If you like to take care of your mind and body, you probably take vitamins and supplements to stay as healthy as possible. You have also probably come across a lot of different stores to buy them.
Vitamin Shoppe is one of the most popular retail stores to buy vitamins both in-store and online. But if you are looking for something different, there are a lot of alternative stores where you can find the best supplements available for your specific needs.
Vitamin Shoppe might be so popular because of how easy you think it is to shop there.
We have all done it: maybe one morning, you wake up and realize that your nature-made Vitamin D is about to run out. You have not done much research on any other vitamin and supplement stores because you have been so busy, so you type “vitamin shoppe near me” into your phone so that you can quickly head over to the store and restock.
We are here to do that extra research for you so that you can be fully informed on all of the different shops out there that could fit your tailored needs even more than what you are used to.
Whether you are looking for more natural alternatives or want to support a smaller business, we are going to take you through a detailed list of substitutes for Vitamin Shoppe so that you can make the best choice and find the best supplement brands.
All of the following companies have great vitamins for pretty much everything you can think of. You could be looking for a weight-loss supplement, an herbal tincture, a homeopathic remedy, an organic protein shake or any combination of those.
We know it can be hard to find the time and make the switch to a different company when you are so used to the more popular choice. Read on for more details on why popularity does not always make a better product, how to make the safest choice for your body and specifics on the top 10 Vitamin Shoppe alternatives.
What is The Vitamin Shoppe?
If you are thinking about making the switch to a different company, it is important to first understand what The Vitamin Shoppe actually is.
It is a franchised retail store with brick-and-mortar locations throughout the United States, but it also has online services. This is appealing to a lot of people since they do not have to even leave the comfort of their homes to explore their products.
They strive to offer a lot of natural and quality products that you can be the healthiest and fittest version of yourself, however, that may look to you. They offer products like probiotics, essential oils, protein shakes, weight-loss supplements and general vitamins.
Its popularity is a huge reason why so many people remain customers there and are so comfortable staying exactly where they are.
This makes it easy to continue shopping there without acknowledging that there might be other, smaller stores that focus more on individual needs rather than a one-size-fits-all approach that can be so normalized with this type of supplement warehouse.
Let’s look at the numbers to really see how accepted they are compared to the alternatives.
According to Instya, they rank as number three as an online supplement store and 229 as the most popular in the U.S.
They were only founded in 2002 in New Jersey, but already have thousands of employees and average 108.4 million USD in annual revenue. Daily revenue, though, apparently caps off at around 297 thousand USD.
These are some pretty significant numbers, especially when you look at other stores that might not have enough leverage to gross that much revenue as smaller businesses.
Taking in such high profits can certainly feel like a slight to a lot of the alternative vitamin and supplement stores when they spend a lot of time cultivating an environment with knowledgeable employees who are genuinely interested in the health and wellbeing of their customers.
Are There Any Other Options for Vitamin Shoppe?
With numbers that high and for such a seemingly well-known company, you might be asking yourself: so are there really any other options or substitutes for Vitamin Shoppe?
The resounding answer is yes.
Naturally, there are pros and cons to buying with just about any business, whether that business is locally owned or a large franchise. You might even think that a small business means that they cannot ship an order to your door or provide a pleasant online shopping experience.
This is not usually the case, however. Smaller businesses are typically fully equipped to provide you with this service.
Additionally, a smaller-scale vitamin shop can usually keep a closer eye on their specialized stock and carefully selected employees, which means those employees have more time to learn about and really believe in what they are selling. This ensures high-quality products and services that you might not otherwise receive at a massive supplement shop.
How Do You Know Your Vitamins and Supplements Are Safe and of the Best Value?
A common concern about changing from a franchise to an alternative vitamin and supplement supplier is the worry that your vitamins and supplements could somehow be unsafe and of lesser value.
However, when you do switch to a smaller company, there might actually be far less to worry about than you might think.
