Vital Proteins Review: Collagen at Its Best?

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Our Rating: A

With high-quality collagen products, rapid customer service responses, sustainable initiatives, and great value, we awarded Vital Proteins with an overall A grade.

We determined this rating by evaluating the following factors:

  • Quality
    i
    QualityA
    Grass-fed, pasture-raised, or wild-caught collagen combined with rigorous testing led to an overall A for quality.
A
  • Transparency
    i
    TransparencyB+
    While there is plenty of product information on the site, the transparency on bovine collagen sourcing and brand backstory could be better.
B+
  • Website Experience
    i
    Website ExperienceA+
    Vital Proteins has an organized, well-designed, and informational website and blog that makes it easy to browse, shop, and learn about the products and benefits of collagen.
A+
  • Customer Service
    i
    Customer ServiceA
    With a money-back guarantee and rapid customer service responses, Vital Proteins earned a solid A here.
A
  • Value
    i
    ValueA
    Although on the pricier side, Vital Protein’s products are comparable to other brands, and the ingredient quality is high.
A
  • Brand Value
    i
    Brand ValueA
    Their incredible innovation and industry disruption with collagen products, philanthropic initiatives, and health professionals on the team led to an A here.
A
Our Editorial Policy

Welcome to our Vital Proteins review!

The best products tend to come from personal challenges or pain points—and in the case of Vital Proteins founder Kurt Seidensticker, “pain point” was literal. 

What began as a runner with joint pain and a curiosity to fix what was ailing him, Vital Proteins has now grown into a multi-million dollar brand that has revolutionized collagen as we know it. 

Even if you’ve never used Vital Proteins, you’re likely familiar with the blue-and-white canister of its classic flagship product—the collagen peptides.

But many people wonder, does Vital Proteins live up to the hype? 

For a TL;DR (but we hope you do) answer—it does.

With high-quality and ethically sourced ingredients that won’t break the bank, Vital Proteins is the real deal when it comes to collagen (in any form you’d want it, including powders, gummies, coffee creamers, and even water). 

For these reasons and more, we awarded Vital Proteins an impressive A grade—here’s how they did it.

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Vital Proteins Pros and Cons

  • Pros
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Rapid customer service responses
  • Innovative ways to supplement with collagen
  • Good value compared to other brands
  • Cons
  • Third-party heavy metal testing not available to customers
  • Little information about the brand’s backstory, founder, or current team members
  • Unclear where the bovine collagen is sourced from

Vital Proteins Revitalizes Collagen for Modern Use

Collagen has been intuitively consumed for millennia, as our ancestors typically ate nose-to-tail in an effort to reduce food waste.

Consuming pigs’ feet, cow knuckles, and other forms of animal connective tissue was certainly collagen-rich—but it wasn’t entirely appetizing or easy to undergo. 

Nowadays, getting your collagen is as simple as scooping it into your morning coffee—and this is in large part due to Vital Proteins.  

Up until the early 2010s, collagen was not a mainstream word—unless you had arthritis or a similar condition and knew the damaging effects of not having enough collagen in your joints. 

And this is one problem that founder Kurt Seidensticker knew well, as a daily runner who couldn’t figure out why he had such bad joint pain. 

As nothing he did seemed to work, Kurt dug into the research and hypothesized that he had depleted collagen levels in his joints. 

But collagen certainly wasn’t a common supplement on grocery store shelves—or the ones that were out there did not have enough collagen or glycine (an amino acid required to synthesize collagen) to make a difference.

[Vital Proteins] prioritizes partnerships with suppliers who are committed to high-quality ingredients, sustainability initiatives, respect for Indigenous people, and transparent business practices.

A spokesperson at Vital Proteins

So Kurt decided to formulate his own, and in 2013, Vital Proteins was born.

Since then, collagen has become a household name—and it’s got the science to back it up, with currently over 260,000 results for the term “collagen” on PubMed, the leading source of research and scientific papers. 

And Vital Proteins has seen a steady increase in popularity since then, even getting impressive celebs like Jennifer Aniston to join the team (she’s been the Chief Creative Officer since 2020) and getting fully acquired by Nestlé Health Science in 2022.

But we aren’t just rating Vital Proteins on its popularity—we also need to know if the quality, value, transparency, and more can back up their public acclaim. 

