How to distinguish between Fake and Original Whey Protein?
It is estimated that around 80-85% of supplements sold in Pakistan are either fake, have a short expiry or are imported through grey channels (smuggling). We have written a free article which helps the readers distinguish between Fake and Original Supplements.
There are 2 types of fake supplements in the market. One of them is a clear fake which can be detected easily without much knowledge of supplements. The second category is much more complex as these fakes cannot be detected easily. We will get to the second category later.
The images attached above are from 2 different supplement businesses in Pakistan that are selling fake supplements. The packaging is very substandard. Secondly, if you visit this link https://www.optimumnutrition.com/en-us/Products/Protein/Shakes-%26-Powders/OPTIMUM-NUTRITION-GOLD-STANDARD-100%25-WHEY-PROTEIN/p/gold-standard-100-whey-protein, you will see that 2 lbs is being sold for $37.99, which is approximately Rs 6,800. How is it possible to sell something for Rs 2500 which is being sold on the official website for more than double the amount? A bit of difference is understandable because companies get wholesale prices from brands. Thirdly, please note that 2 lbs of ON Gold standard never comes in a pouch. It only comes in a tub, the picture of which can be seen on the mentioned official website. We only gave you the example of ON Whey Protein. However, you can apply this knowledge to check authenticity of other brands.
The second category of fakes is much harder to catch because the packaging is completely comparable to the original brand packaging. All the seals, logos and authentication codes look the same. Only experienced supplement users can catch these types of fakes by comparing the taste, mixability and many other factors. Even then, the determination is not 100 percent accurate. We will get back to this category again after discussing some other important things which will help you understand more about this.
We will now tell you some insider news. Before 2019, custom duties on the import of supplements were very low. Many sellers in Pakistan used to import legally from well known distributors or even the brands directly. Everything changed in 2019 when there was an astonishing increase in duties. There were some other rules and regulations introduced also that made it impossible for importers in Pakistan to buy supplements from distributors abroad. We could go into detail of these rules and regulations but there is no point in elaborating them as it will take us away from the main topic. In short, these rules meant that it was necessary for importers in Pakistan to buy supplements directly from the brand itself. Due to these issues, many sellers have resorted to either selling fake products or smuggling. Buying from the brand directly is not easy for many sellers as it requires a commitment of very big order quantities. Please have a look at the following links: https://www.optimumnutrition.com/en-us/where-to-buy and https://www.dymatize.com/distributors-international. These links mention the official distributors of ON and Dymatize brands. Pakistan is nowhere on the list! That is a clear proof that all ON and Dymatize products sold in Pakistan are either fake or smuggled. We have given you an example of these 2 brands but there are many other brands out there that have this issue. Rule 1, Dynamik, Kevin Levrone, BPI Sports, Xtend, Isopure, Ultimate Nutrition and the list keeps going on and on!
If the product is smuggled, it can either be original or not. It is very hard to determine that. There are some distributors abroad that are unfortunately involved in supplying fake supplements and since their prices are very competitive and the product looks completely original, many shopkeepers buy from them and then get the supplements smuggled. Even if the smuggled supplements are original, another doubt that comes is the expiry of the product, which can be changed easily in many cases.
The easiest way to avoid all of these issues is by first trying to find out whether the brand you want to buy has an official distributor in Pakistan. At times, the official brand website mentions the names and countries of their distributors. In case this information is not mentioned, you need to email the brand and ask if they have any distributor in Pakistan.
Alhamdulillah The Protein Factory is the official and exclusive distributor of The Protein Works brand for Pakistan since 6 years. This information can be verified by visiting their UK website www.theproteinworks.com and asking them about us. We also have a wide range of certificates and lab reports that can be downloaded by clicking here. The Protein Works is a UK brand of top quality and has won Best Protein Award as well.