Having less employees and customers within a company means that there is more time for the workers to understand every facet of what they are selling. This also means that they probably know the brands they offer extremely well since they do not have a huge variety of outsourced products.
Alternative stores to Vitamin Shoppe, for example, have more time to do their research on what is on their shelves. It is also a wise practice to do your own research on what you are putting into your body.
A lot of the time, it might feel like a benefit to buy from a company that has a massive selection of vitamins. But would you prefer to shop from a business that knows their manufacturers and what they are selling, or one that has so many manufacturers it is hard to keep up with their catalog of goods?
For many people, it feels like having a curated and specialized selection of them to choose from is an easier way to research and trust in what a small retail store has to offer you as a health-focused consumer.
Now we are going to provide you with a detailed list of alternatives to Vitamin Shoppe so that you can decide what vitamins and supplements your body needs and who you want to buy them from when all is said and done.
Best Alternatives to Vitamin Shoppe
We used an objective and detailed checklist of criteria when analyzing these substitutes:
- What type of products do they sell?
- What do other customers say in their reviews?
- Do they have any unique offerings on their website?
- What are their prices like?
- What are some details about their company? This might include a company bio, annual or daily revenue, some pros and cons, how many employees they have or how long they have been in business.
GNC – gnc.com
GNC is definitely still a fairly large-scale company and it is relatively new to the health scene.
It was founded just 14 years ago in 2007 in Pittsburgh, Pa. and has maintained a heavy focus on sports-related health. They stand behind their use of safe ingredients, effective products and truthful labeling. They also advertise themselves and their products as up-to-date with the constantly changing science of nutrition.
There are some clear-cut pros and cons to shopping with GNC.
For one, a pro is that it seems at first glance that they are truly dedicated to honesty about their manufacturing processes and how much research they put into their products. They also boast that they have highly informed employees who favor a collaborative approach with customers and customer aftercare.
Their price-match guarantee is also a great advantage in the market, especially if you think of yourself as a cost-effective shopper. They take into account any lower prices you might find on identical products from other stores such as Vitamin Shoppe, superstores like Walmart and Target and grocery stores.
There are, however, some stipulations in the fine print of their price-match guarantee. They do not price match any stores that are not explicitly listed, so if you found a less expensive deal on a site like Shopee USA, it would be a moot point. You also cannot combine additional discounts or promotions with a price-matched product.
Their 30-day money-back guarantee is a nice perk, too. Even if you consumed some of a protein powder or had a bite out of a power bar, they allow returns within a 30-day window if you include all accessories and receipts with your return.
This speaks to their pride of providing excellent customer service, although workers make a commission on sales, which might hold some customers back if they feel like their service is only high-quality at the risk of not making enough money.
GNC sells a multitude of products related to sports and nutrition supplements. Their website is extensive, and you can shop based on health goals or products. Their departments include a lot of subsections, such as vitamins and supplements, protein, performance-enhancing supplements, natural remedies, skincare and weight management goods.
Their best sellers on their website currently consist of 173 products. This includes whey protein powder, pre-workout shake mixes, natural energy drinks, pre-packaged multivitamins for men and women, fish oil and house-brand vitamins, to name just a handful. All of their powders and mixes come in a variety of flavors, as well.
GNC’s customer reviews are fairly positive, as a whole. They have 97 total reviews with Consumer Affairs, averaging 3.7 out of five stars.
The bulk of the positive reviews reference a large selection of products, good customer service both online and in-store and easy access to their goods.
However, there are a good bit of negative reviews, too. Most of the one-star reviews mention delivery issues like packages showing that they were delivered but the customer not being able to find them.
In fact, almost every negative review was about the inefficiency of GNC’s online services and incompetent customer service when packages were lost, which seems to be a common occurence.
Some unique features of GNC include their 15 percent discount program for nurses, healthcare staff, first responders, military personnel and students. Their loyalty program works on a point-based system and they also offer free birthday gifts for customers.
