Compare multivitamin brands Berocca, Blackmores, Cenovis, Centrum, Elevit, Nature’s Own, Nature’s Way, and Swisse on their effectiveness, taste, ease of consumption, availability, value for money, and overall satisfaction with Canstar Blue’s 2019 review & ratings.
One day humans will be so busy that all our food will come in tiny little pills consumed three times a day. But 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.
Professional opinion will presumably always be divided over whether or not vitamin supplements serve a real purpose, but our latest multivitamins review found that 79% of Aussie consumers who actually take them are convinced they are good for their health (i.e. they feel better for taking them). However, it’s worth saying this number has dropped from 85% in 2018. Meanwhile, 56% of survey respondents said they can notice a difference if they don’t regularly take their supplements.
Is this a placebo effect in action? Whatever the case, Canstar Blue isn’t here to cast any aspersions, but to reflect what consumers are thinking about the multivitamin brands on sale in Australia right now. We’ve surveyed more than 1,400 adults who take multivitamins to find out what they think about the products they buy in regards to the perceived effectiveness (which is largely subjective), taste, ease of consumption, availability, value for money, and their overall satisfaction with the brand.
Eight big brands received the minimum sample size to be included in this review, but for the fourth year in a row, Berocca has rated the best of the bunch. You might not necessarily think of Berocca in quite the same light as some of the other more established multivitamin brands. It’s often used for sore heads after big nights out rather than a regular source of vitamins and minerals, but it seems that Aussies are changing the way they think about Berocca – and what they use it for.
The eight brands in our 2019 multivitamins review were rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:
While it has dominated our ratings over recent years – and even improved on last year’s results across the board – Berocca still has plenty of competition. Elevit and Centrum were Berocca’s closest challengers in 2019, both scoring four stars for overall satisfaction, while Cenovis, Blackmores, Nature’s Own, Swisse and Nature’s Way all scored three stars overall. Cenovis was the only brand to score top marks on value.
Read on as we reveal further findings from our research and answer some of the key questions you should be asking before going out to buy multivitamins.
So, what’s actually in multivitamins? While it will vary from brand to brand, most multivitamins will – not surprisingly – contain multiple vitamins claimed to help ensure that your body is functioning properly. In most cases, multivitamins will include vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B1, B6 and B12, as well as calcium, iodine and zinc. Some multivitamins will also include doses of lesser-known minerals and vitamins, such as chromium, selenium and lutein, with each brand offering the recommended daily intakes (RDIs) on their website and packaging.
There’s plenty to consider when it comes to finding the right brand for your supplement needs, with 86% of survey respondents trying more than one brand of multivitamin and over half of all respondents (54%) taking more than one type of vitamin supplement. And considering that eight out of ten consumers who take multivitamins (82%) expect to be taking them for the foreseeable future, it’s worth comparing your options and finding the right supplements at the right price.
We asked respondents to our survey about their reasons for taking multivitamins, and found:
We also asked respondents to tell us who recommended that they take supplements, and found:
It’s important to consult a doctor or other health professional before radically changing your diet or taking vitamin supplements, but clearly a lot of Australians are not doing so.
Instead of swallowing pills, Berocca gives you 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 new ‘Twist n Go’ options, 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. Readily available at both supermarkets and pharmacies, Berocca’s take on getting your intake of vitamins seems to have gathered plenty of fans.
Elevit claims to be Australia’s No.1 pregnancy multivitamin, with several products targeted at women at all stages of motherhood, including those trying to conceive, those who are pregnant and those who are breastfeeding. Elevit says it offers supplements to help meet the increased nutritional needs of women at all stages, plus those with children, while also providing a supplement targeted at male fertility, claimed to maintain sperm health for couples planning pregnancy. Elevit is usually available at pharmacies around Australia, with the Women’s Multi range additionally available in supermarkets.
Said to fill the nutritional gaps in your diet, Centrum’s range of supplements includes the original ‘Centrum Advance’, plus other special formulas with ingredients targeted towards health for women, men, over 50s and kids, in addition to specialised products to improve eyesight, cardiovascular health, as well as physical and mental energy.
The children’s range includes chewable multivitamins, chewable fish oil capsules and liquid iron mixture, with gummies and chewables for adults also available. A previous winner of Canstar Blue’s multivitamins category, Centrum is available at both pharmacies and supermarkets around Australia.
Cenovis focuses on family health, including children’s multivitamins and a variety of supplements designed for different health needs, including digestive issues, energy and stress, immunity-building and omega 3. With individual ranges for men, women and children, Cenovis offers plenty for households, with chewable tablets, fizzy chews and sprinkles also available for those who are a bit fussy when it comes to taking their medicine, with the full range available at pharmacies around Australia.
Blackmores claims to have combined traditional herbal medicines with the latest research in nutrition to develop its ‘natural health’ products. Founded by naturopath Maurice Blackmore more than 80 years ago, the brand maintains strong ties to naturopathy with a free Naturopathy Advisory Service.
The product range covers many health concerns, such as eye, brain, heart, immune system, digestive, skin and joint health, as well as probiotics, omega 3s, pregnancy, weight management and even superfoods. Its multivitamins range cover men’s, women’s, and children’s health. Its products targeted at kids include multivitamins for teenagers, chewable fish oil, immunity supplements, cough syrup, and infant formula. Blackmores even has a large 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 its very wide 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 much more besides. Nature’s Own also offers omega 3 supplements, men’s health, and women’s health supplements, and a massive range of dietary supplements and herbal products.
The Swisse 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 brings a particularly large number of women’s products, tailored for those aged 50+, 60+ and teenagers, as well as for those with specific health concerns and needs, including pregnancy, iron deficiency, menopause and many more.
There are also a number of men’s and children’s multivitamins on offer from Swisse, with the brand also offering plenty for those who like to keep active on the sports field. Swisse products are available at your local pharmacy or supermarket, with shoppers also able to purchase online via the Swisse website.
Nature’s Way provides a broad spectrum of health supplements, including superfoods, sport and fitness, and weight loss/management products. Claimed to combine both traditional and modern medicines, plus its commitment to innovation, Nature’s Way aims to cater to the vitamin needs of all Australians.
Providing plenty of ways to get your kids to take their vitamins – with supplements coming in the form of drops, milk buttons, chewable capsules, powders, yoghurts and chocolate balls – Nature’s Way also makes baby formula. For adults, it offers herbal and wholefoods mixtures such 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.
When it comes to the health and wellbeing industry, there’s always plenty of debate and research as to whether products can back up their claims. While most vitamin supplements look to simply up your intake of vitamins and minerals without having to add a few extra leafy greens to your meals, some studies (such as this one published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology) state that vitamin supplements have little effect on preventing more serious issues such as cardiovascular disease or strokes. So, if you’re looking to simply cut down on your sick days, multivitamins may be a handy option, while for those looking to avoid more serious conditions, proper nutrition and exercise, plus the advice of your GP, will be a step in the right direction.
If you’re taking some sort of supplements but haven’t received any expert advice, you may not need to. Ultimately, you could be wasting your money. If you do need to take multivitamins and are researching your options, we hope you found this review helpful.
The information in this article is not medical advice, and Canstar Blue is not making a recommendation or giving advice about medications or health related products. Seek the advice of a doctor or pharmacist to find the right medication for you.
Canstar Blue surveyed 3,104 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. 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, 1,444 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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