For this review, we learned more about Vital Proteins and its values from a spokesperson at Vital Proteins.  

And with an overall A rating from our team, the proof is in the (collagen-loaded) pudding—let’s take a closer look at how they scored.

Our Vital Proteins Review

We rate brands with the following six criteria, with Vital Proteins’ grades included: 

  • Quality (A)
  • Transparency (B+)
  • Website Experience (A+)
  • Customer Service (A)
  • Value (A)
  • Brand Value (A)

Quality

Summary:

Grade: A

Grass-fed, pasture-raised, or wild-caught collagen combined with rigorous testing led to an overall A for quality.

In this category, we consider several factors, including packaging and labeling, product certifications, and the overall quality, sourcing, formulation, and manufacturing of ingredients.

Our team received samples of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (Unflavored and Lemon), and no issues were seen with the packaging or labeling. 

However, some customers may not love Vital Proteins’ recent sustainability initiative—removing the plastic scoops from the containers. 

While we commend them for removing 250,000 pounds of plastic with this action, some people might not love having to use an actual tablespoon to measure out their collagen (the horror!). 

Regarding ingredient quality, Vital Proteins focuses on collagen from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows or wild-caught fish for the marine collagen. 

Many products also contain other ingredients, with some—but not all—being organic. 

For example, here’s what you’ll find in the Vanilla Collagen Creamer

  • Collagen Peptides
  • Organic Coconut Milk Powder
  • Natural Vanilla Flavor
  • Organic Bamboo Shoot Extract
  • Organic Acacia Fiber

Compared to other coffee creamers on the market, it’s safe to say that Vital Proteins’ version is of much higher quality. 

In addition to solely carrying collagen in powdered form, Vital Proteins offers collagen in almost any version you can imagine, including capsules, gummies, drinks (collagen water), and bars. 

As far as certifications go, Vital Proteins has got a handful, including: 

  • Certified B Corporation
  • NSF Certified for Sport®
  • Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Rainforest Alliance Certified
  • NSF and GMP-Certified Facility 

Vital Proteins sources their bovine collagen from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows, although the region they are sourced from is not currently known (as we’ll see in the transparency section below).

However, we know that their marine collagen comes from wild-caught cod off the coast of Alaska.

As the spokesperson told us, Vital Proteins “prioritizes partnerships with suppliers who are committed to high-quality ingredients, sustainability initiatives, respect for Indigenous people, and transparent business practices.”

Vital Proteins Product Catalog

Collagen Powder

In addition to their classic Collagen Peptides, Vital Proteins also carries several varieties of collagen powder, including Marine Collagen, flavored collagen powders (Lemon, Vanilla, Dark Chocolate Blackberry, Mixed Berry), collagen creamers (Vanilla, Mocha, and Coconut), Matcha Collagen, and more.

Collagen Beauty Greens
Collagen Beauty Greens
  • Description

    This powder contains a blend of Bovine Hide Collagen Peptides, organic greens, vitamin A, hyaluronic acid, and probiotics to support skin, hair, and nail health.

  • Ingredients

    Bovine Hide Collagen Peptides, Organic Wheat Grass, Coconut Water Powder, Organic Alfalfa Leaf, Organic Kale, Organic Barley Grass, Vanilla Bean Powder, Organic Spinach

Capsules

If you’re not a fan of adding powders to your drinks, Vital Proteins also offers capsules for various health concerns. 

For example, they carry Hair Boost, Beauty Boost, Cartilage Collagen, Mind and Memory Boost, and more.  

Mind and Memory Boost
Mind and Memory Boost
  • Description

    Loaded with vitamins, minerals, curcumin, and other functional ingredients, these capsules are designed to support cognitive function.

  • Ingredients

    Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid), Vitamin E (as vitamin E acetate), Vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin), Zinc (as zinc citrate), Cognizin® Citicoline, N-acetyl-L-Carnitine, Coffee Fruit Powder, C3 Reduct® turmeric extract (rhizome) (Curcuma longa) (95% total curcuminoids), Hypromellose (capsule)

Gummies, Water, and Bars

Lastly, Vital Proteins offers collagen in some lesser-seen ways, like gummies, bars, and collagen water

Strawberry Lemon Collagen Water
Strawberry Lemon Collagen Water
  • Description

    With 10g of collagen and 3g of sugar, this is an easy and refreshing way to get your collagen in.