Like we said before, though, they are a large and overall popular company, which might not be a good fit if you are looking for a personalized experience. They have thousands of employees and their annual revenue is 101 million USD. They are ranked as the 216th most popular U.S. supplement store.
MyVitamins – myvitamins.com
MyVitamins is a small online company based in the United Kingdom.
Though difficult to find a lot about their backstory, they were reported as newly launched in 2012. They are reportedly under direction of both the large online retail company The Hut Group and the sports nutrition brand Myprotein.com.
Their website seems to be easy to navigate and their “About Us” page affirms that. They claim to strive to keep things simple by providing daily multivitamins and “inner beauty must-haves.”
They favor clean ingredients supported by scientific research and have six main categories of products: beauty, performance, essentials, wellness, weight management and vegan supplements.
A fun pro of MyVitamins is their goal-setting tool. With the Goal Setter, you can select your concerns and goals specific to your health and they will provide you with a list of their products that can specifically help you to achieve those goals.
One con in particular for U.S. customers is that all of their prices are in U.K. denominations, so if you are not familiar with the conversion rates for pounds to USD, it might prove a little tricky to get used to.
They have an option to sign up for their newsletter, which is a nice advantage for those who are curious about their products but do not want to fully commit to them yet.
Their blog is also a good source of information right from the source, with gift guides, recipes, nutrition advice and skincare tips and tricks. All of their blog content looks as though it is provided by their in-house writers.
Their products come in simple packaging which is preferable for some customers who want quality results from their supplements without all the bells and whistles.
MyVitamins sells a selection of capsules and gummies for their supplements. Their bestsellers mostly consist of beauty-related items like collagen, biotin, tanning tablets and retinol. However, they do also have a wide array of products like Vitamin D, digestion aids, multivitamins and Omega-3. They all seem to have straightforward ingredients.
The highest price on their bestsellers list is a bundle of three gummy bottles for around 55 pounds.
They also have a lot of offers that they update daily with voucher codes, a referral program and student discounts.
MyVitamin company reviews are also overwhelmingly positive, and they have a lot of reviews on individual products through their website, too. They averaged 4.7 out of five stars out of 2,373 reviews, mostly lauding the ease of their website, their simple buying process and quick shipping. Their products also fare well in the company reviews.
Zoominfo reported their annual revenue at 6 million USD with only 33 employees, leaving them with a lot of time and energy to focus on the customer experience.
LuckyVitamin – luckyvitamin.com
LuckyVitamin is a relatively small company that was founded in 2004.
They only have between 200 and 499 employees and their annual revenue is listed as 22.9 million USD.
Their website immediately offers a 10 percent discount when you enter the homepage, which is part of their mission to provide healthy customers with reasonably priced vitamins, minerals and natural home goods.
LuckyVitamin offers typical rewards, referrals and membership-based programs, but are unique in that they spend a lot of time volunteering for local outreach organizations. They also provide an outlet to sign up for yoga and book clubs to truly promote your wellbeing.
They sell supplements, vitamins and minerals, natural beauty and toiletry products, food, herbs, organic cleaning products and gender-specific products, just to name a few of their extensive departments.
However, their reviews are conflicting. They have 1.8 out of five stars and 37 reviews, the majority of which fluctuates between praise on LuckyVitamin’s low prices for quality products, issues with their chosen mail service, manufacturing errors and mislabeling of products.
A1Supplements – a1supplements.com
A1Supplements is a very small business with only 10 to 49 employees, but their online store has been in business since 1999.
Their annual revenue is reported as 5.8 million USD. Since they are classified as a distributor, they have very competitive prices, as they cut out the middleman, unlike many other online vitamin and supplement stores.
Immediately upon entering the website, an online customer service representative sends a message to see how they can help you, a great pro if you are new to this sort of shopping experience.
