Introducing: Supplement Product Similarity Index

Supplement products, such as pre-workouts, sleep aids, or immunity boosters, are simply a collection of ingredients such as creatine, vitamins, amino acids, and minerals. These ingredients make a product what it is. What’s the difference between two products made up of the same ingredients when one costs double the other? Marketing! Celebrities, social media influencers, and other tactics can increase demand and pricing for a supplement product without making it more efficient.

The truth is that many supplement products share their ingredient profiles with other products. Sometimes, a company doesn’t manufacture its own supplements. Instead, it slaps its own label onto a pre-made formula used by dozens of other companies.

Search “ make your own supplement,” and you’ll find an entire industry devoted to helping companies sell their own supplement product without manufacturing anything.

What does any of this have to do with you? Many supplement products are copies of each other. If they’re not exact copies of each other, they may share 75–90% of their ingredient profile with other products. Though they’re similar, their marketing may cause prices to vary significantly. Why should you needlessly pay more because of how a product is marketed, especially when these products are the same!

What is the Similarity Index?

The Similarity Index is a tool that allows you to see the relationship between products. It can help you find similar products. If you find an expensive pre-workout, this tool can show you if other products share its ingredient profile, possibly saving you cash.

The tool shows which products are 100% matches to other products. Visit the Similarity Index homepage, and you’ll find a list of products with matching products in the database.

How do you find products that are the same or similar to each other?

The Similarity Index homepage shows a list of products with matching products. The threshold for a matching product is sharing 75% of its ingredients with one or more products. The page has a few options to help refine your search. You can limit the products shown to a specific category by clicking on the appropriate link in the product categories section.

If you’d like to find more closely related products than the 75% threshold, select either 90% or 100% from the filter menu. A 90% filter will only show products that have a 90% match with other products. The 100% filter option will only offer products with an exact match to other products.

Why would products have the same exact ingredient profile?

There are several reasons that two products would have an identical ingredient profile, some more nefarious reasons than others. They may have the same ingredients because they were made by a third party “make your own supplement” company. Now we have multiple pre-workouts that are identical with different names and prices.

Products can also be coincidentally similar. As of the publishing of this article, the database contains over 2,000 products. There’s bound to be overlap between products because ingredients are limited.

What’s the point of the Similarity Index?

Transparency! The Similarity Index allows you to see how original a formula is. If you’re paying a premium for a product that’s an exact copy of a much cheaper option, perhaps it’s time to switch.

If you a look at the Similarity Index of a product called ShredZilla, you’ll see that seven (at the time of writing this post) other products share the same exact formula! The price range of all seven products is $19.99 at the low end, up to $59.99, for the same product with a different label. That’s a spread of $40! This tool can save money.

The Bottom Line

There’s plenty wrong with the supplement industry. The Similarity Index is one of many tools that returns power to the consumer.

Originally published at https://supplementdatabase.com on December 24, 2020.

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