning factors like taste and ease of consumption become really important. This is probably why many brands now include ‘gummy’ versions of their products to help make the process of consuming them a little more enjoyable than trying to swallow a huge tablet.
Our survey found that Aussies spend an average of $34 a month on their supplements, which is not an insignificant amount of money. So, why do people take them in the first place?
Whatever your reasons for considering multivitamins, we hope you found this review helpful. If you do plan to purchase and consume any supplements, be sure to consult your doctor first.
This information is not medical advice, and Canstar Blue is not making a recommendation or giving advice about medications or health related products. Always seek the advice of a doctor or pharmacist to find the right medication for you.
Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and consumed multivitamins in the last 12 months – in this case, 1,709 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
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