"Women's Vitamins"

Readers, see the following embarrassingly amateurish photo, and tell me: what do you think might be the difference between these two types of vitamins?

Well, one is branded--by Bayer, one of the most trusted brands in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. The other isn't.

One is a "women's formula" and offers consumers "bone and breast health support." The other, with its more modest and plausible claims of being "gluten free" and offering "daily well being," doesn't make me laugh quite as hysterically.

Granted, the branded vitamin contains calcium and a few bonus obscure minerals, all of which you already get in sufficient amounts from a normal diet:



Let's face it: these two bottles of vitamin tablets are virtually identical. And given recent research on vitamins, neither will likely make any difference to your health.

The only distinction: one costs about three times as much per tablet.

Now, you might rationalize this price differential by arguing that the "untrustworthy" generic vitamin was probably manufactured in some horrible Chinese sweatshop by exploited, underpaid workers who secretly added extra lead and mercury to each pill. And of course the "trustworthy" brand was surely manufactured by people who care, who really care about you, and would never outsource manufacturing to anybody.

Feel free to think this if it makes you feel better. But the rest of the readers here at Casual Kitchen know that a brand signifies nothing about who makes, packages, or formulates the product inside. Nothing.

The only difference is the cost premium of the branded product, paid by you and received by them in the form of excess profit. And... the pill's bigger.

READ NEXT: How to Own the Consumer Products Industry--And I Mean Literally Own It

And: Consumer Empowerment: How To Self-Fund Your Consumer Products Purchases

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