  • Ingredients

    Collagen peptides (bovine), reverse osmosis filtered water, strawberry juice, lemon juice, monk fruit extract.

Transparency

Summary:

Grade: B+

While there is plenty of product information on the site, the transparency on bovine collagen sourcing and brand backstory could be better.

Vital Proteins is transparent about where their marine collagen comes from, which is sourced from the scales of Non-GMO Project Verified, wild-caught white fish off the coast of Alaska.

However, there is a bit of an issue with the bovine collagen sourcing. 

While older pages on their site show that it’s sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows in Brazil, Vital Proteins has recently been called out for their collagen’s link to deforestation in the Amazon due to the increasing demands for collagen.

While we do know that Vital Proteins immediately worked to make things right (and we give them points for being transparent here)—including redirecting their collagen sourcing to regions that avoid the Amazon area and reinforcing the respect of the land rights of Indigenous communities—it doesn’t appear to be public knowledge of where that new region is.

With a multi-million dollar company like Vital Proteins, we’re sure it’s not an overnight fix to reroute their sourcing to cattle farms out of the Amazonian area—but with this recent backlash, consumers want to be informed sooner rather than later. 

Regarding manufacturing, the products are packaged in an Illinois-based facility and undergo regular and rigorous testing to ensure compliance with third-party safety organizations, including ​​Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) standards. 

For example, they test raw materials and finished products to ensure low levels of heavy metals and microbiological components that comply with Prop 65 and NSF International standards. 

However, the third-party testing results are not available for consumers to view. 

Lastly, we hoped for more information about Vital Proteins’ backstory and founder or a current “who’s who” of the company.

Website Experience

Summary:

Grade: A+

Vital Proteins has an organized, well-designed, and informational website and blog that makes it easy to browse, shop, and learn about the products and benefits of collagen.

The Vital Proteins website offers a minimal, attractive, and well-organized design, making it easy to find and shop for products. 

The “Shop Products” tab allows you to shop by collagen type, including powder, capsules, gummies, drinks, and bars.

“Shop Products” tab

It also features plenty of helpful information about collagen and the other ingredients used in their products—we especially liked their Ingredients page, with photos and benefits of each.

 Ingredients page

They also have a supplement quiz and Comparison Page to pinpoint which collagen product would be right for you and a blog with recipes, educational articles, and more.

Customer Service

Summary:

Grade: A

With a money-back guarantee and rapid customer service responses, Vital Proteins earned a solid A here.

Vital Proteins offers three lines of communication—email, phone, and live chat—and we received helpful and rapid responses from two out of the three.

Our chat was replied to immediately (by a real person!), a phone call was answered right away, and our email was responded to in about five hours. 

Five hours is a bit slow, but the immediate replies from the two other channels ultimately make up for it. 

They also offer free shipping on orders over $50 (which is relatively easy to get to). 

However, the return policy could have been more specific on the site, and it took asking a customer service representative to get the full details. 

On the website, Vital Proteins states that they ask you to notify them of any problems with your order or products within 30 days but doesn’t expressly state that you can get a refund. 

Upon asking for clarification, we learned that they would just need to collect some information and would be able to process a refund if we didn’t like a product. 

The single downside here is that they state, “certain returns may be subject to a restocking fee,” but there are no details about which products would require that (or why). 

Overall, Vital Proteins provided excellent customer service, earning them an A in this category.

Value

Summary:

Grade: A

Although on the pricier side, Vital Protein’s products are comparable to other brands, and the ingredient quality is high. 

At $47.00 for a 28-serving container of collagen peptides, Vital Proteins could be considered a supplement on the pricier side. 

However, the prices are comparable to many other leading collagen brands—let’s take a look.

Collagen Product Price  Collagen Per Serving
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides $47.00 for 19.3oz ($2.44/oz) 20g
Ancient Nutrition Collagen Peptides $24.95 for 9.88oz ($2.56/oz) 20g
Bulletproof Collagen Peptides $43.95 for 17.6oz ($2.50/oz) 20g
Live Conscious Collagen Peptides $34.95 for 16oz ($2.18/oz) 11g

As you can see, Vital Proteins is on par with several other popular collagen peptide supplements—and the least expensive on this list has half of the collagen per serving as the others.

While we can’t go through each of Vital Proteins’ dozens of products, several others are similarly priced to other brands.

