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  1. #1
    Registered User peterm28's Avatar
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    simple question: why are protein supplements so expensive compared with real food?

    I'm on a cut and I think I'm falling short of my protein requirements sometimes. There are protein bars and powders but they're all super expensive compared to real food.

    Why is this exactly? I can understand if a protein bar is a bit more expensive than a chocolate bar, but it's even more expensive than a much larger greek yoghurt with the same amount of protein. The greek yoghurt must be much harder to transport (requiring refrigeration) and also larger in size. So why is it more expensive?

    Likewise why are protein powders so expensive, given the massive economies of scale in manufacturing them, and the low transportation cost?

    Are they considered "niche" products with 80% margins and very high markup?

    Can I find a generic version that's much cheaper?

    It seems to me it's cheaper for me to just eat real food...
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  2. #2
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    High markup. Increased profits.

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    its marketing, ive been to the store and looked at some protein bars and they had more calories from fat then they do from protein smh
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  5. #5
    Common sense/moderation. gbullock32's Avatar
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    Takes more processing to make them usually. More processing means more work.
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    Verified Aesthetic rhadam's Avatar
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    Whey is one of the most cost effective ways to reach your protein goals.
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    Registered User peterm28's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rhadam View Post
    Whey is one of the most cost effective ways to reach your protein goals.
    you mean whey powder though, right, not literal whey? that's mostly what I was asking about. it seems to me considering how small the package is, the markup on whey powder must be huge. it could be 80% profit margin on powdered whey, don't you think?
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    Verified Aesthetic rhadam's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by peterm28 View Post
    you mean whey powder though, right, not literal whey? that's mostly what I was asking about. it seems to me considering how small the package is, the markup on whey powder must be huge. it could be 80% profit margin on powdered whey, don't you think?
    Profit margin on whey protein (supplemental whey protein powder) is less than 10%.
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    Registered User rtpmarine's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by peterm28 View Post
    you mean whey powder though, right, not literal whey? that's mostly what I was asking about. it seems to me considering how small the package is, the markup on whey powder must be huge. it could be 80% profit margin on powdered whey, don't you think?
    rhadam is exactly right. Whey powder costs about $1 per 100 calories of protein. Only foods I can think of off the top of my head that come close are chicken and eggs.
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  10. #10
    Verified Aesthetic rhadam's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by peterm28 View Post
    you mean whey powder though, right, not literal whey? that's mostly what I was asking about. it seems to me considering how small the package is, the markup on whey powder must be huge. it could be 80% profit margin on powdered whey, don't you think?
    Here's a quick example from the bodybuilding.com store.

    BB.com Whey Protein (which actually tastes very good) is currently on sale for 20% off. 5lbs of whey for $40. 67 servings @ 25g protein per serving.

    Good luck buying meat for cheaper.
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  11. #11
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    Like was stated, margins on protein are some of the worst of all supplements sold. You wanna talk outrageous margins look at weight loss pills. Some sell for $50+ and they cost about $3 to produce (30 day supply).
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  12. #12
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    Useless thread, OP is trolling obv
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by peterm28 View Post
    Can I find a generic version that's much cheaper?
    ..
    Yes. Brands like MyProtein have great deals if you use coupons.
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  14. #14
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    For example, you need 120 grams of protein per day.
    We count:
    Greek yogurt has an average of 10 grams of protein per 100 grams.
    It turns out you need to drink / eat 100*12 = 1200 grams (2.64 lbs)

    I'm sure after a week of this diet you will hate Greek yogurt.
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    Verified Aesthetic rhadam's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ermaxinc View Post
    For example, you need 120 grams of protein per day.
    We count:
    Greek yogurt has an average of 10 grams of protein per 100 grams.
    It turns out you need to drink / eat 100*12 = 1200 grams (2.64 lbs)

    I'm sure after a week of this diet you will hate Greek yogurt.
    Why would you solely use greek yogurt to fulfill your protein requirements? That's a stupid example.
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    GeNeTiX fOr TeRrOr Paulie1986's Avatar
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    MyProtein is brilliant with whey powder. Really cheap and they pretty much always have offers on. Plus they have 61 flavours including jam roly poly...ooooh.

    Just checked now with their promotion offer and it's £30.14 for 2.5kg blueberry cheesecake flavour. Original price is £44.99 so worth using the code.
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    Registered User rdf1988's Avatar
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    Actually, per gram of protein, protein powder is relatively cheap. Assuming the average meat is ~25% protein by weight and $10-20/kg (it certainly gets much more expensive than this, but there aren't many options to go cheaper) -- we'll call that $15/kg -- that's $15 for about 250g protein, or $60/kg. Meanwhile, protein powder can be bought for about $30/kg, although brands will certainly charge more than that if they can get away with it.

    For the record, I'm not a big fan of protein powder. I don't mind the stuff, but I've never invested much into it, having bought maybe 10kg total in my life, spread across several years. So I'm not trying to sell you on it or anything. I'm just saying, it isn't as expensive (if you buy the right brands) as it often seems.
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  19. #19
    Registered Lifter boo99's Avatar
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    Usually opt for whole food but times when more bills etc are due, I often replace some of my protein meals with whey to save some $
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