Ensure vs Complan: A Nutritional Drink Comparison 2024

Ensure vs Complan: Nutritional drinks like Ensure and Complan provide concentrated nutrition for people with increased calorie and nutrient needs. Both offer complete, balanced nutrition but have some key differences.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It should not be considered comprehensive medical advice and you should always consult your doctor or dietitian before making changes to meet nutritional requirements. Brands or products referenced are not endorsements and the author is not affiliated with either company.

What is Ensure?

Ensure is a nutritionally complete supplement drink from the global healthcare company Abbott. It was originally launched in 1973 to help patients gain or maintain healthy weight as directed by their doctors or dietitians.

The Ensure line of products includes drinks to support:

  • Healthy weight and nutrition
  • Muscle strength and performance
  • Recovery after surgery or illness
  • Overall health for aging adults

Ensure is available in ready-to-drink shakes, powders to mix with milk or water, high-protein shakes, and plant-based options.

It undergoes rigorous quality and safety testing to verify nutritional completeness and food safety.

What is Complan?

Complan is a nutritional supplement drink made by Heinz India. It was launched in 1969 and is one of India’s leading health drink brands for children and adults.

Complan aims to provide a supplemental balanced diet to help prevent nutritional gaps. It is marketed for qualities like:

  • Enhanced growth and development for children
  • Improved strength, stamina, and recovery for adults
  • Brain and memory support through vitamins and minerals

Complan offers milk-based, chocolate, vanilla, banana, strawberry, and Elaichi flavor drinks. They sell powder formulations to mix with milk as well as ready-to-drink bottles.

Nutritional Content

Both Ensure and Complan contain complete, balanced nutrition with protein, carbs, fat, vitamins, and minerals. However, Ensure tends to provide more calories and protein per serving.

 Ensure Nutrition Facts

Ensure shapes are 225-350 calories and 9-13 grams of protein per serving. The powder options suggest mixing two scoops with 8 ounces of milk, providing about 350 calories and 13 grams of protein.

The Ensure Max Protein shake specifically contains 30 grams of protein and 350 calories per serving. Ensure Plant-Based has 20 grams of plant protein per 270-calorie bottle.

Complan Nutrition Facts

An average 200ml servings of Complan provides 340-380 calories and 14-15 grams of protein depending on the flavor. Their new Complan Nutrigro formula is said to have 25 essential nutrients to help meet daily needs.

So Complan offers comparable nutrition levels to most Ensure products. But Ensure Max Protein provides exceptionally high protein, while Complan may have more flavors to choose from.

Key Ingredients

Since they aim to deliver complete nutrition, both Ensure and Complan contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients.

Ensure Key Ingredients

Ensure shakes typically contain:

  • Protein: From milk and soy sources to support muscle maintenance. Ensure Plus has 18g per serving.
  • Vitamin A, C, D, E: For immune health, bone strength, cell regeneration, and antioxidant activity.
  • Zinc and Selenium: Supports immune defense and thyroid function.
  • 23 Vitamins and Minerals: Including iron, calcium, biotin, chromium, magnesium, and more.
  • Prebiotic Fiber: 3g to support digestive and gut health.
  • No Artificial Colors, Sweeteners, or Flavors: Uses natural flavors and sucrose and corn maltodextrin for 8-10g sugar per serving.

The plant-based Ensure uses pea protein, soy protein isolates, omega-3s, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and 2g sugar.

Complan Key Ingredients

Complan similarly contains a full amino acid profile with vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Whey protein for lean muscle
  • Maltodextrin and sucralose for taste
  • Calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D for bone health
  • Iron, zinc, folate, and vitamin A to support immunity
  • Guar gum and gum acacia as stabilizing agents
  • Chocolate or other natural flavors
  • Probiotics in some formulas to support digestion

So in terms of vitamins and protein sources, the two brands are broadly comparable. But Ensure emphasizes its naturally sourced ingredients and lack of artificial additives.

