I first heard about Arbonne when a friend of mine gave me a tub of Arbonne Greens balance to try. She used to promote it to her friends and family when living in Australia.
I know that a lot of people (especially in the US) are fans of the brand Arbonne and – for these customers – the brand seems to tick a lot of boxes. They can even promote it to make some money on the side.
With the stiff competition amongst Greens products on the market I wanted to look into Arbonne’s brand and see if this supplement sets itself apart from the crowd.
Arbonne are a long-established company with a polished marketing approach, they appear to have the credentials to be making and selling a winning greens supplement.
So I’d like to take a closer look at some Arbonne super greens formulations, such as the Arbonne Greens Balance and Arbonne Detox.
‘The power to transform your life and the lives of others’ is a fairly appealing prospect and I can already see how people become loyal to this powerful brand. I won’t go into the full story as I’m only partially interested in the history behind the brand rather than the entire movement, but suffice to say I’m not 100% in agreement with the business model.
I go into a little more detail below, and I’m reluctant to distract from the main subject here (which is, following my super greens research, intended to be a Greens Balance product review), but to make another point which I also find difficult to stomach – the range of products available through Arbonne is HUGE.
From ‘Mind health’, to ‘Energy Fizz sticks’, Fiber boost and protein products, one could get truly lost in the virtual aisles of Arbonne products available on their website. They sell individual vitamin and mineral supplements, fitness and lifestyle products, rehydration blends and products aimed at post-workout refuelling.
There’s a supplement or product here for literally any situation, any body and anywhere.
Background on Arbonne
The family story on their website spans generations. There’s even a family snap on the opening page to reiterate this. Way back in 1965 we learn that the founder, Petter Mork – a Norwegian – was already forming his ideas for what Arbonne would become.
This is just one of the powerful and compelling aspects of the company. People love heritage.
Their vision initially was all around skin care, and this is one of their main product streams, however they soon branched into diet and nutrition products. This area, as we are fast discovering, is a hot-sell to people concerned with improving their nutrient intake, and fast. Arbonne products promise a lot in this area, and there is a vast range of products available.
My main issue, in summary, is that the company is now based on a peer-selling (MLM – multi-level-marketing model) which I really don’t agree with. Their ‘healthy living inside and out’ programme promotes to their customers the opportunity to become independent lifestyle consultants.
From a company perspective, with a little outlay, they get loyal customers and influencers in one. But I’ve done some research around this and am discovering that the scheme (often, and perhaps unfairly in this case, labelled as pyramid-selling) ultimately benefits the company rather than the consultants.
As I said above, there has been plenty of research into companies which use this model to sell products, and I don’t want to revisit this research, but I instantly don’t want to like the products if they are coming from this stable.
So, let’s take a look at the specific greens blend products and see if they stand up to the competition.
Arbonne Greens Balance Ingredients
The Arbonne Essentials Greens Balance blend is part of the Arbonne Essentials range. The tub says it is ‘Featuring a Greens Balance with fruit and vegetable concentrates’. It is also upfront about being a dietary supplement.
Vegan, soy-free, gluten-free and all-natural. The ‘Arbonne Advantage’ is to use ‘Plant-powered, nutrient-rich products that are cleaner for better results, following a strict ingredient policy that is always gluten-free, vegan and without GMO ingredients’.
Well this is all well and good but I can’t see how this stands out from the crowd. I’d rather they just told me how much of what is inside!
A scoop is 7.34g. The listing breaks the ingredients down into the following:
Arbonne proprietary blend of greens (3800mg)
Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis), Alfalfa Grass (Medicago sativa), Barley Grass (Hordeum vulgare), Wheat Grass (Triticum aestivum), Chlorella (Chlorella vulgaris), Spinach (Spinacia oleracea), Kale (Brassica oleracea acephala), Artichoke (Cynara scolymus), Broccoli (Brassica oleracea), Parsley (Petroselinum crispum).
The remainder of the blend is made up of ‘Arbonne proprietary blend of yellows.. reds.. blues and Omega-3 seed blend’. These are largely concentrated fruit and veggie powders mentioned on the front of the tin.
So, once again, I have come across a company who are producing a supergreens powder but who are not being transparent with customers about the amounts of each ingredient being used.
Let me just take Spirulina as an example of why I would like to see more ingredient information included on the packaging. Sources agree that roughly 1-8g daily of Spirulina can be beneficial to health, however, so little is being included in a 3800mg proprietary blend (which makes up a tiny percentage of a 7g serving).
Yes, spirulina is nutrient-dense, but why use so little?
If the same is true of each of the ingredients in the greens blend alone then how tiny percentage of these powerful greens ingredients are actually present in this product?
I would really like to see companies producing more transparent ingredients lists, or perhaps even using more of the tangibly potent ingredients within their blends.
How Does Arbonne Greens Balance Taste?
I’m going to have to rely on reviews to answer this, but I actually found it quite difficult to find reviews of this product from the usual places. The Amazon store I visited didn’t have reviews of the exact product I’ve been looking at from Arbonne’s own website and I even did a little search on their own site for ‘Greens taste’ but with no results available.