For example, the Vital Proteins Chicken Bone Broth Collagen is $1.89 per serving, while the Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Collagen Protein is $1.83 per serving. 

Overall, balancing ingredient quality with price led us to an overall A rating here. 

Brand Value

Summary:

Grade: A

Their incredible innovation and industry disruption with collagen products, philanthropic initiatives, and health professionals on the team led to an A here.

This category encapsulates how much impact the brand has in the world, including philanthropic efforts, innovation, sustainability, impact on public nutrition, and industry disruption. 

Vital Proteins definitely gets high points for industry disruption, as they essentially put collagen on the map. 

They also continually are innovating new products, from collagen gummies and water to skin, beauty, and sleep supplements

Vital Proteins also benefits public nutrition, as they were one of the first companies to provide high-quality collagen products. 

Plus, they have Registered Dietitians on the team to provide evidence-backed nutrition information and a Medical Advisory Board for their Vital Proteins Professionals line. 

Lastly, they support several social and health-related causes, including:

On the sustainability front, Vital Proteins uses otherwise-discarded parts of the animal (like skins and hides), repurposing them into their collagen products. 

They have recently begun removing 25 million plastic scoops from their containers, amounting to 250,000-plus pounds of plastic that will be removed yearly by the time they become 100% scoopless by the end of 2023. 

Vital Proteins also has a few other environment-focused initiatives underway, including:

  • Modifying shipping practices to reduce their carbon footprint
  • Offsetting 100% of their electricity usage at their manufacturing facility with renewable energy offsets
  • Working toward using more recyclable and sustainable packaging
  • Hired a Director of Sustainability and established an internal task force to dedicate time, energy, and focus to sustainability. 

However, the only thing keeping this category from a perfect score is the previously mentioned issue of Amazonian deforestation in Brazil. 

Although we know that Vital Proteins is rectifying the situation by redirecting sourcing away from regions in the Amazon rainforest, we would have loved it if it never was an issue to begin with. 

Our Experience with Vital Proteins

Our team was able to try two Vital Proteins products:

Unflavored Collagen PeptidesLemon Collagen Peptides

The Unflavored Collagen Peptides have, of course, no flavor. 

Although it doesn’t taste bad, we will say that you can tell you’re not just drinking water—you can tell something else is in there. 

However, when mixing it with another beverage (especially a hot beverage like coffee), the collagen mixed perfectly, and you couldn’t detect anything. 

The Lemon Collagen Peptides were a tastier option when mixed with plain water, providing a refreshing lemon flavor and subtly stevia-sweet taste. 

It does take a bit of legwork to get the collagen thoroughly mixed into a cold beverage (we used cold water)—a handheld electric frother definitely worked the best. 

Vital Proteins Lemon Collagen Peptides mixed with water.
Vital Proteins Lemon Collagen Peptides mixed with water.

Although Vital Proteins has dozens of different products, we can only comment on these two.

FAQs About Vital Proteins

Is Vital Proteins Collagen Beneficial?

Yes, Vital Proteins collagen supplements are thought to be beneficial, as supplementing with it regularly may support​​ hair, nail, skin, bone, joint, muscle, and ligament health. 

How Long Does It Take For Vital Proteins Collagen To Work?

Collagen is not a one-time supplement—meaning you have to take it regularly to see results. 

It’s recommended to take Vital Proteins collagen for 4-6 weeks before you may start seeing results. 

Does Jennifer Aniston Own Vital Proteins?

No, Jennifer Aniston is the Chief Creative Officer for Vital Proteins, but she does not own it.

What Does Vital Proteins Collagen Do For You?

Vital Proteins collagen (and all collagen products) are thought to support​​ hair, nail, skin, bone, joint, muscle, and ligament health. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, Vital Proteins receives an A rating from our team, with high points awarded for their stellar customer service, high-quality ingredients, and innovative collagen products. 

The only areas of improvement are their lack of transparency with bovine collagen sourcing, sharing third-party testing results, and details about the brand. 

As the Vital Proteins spokesperson told us, “[Y]ou’re not just committing to collagen. You’re joining a community of vibrant individuals investing in their wellness with a brand they trust. Since the beginning, three values—transparency, quality and clean labels—have guided our business practices, fostered brand loyalty, and helped us become the leading collagen brand.”



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