A1Supplements also has an easy-to-navigate page on their site offering coupons and ongoing promotions for your benefit.
Their top 60 bestselling products mainly consist of powdered supplements like superfood powders, performance enhancers, sample packs and mood stimulants from a variety of brands.
Though they do not have a lot of reviews to explore, the ones they do have are almost entirely positive. With eight reviews total, 75 percent of them are five stars, which mostly comment on the effectiveness of the products they sell, the low prices for high quality and how quickly they fix whatever customer service issues arise.
Dirobi – dirobi.com
Dirobi is a very small company dedicated to very successful results in helping their customers achieve their goals, whether those goals are to try to avoid preventable diseases or aid in digestive problems.
Dave Sherwin, the owner of Dirobi, strives to be readily available to all customers by offering free 20-minute consultations and coaching sessions, a huge advantage when you are deciding what company to shop from for your supplements.
A lot of larger companies, like we mentioned before, do not have the ability to ensure their regular employees can be there to answer your questions, let alone the ability to have the owner of their business readily available to coach you.
A unique offering Dirobi has for you is not their YouTube channel and private Facebook group to offer individual support for their customers, but also a podcast where Sherwin interviews top-notch athletes about the whole health spectrum, including supplements, fitness, nutrition and natural solutions to your concerns.
Their site is easy to browse, especially considering they have a small selection of well-researched products so that you do not get distracted by an excess of information.
Zoominfo reports Dirobi as having less than 25 employees with less than 5 million USD in annual revenue.
Their house-made super supplements and nature-made multivitamins can be shopped on their website, as well as a select number of products from just a few other brands.
Their prices are reasonable, from a free eBook, to 25 to 30 dollar weight loss drops and mood enhancer sprays, to packs of their bestsellers sold for less than 70 dollars.
Dirobi’s reviews are almost entirely glowing. The company has 271 reviews with 89 percent of them being five stars. They have no one-star reviews, and only 3 percent of them are with three stars.
Customers mostly highlight how well the Dirobi supplements work for them, the fiscally friendly options compared to that of other companies, the elite customer service and the fast shipping.
Swanson Vitamins – swansonvitamins.com
Swanson Vitamins has been around since 1969 and is based in North Dakota. Though they have been in the game for so long, they still operate as a fairly small business, with less than one thousand employees and 47.6 million USD in annual revenue.
All of their products, which consist of 20 different company brands, are regularly tested by Consumer Lab for the health benefits of their customers.
Their website offers a 20 percent discount to first-time buyers, buy-one-get-one deals daily and up to 70 percent off their prices compared to traditional, large-scale retailers.
They also have a significant stock for the size of their company. They specialize in organic and natural groceries, beauty products and toiletries, pet care, non-GMO fitness supplements, vitamins and minerals and herbs.
According to Trust Pilot, Swanson Vitamins has 4.7 out of five stars and 4,741 reviews.
A lot of these reviews reference the incredible effort they put into customer retention through their strong customer service and competitive pricing. The shipping rates are apparently cost-effective and timely.
Most of the negative reviews are complaints about not being able to combine promo codes and offers.
Prohealth – prohealth.com
If you have a chronic illness like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia or Chronic Lyme Disease, Prohealth might be a good option for your supplements.
Founded all the way back in 1988 by Rich Carson, he prides himself and his company on the fact that they put the customer first, especially when they are dealing with such sufferable illnesses.
With only 10 to 49 employees and an annual revenue of 2.9 million USD, Carson and Prohealth have raised and donated more than 4 million USD to research and advocacy for these chronic illnesses.
They have constant discounted prices on their products with excellent on-site reviews.
They also offer a comprehensive list of their vitamins and supplements by giving you the option to format them alphabetically in your search.
The Better Business Bureau has no recorded complaints of the company, but only offer one review, although it is a happy five-star one.
The customer says that Prohealth is a respectable company with great prices, fast shipping and effective results from the products.