I actually had to google Arbonne Greens taste in order to find a review. How strange.
One reviewer stated that it ‘added a bit of an earthy undertone [to my usual chocolate protein shake]’. Not unusual, greens tend to be a little earthy in their flavour.
I may be mistaken but I couldn’t see individual product reviews available on the product pages of the Arbonne site. This again seems to be a little lacking in honesty as I know that many companies find it beneficial to be open and transparent about customer feedback.
So, it remains to be seen whether a broad spectrum of customers find the taste to be agreeable or not.
The ingredients list does include cane sugar and stevia, so I assume that some of the vegetable flavor is potentially masked by this sweetness. This is common in greens powder blends and comes down to personal taste as to whether you will enjoy this flavor.
As with most nutritional and dietary supplements you have to be careful that you’re not allergic to any ingredients.
Similarly it’s up to you to be aware that the first few times you consume greens powders you may suffer a small amount of digestional discomfort due to the content.
The Arbonne Greens Balance is clear that it is ‘Made in a facility that processes wheat, Crustacean shellfish, fish, soybeans, milk, and tree nuts’. It’s helpful to have this little reminder of just why you need to always check what goes into your food and drink, and also the environment in which it is being produced.
Does Arbonne Greens Balance Actually Work?
Again I can look at reviews to take a balanced view on the effectiveness of these powders. My instinct is that due to the proprietary blends it would be hard to say how and why the blend would or could be as effective as others available on the market, but one reviewer claims;
I will NOT be giving up my Greens balance … I am feeling a lot healthier this year and my energy levels are fantastic, my immune system is awesome, my hormones are balanced, my rheumatoid arthritis is not only under control, but I wake up to no pain or stiffness at all. Let’s just say that what I’m doing is working really well.
The few reviewers that I have found tend to also have participated in the Arbonne Detox, a programme which supplies bottled formulation for 7-days worth of detoxifying.
This is interesting, so I’ve taken a short look at this product too.
The Arbonne Detox is marketed as a parcel of products, named ‘30 days to healthy living’.
There’s a 20-page guide available on the website which guides you through the various products and daily behaviours. There are testimonials on the site which suggest how effective the detox is. Of course it is the intention that you buy into the whole package by also buying products from the skincare range to enhance your healthy ‘outside’.
Arbonne Greens Balance Customer Reviews
Arbonne Green Balance reviews are, as I stated above, fairly hard to come by.
By contrast, one only need do a little searching around to find a plethora of complaints about Arbonne themselves as a business and their products.
This is to be expected with a huge multinational corporation, especially one that relies so heavily on brand loyalty and peer-influencing, and much of the complaining is around this aspect, rather than the specific products I am reviewing.
Money Back Guarantee / Returns Policy
Arbonne have a complicated system whereby you must obtain a return merchandise authorization number (through calling their customer support phone number), and I have no idea what happens next.
Not particularly transparent.
Where to Buy Arbonne Greens Balance?
Is It Worth the Price?
The tub of Arbonne Essentials Green balance retails on their own site (30 servings) for $52 USD. I am not 100% clear how large the tub is, but if you multiply the per-scoop serving size by 30 (daily servings) it works out as 220g. This is a very expensive product whichever way you cut it.
The Bottom Line
So, rather than hark on about how much I dislike MLM selling and businesses based on this model, I’ll bring it back to the product. I just don’t think it’s for me, and here’s why:
Arbonne have used a proprietary blend, meaning I don’t know how much I’m getting of each ingredient. With this product being a part of their ‘Essentials’ range I really wanted it to be a potent blend of effective ingredients, but sadly it doesn’t appear to be the case.
With ingredients coming in such a small serving size I believe the product is definitely overpriced for what you’re getting. The tub is only 30 days’ supply and retails at $52 US. Too much money for me, for a product which cannot be considered to be ‘best of breed’.
My search for the ideal greens powder blend continues or does it?
LifeHacker Guy Greens Recommendation
Please give me a few moments to shamelessly introduce my brand, SuperGreen TONIK.
I have researched a lot (and I mean a lot) of super greens out there but was disappointed with most of the ones I tried.
So, I went out and created my own with the help of a USA manufacturer because I wanted to ensure I got all my veggie goodness in the right amounts, and of course within a no-fuss single serving each day.
None of the other brands offered that.
Its the best out there (of course I would say that about my own), but let me tell you why...
- No hidden ingredient amounts - we have full disclosure labelling, so you know EXACTLY whats inside
- Sufficient ingredient amounts to make a difference - we include at least (if not more of) the minimum effective amounts supported by research
- Ingredients that also could boost mental clarity and shake off brain fog - to boost my at work and home
After many months I finally got a greens formula that fuels my body and mind for the day ahead.
But please dont JUST take my word for it, make up your own decision by checking out my review. (I TRY BE BE AS UNBIASED AS POSSIBLE )