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The report suggests there isn’t sufficient scientific evidence to justify many functional brands’ higher price tags

Wellness brands across grocery have defended their on-pack claims and prices, following criticism in a new report by Which?.

The consumer body reviewed a range of functional drinks, supplements and beauty products.

Its report, published this week, concludes that “in many cases, there isn’t currently robust enough evidence to justify the price”.

“Or, you can just as easily get the same benefits elsewhere for less.”

It also claims that vitamins from Moju and The Turmeric Co’s immunity juice shots can be obtained “much cheaper” from other suppliers.

Further, the report says The Turmeric Co’s health claims about curcumin – the active compound in turmeric – are “under consideration”.

Which? also criticises Twinings Detox Tea. According to the body’s nutritionist Shefalee Loth, “There’s no evidence that detox teas offer any benefits.”

Beauty products also come under fire. The report states that Weleda’s Revitalising Hair Tonic relies on “vague claims”, and says the benefits of Absolute Collagen’s supplements are “unproven”.

Similarly, in the case of functional mushroom supplements, “there isn’t enough evidence yet to suggest they work”, according to Which?.

The report points out that Grass & Co’s Focus lion’s mane supplement (£24.5/30) contains added vitamin B12 and omega-3, “which allows the brand to claim that it helps with brain fog, because both those ingredients are proven to contribute to normal psychological and brain function”.

The marketing of Dirtea Lion’s Mane powder (£39.99/30), meanwhile, which “doesn’t contain any added extras” is “less direct and more suggestive”.

A spokeswoman for Moju told The Grocer its juice shots provided “a hyper-convenient and enjoyable way” for consumers to take vitamins.

A Turmeric Co spokesman said: “We validate our product benefits with clinical research.”

Twinings was “aware of the spectrum of opinions and guidance relating to detox products” and was “in the process of reviewing our Detox blend”, said the brand.

The Weleda hair tonic in question was “proven effective to improve hair and scalp, following an independent, expert-assessed clinical study and in-use study”, the brand’s MD Jayn Sterland told The Grocer.

Absolute Collagen NPD lead Dr Dave Reilly said “collagen digestion, absorption and bioavailability in the bloodstream [has] been tested and published”.

Meanwhile, Grass & Co CEO Ben Grass told The Grocer his products were “backed by scientific research, approved health claims and developed by nutritional experts and mycologists”.

A spokeswoman for Dirtea said there was “a growing body of evidence which supports the benefits of functional mushrooms on various aspects of human health”. 

“We expect more research to come to light in the coming years supporting their efficacy,” he added.