Medline Industries – medline.com
Medline Industries serves as both a global distributor and manufacturer, so you get your products right from the source.
Registered as a business in 1966, it is a large company with 5 thousand to almost 10 thousand employees.
They have a massive inventory of various medical products, including respiratory and surgery supplies, nutrition items, nursing needs, lab and disposable medical goods and over-the-counter vitamins and supplements.
Targets a lot of businesses in the medical field, but also provide lower prices to everyday consumers since they distribute and manufacture themselves.
They even provide a “compare” option for their vitamin and mineral supplements so that you can know you are getting the best deal for the product you want.
Their reviews typically come from businesses that Medline vends to rather than customers themselves.
Pure Formulas – pureformulas.com
Founded in 2007, Pure Formulas has between 50 to 499 employees and a 7.4 million USD annual revenue.
They offer a broad range of supplements like those for sexual health, cardiovascular support, sleep aids and immune support. They also have a lot of fatty acid vitamins and antioxidants, but branch out to pet care and beauty products, too.
They allow you to reclaim coupons and recommend deals based on your customer preferences.
Pure Formulas also has a “Customer Happiness Team” available for phone calls if you have any issues, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.
They provide you with a blog and recipe portion of their website to dedicate themselves to your better health, which shows in their reviews. Pure Formulas has 64,146 4.6-star reviews.
These mainly illuminate their user-friendly website, fair prices and numerous helpful products.
Sporter – sporter.com
Sporter markets themselves as an online fitness store by offering a huge number of products like multivitamins, essential vitamins, healthy foods, testosterone boosters and more.
Their annual revenue is reported as 5.7 million with 10 to 49 employees.
Other than their extensive offerings of supplements, they sell sporting goods and toiletries to cover the whole spectrum of your fitness needs.
You can shop by your personal fitness goals, general category or sales and offers, which are clearly laid out on their website.
Sporter has poor reviews, however. They have 35 total reviews on Trust Pilot equating to only 2.6 stars. Since they are based in Dubai, U.S. customers have experienced difficulty in shipping times. However, their customer service team actively responds to all reviews to try to ensure that they can correct whatever mistake may have been made.
Does a Store’s Popularity Really Matter?
Ultimately, does the popularity of a vitamin store really matter? Yes and no.
As far as popularity goes, it would be beneficial to look at any given store’s reviews as a company. It is a good practice to not only look at the actual website’s reviews, but to use external resources to do so, like the ones we linked in this article.
It can definitely be scary to switch to a new company for something as important as vitamins and supplements when you are so used to the popular choice, like Vitamin Shoppe. But looking at reviews from customers just like you can absolutely assuage that fear.
However, when you define popularity in terms of the common choice of consumers just because of a large company doing lots of advertising and bringing in the big bucks because of a leg-up they might have, that should not matter as much in your decision-making process.
Naturally, a store being more popular due to lots of revenue is a cycle. As they make more money, they have more to spend on advertising, regardless of how much they really care about you as a customer. And as they spend more on advertising, they earn a bigger profit.
So it might be a good idea to think about shopping smaller when a store you are not familiar with, or one that is new, comes along. You never know if they have exactly what you need.
What Should You Look for When Buying Vitamins and Supplements Online?
Again, when buying vitamins and supplements online, look at customer reviews. It will show you how others are reacting to a product and if they recommend and trust it themselves.
Also, make sure these online products are backed by research and a sales team who cares about you, not just your money.
It is important to consider your personal health needs. How is an online business speaking to you by what they sell and how specific it is to your individualized health profile?
If a business, online or otherwise, is smaller, then they might have a lot more time to help you find what you are looking for and answer any questions or concerns you may have about their vitamins and supplements.
Do you want that small-business level of care? A team of dedicated professionals who put your personal health needs above all else? You can have just that with Dirobi. When you are ready to get started with the healthiest lifestyle you have ever had, click here to download our free Ebook!