Flavors Available

Ensure and Complan both offer a variety of flavors and formulations.

 Ensure Flavors

Ensure has 10+ core flavor options like:

  • Milk chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Strawberry
  • Peach
  • Butter pPecanPlus has additional flavors for its Max Protein, Clear, and Plant-Based lines like chocolate peanut butter, wild berry, café mocha, coconut, and more.

The powder formulations can be mixed into the drinker’s milk or milk alternative of choice.

Complan Flavors

Complan provides drink options in flavors like:

  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Strawberry
  • Banana
  • Mango
  • Elaichi
  • Chocolate with chocolate chips/granules
  • Kesar badam milk

So while Ensure has strong core flavors, Complan appears to have a greater diversity of fruit flavors, spices, and formulation varieties to choose from.

Cost Comparison

On average Ensure tends to cost more than Complan since it’s an imported brand-name supplement drink. However, costs vary based on quantity, formulations, and locations purchased.

Ensure Cost

Ensure typically costs $15-30 USD per 8-pack of 8 fluid-ounce bottles, or $1-3 per bottle. Larger packages with 20-24 bottles may cost $25-60.

The powder cans used to mix shakes tend to cost $20-50 per large canister.

Ensure is widely available internationally from pharmacies, health food stores, retailers like Walmart and Target, and online. It’s covered by some insurance plans depending on individual nutritional needs.

Complan Cost 

In India, Complan costs around ₹350-500 for a 500g jar used to mix 16 servings. Their ready-to-drink packs of 4 bottles cost ₹250-400.

So Complan works out to around $4-7 USD per 16 servings or $0.25-0.50 per serving. It’s more affordable than Ensure since it’s locally manufactured.

Complan can be purchased through Indian pharmacies, supermarkets, health food shops, and online sites.

Target Consumers

While anyone can benefit from balanced nutritional supplements, Ensure and Complan target some distinct consumer groups.

Ensure’s, Target Market

Ensure is broadly marketed towards:

  • Elderly or hospitalized patients needing extra calories, protein, or specific nutrients
  • Active older adults aiming to maintain energy and bone health
  • Athletes and bodybuilders seeking to build muscle and refuel around workouts
  • People with dietary restrictions need nutrient-dense balanced nutrition
  • Kids who are underweight or picky eaters need supplemental nutrition

Complan’s Target Audience 

In contrast, Complan is positioned heavily towards:

  • Indian parents want to provide supplemental nutrition for their children’s growth and development
  • Teenagers and young adults looking to get more energy
  • Elderly people seeking memory and brain support from vitamins

So while Ensure has a wide target demographic focused on medical needs or performance goals, Complan caters more towards families supporting children’s health in India.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Ensure Better than Complan?

Ensure and Complan both provide complete, balanced nutrition ideal for supplementing daily dietary needs. Ensure offers more protein per serving, while Complan provides more flavor varieties. Overall Ensure may have higher production standards, while Complan is more affordable in India.

Does Ensure help you gain weight?

Yes, Ensure can help you gain or maintain a healthy weight by providing concentrated extra calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Healthcare providers often recommend Ensure to support healthy weight, especially for elderly patients at risk of unwanted weight loss or malnutrition.

Is Complan good for a child’s brain development? 

Complan contains iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins which support healthy brain development and function for children. However, a healthy balanced whole foods diet, education, quality sleep, and exercise also play very important roles in a child’s growing brain over any one supplement.


In summary, both Ensure and Complan offer nutritionally balanced supplements to help support dietary gaps or increased nutritional needs. Ensure provides exceptional protein content to maintain muscle, strength, and function, while Complan focuses more on affordable nutrition for families.

Ensure comes from an established global healthcare company and adheres to strict quality standards, while the local Complan brand offers more budget-friendly options with a wider selection of flavors. Either can be beneficial depending on your health goals, access, budget, and preferences. But for both brands, it’s important not to replace regular meals and to consult your doctor if using them for medical needs.

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