Top positive review
Please read this before/after you buy - to authenticate the product
8 March 2019
If you’re planning to purchase this product, I request you to please read this review and key pointers for gauging product authenticity. I’m writing this review as many of other reviews are passing off even genuine products as fake owing to limited/wrong information.
Before I go further, let me tell you that Optimum Nutrition (ON) Whey Protein is one of the best and most trusted products in the market and is used extensively by people hitting the gym. Hence, you don’t need to doubt the product itself, since it has proven its worth over time.
When you first receive the product, Please make sure to take pictures of the box from all sides. Take zoom in picture of the Expiry Date / Batch Number. The simplest way to check for authenticity of the product is to mail the pictures to Optimum Nutrition Customer Care [Please visit the official site for contact details] on their USA customer care as well as India specific customer care (both available on official website). They work from 9vAM to 5vPM USA time, Monday to Friday, so don’t expect a response outside of this time. Also, please reduce the size of each image or else the server will reject the message due to the large size. My first message with an attachment of 18MB was rejected by the server and I had to send it again. You need to mention below details while messaging the customer care -
- Product Name
- Name of the place of purchase and location (address or URL)
- Country where you purchased
- Seller Name or Item identification number (if purchased from an online marketplace)
- Lot Number
- Expiration Date
- Last 5 Digits of Bar Code
- Pictures of Batch Number / Exp Date / Mfd Date
- Pictures of Front and back of the canister / Importer Label / Bar Codes / Invoice Copy
Customer Care should revert within 1-2 business days with details on whether the product is authentic or not. In my case, they reverted within 2 days.
The second step is to check for product authenticity through Bright Commodities site (if your product has been imported by Bright Commodities). Please check the box, there would be a label with importer details, a QR Code and a Scratch box on top. Scratch this box to reveal your unique product code. Now use a QR Code scanner through a smartphone, and you would land on bright commodities site, and you need to fill out a small form, and submit this unique code. On Submit, it will tell you if the product is genuine or not. In the case of genuine products, it’ll show: “Congratulations. Your product is genuine.” This is a sure shot way to verify if your product is genuine or not.
Now, coming to ON certified methods of checking product authenticity. ON website mentions just 4 things to check if the product is authentic or not:
1. NECK BAND – Gold Standard whey protein has a black plastic neckband and a gold hologram seal. This seal is part of the neckband itself and is NOT a separate sticker. On tilting, you would see colorful ‘ON’ written within the seal.
2. TUB DESIGN - The crease on the bottom of U.S. made tubs of protein is a mold mark from plastic thermoforming. It looks the same on every tub and is normal. However, please note, Tubs produced in the U.K. have a circular indentation without a line running across the bottom. This is normal for European made tubs.
3. DATE & BATCH CODE - On the BOTTOM or SIDE of protein tubs you’ll find ink jet printing listing a manufacture date, expiration date, and batch code. Powdered products have a 2-year shelf life, so the dates should be 2 years apart. This date is printed usually in Blue (mostly) or yellow color. Also, if you rub over it too much, it’ll be removed.
4. VACUUM BARRIERS - Under the cap of protein tubs is a cardboard vacuum barrier that helps hold the powder in place during shipping. This round disk is not for sanitation and is not glued into place. It is common for the cardboard to stick under the cap. So, using a knife or any sharp thin thing, you can remove this white colored cap. Underneath (on the plastic cover of the box), you will see ‘Made in USA’ if the product is manufactured in the USA.
Some other pointers to safeguard against duplicate product -
1. Powder Texture – Gold Standard whey protein powder texture is such that it doesn’t stick to the insides of the box. When you open the box, powder should not be sticking to the side walls of the box. [See attached pictures of how it should look]
2. Mixing - Gold Standard whey protein powder readily mixes with water without forming any lumps. If your product is forming lumps even after a lot of mixing and shaking, it is a fake product.
3. Powder Scoop – Every box comes with one scoop inside, which would have ON branding and would be of Golden color. Even the scoop mentions ‘Made in USA’ [Please check attached pictures]
4. Black Neck Band would be glossy/shiny in texture
SOME MYTHS & WRONG INFORMATION. Below points DO NOT make your product fake.
1. The black band does not have ‘great taste, new improved etc’ printed all over like shown on the official website’s product authentication page.
ON website doesn’t mention anything about printed neck bands, it simply mentions black plastic neckband. Even on ON official website, on the product page, it shows the box with a simple black band. Even biggest USA retailer websites, they would show product with a simple black band. Hence, please don’t get misguided by some other reviews where they proclaimed a product to be fake based on this point. My product has been verified as 100% authentic by the company, you can see the pictures.
2. Box mentions ‘ISOLATE’ instead of ‘ISOLATES’.
Across ON official website, you would see products with ‘Isolate’ mentioned (See various sections like 10lb product image, recipe images etc). Top US retailers show the same imagery with ‘Isolate’ mentioned instead of ‘Isolates’. My product was verified as authentic by the company, it mentions ‘isolate’.
3. There is no QR Code on my box, and only importer QR code is shown.
These products are manufactured especially for export for certain markets. For example, products imported by bright commodities are specially manufactured to be exported to India, hence you would even see ‘FSSAI’ mentioned near the box bar code whereas FSSAI is an Indian standard. My product has been verified by the company itself, there’s no QR code as it’s for Export only, and you can see the pictures.
4. Box shows green Veg symbol and there is no such concept in the US.
These products are manufactured especially for export purpose and hence follow the standards of the destination country.
5. Nutrition information is quite shorter and less informative, while on official web picture it is mentioned as ‘Nutrition Facts’ and more descriptive.
No, this does not make your product fake. These products are manufactured especially for export for certain markets such as India. The company is following the standards as per Indian market and as per laws laid down by the Indian government, regarding ‘Nutrition Information’. Pick any consumable product being sold in India, as per rule, ‘Nutrition Information’ needs to be mentioned as opposed to the USA, where ‘Nutrition Facts’ terminology is being used. This is the same reason why on these products, weight is mentioned in ‘g/Kg’ before being mentioned in ‘lbs’.
6. My box is not completely filled with protein powder.
Whey protein is sold by weight not volume, and the box is usually larger than the contents it is supposed to hold. It will roughly cover 65-75% volume of the box and would never be completely filled.
That’s all friends. I hope now you would be in a better state to confirm if your product is genuine or fake. I hope I was able to help you out. When I was buying this product for the first time, I was equally confused. However, with above-mentioned points, you can safeguard yourself against duplicate products. Thanks.