Q: What is in your natural flavors? For a company that prides itself on full disclosure labeling, it’s curious why the exact contents of these flavor packages are not listed on your labels.
A: I have been composing full disclosure labels for my formulas since 1976. It has actually been an easy thing to do up until recently. But in the modern age of dietary supplementation, consumer appreciation for flavored products has led us to flavor some products at Vibrant Health. The use of flavorings presents an intractable problem to formulators and companies that pride themselves on full disclosure. We agree with you that the consumer has every right to know precisely what is in each dietary supplement they ingest, yet flavoring companies hold a different point of view. They consider each of their flavorings a sort of top-secret conglomeration of ingredients that they dare not reveal to anyone lest a competing flavor company steal their formula! We have badgered, made and cajoled the flavoring companies that supply “natural” flavorings to Vibrant Health for the past several years. The extent of the information we have been able to extract from them appears on each of our labels. We are not satisfied by their lack of candor. Unfortunately, we do not have a Freedom of Information Act we can bring to bear on private flavoring companies. But we keep trying to learn the details of what is in each flavoring that we buy. If and when we eventually hit upon a successful strategy that causes the flavoring companies to divulge the true ingredients of each flavoring, you will see those details appear on our labels.
We do offer an unflavored PureGreen Protein (called Natural) for those consumers who wish to avoid flavoring altogether. It is quite good, mild tasting, and adds good digestible protein to any smoothie made at home. It also tastes like fresh vegetables when sprinkled on a tossed salad. For Maximum Vibrance, we do not yet have a completely unflavored version. Anyone reading my commentary who wishes to have an unflavored Maximum Vibrance available to them should please contact the Vibrant Health office by phone, mail or e-mail and cast your vote.
Mark Timon, Formulator