Are you a registered dietitian looking for ways to get your hands on the latest healthy, nutritious products?
Good news: there are tons of companies out there that provide free samples for dietitians. Whether it’s a new snack, protein powder, or allergen-friendly product, these freebies come in handy as both part of your own sampling and/or when preparing special nutrition events (PS: we have a LOT of ideas for nutrition events in this blog post). Having tried products yourself can make you feel more confident recommending them to your own clients.
We’ve compiled a list of 20 companies that give away samples so that you can find exactly what you need for any upcoming occasion.
Let’s take a look at some of the best companies offering samples…and explore what the expectations are for receiving samples. We have three main sections to this post; food samples, Protein and Supplement Samples, and Clinical and Long-Term Care Samples.
Lastly, we will wrap up this post with suggestions from expert RDs on what you should (and shouldn’t) do with your samples. Getting samples is part of building relationships with brands and companies so that you can provide trustworthy recommendations to your patients and clients.
First off: food!
Disclosure: contains affiliate links. As an affiliate, RD2RD earns a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you.
Dietitians may receive free samples from companies when they are ambassadors, paid media clients, or have signed up for samples through the company’s website. – Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Owner, Sound Bites Nutrition
There are many different companies that offer samples for RDs to try and share with their clients. Here are a few of our favorites!
Enjoy Life Foods
About: Enjoy Life produces allergen-friendly cookies, baking ingredients, and snacks. All of their products are free from gluten as well as the top 14 food allergens.
Free samples offered: They offer product donations for professionals working with people with food allergies and/or celiac disease. This includes healthcare professionals and retail dietitians.
How to get them: You can apply for product donations on their website at least six weeks before you need them. Note that not all applications are approved.
About: 88 Acres offers allergen-friendly seed-based bars, spreads, and nut-free granola. Their dark chocolate sunflower seed butter is a best seller!
Free samples offered: They offer free samples of all of their products to people working in the allergy community, including private practice dietitians and RDs working in schools.
How to get them: You can request samples and coupons from their website. They also have free PDF handouts that you can download and use.
About: Daiya creates dairy-free alternatives to cheese, yogurt, and prepared foods including frozen dairy-free pizza and frozen cheesecake. All Daiya products are Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, and Gluten free and free of the top 8 allergens. Beyond the allergy community, dietitians working with renal patients are using Daiya products because their main products have less protein than their traditional dairy counterparts.
Free samples offered: Each kit contains free product coupons for sampling, $1 off coupons, and product information sheets.
How to get them: To receive a Clinical Dietitian and Nutritionist kit, please e-mail them at [email protected] with “Dietitian/Nutritionist Kit” in the subject line.
To receive a Retail Dietitian and Nutritionist kit, please e-mail them at [email protected] with “Retail Kit” in the subject line.
Chloe’s Fruit Pops
About: Chloe’s offers lower-sugar, additive-free, and no-added-sugar popsicles. They’re also the creator of the first ever oat-milk pop. A great choice for people seeking frozen desserts with a shorter ingredient list and less sugar.
Free samples offered: Chloe’s offers coupons upon request for events and samplings. Additionally, they give dietitians the opportunity to opt-in to mailers throughout the year to receive seasonal treats from Chloe’s & like-minded brands.
How to get them: Apply to receive free samples on their website.
About: Crunchmaster offers gluten-free, allergen-friendly crackers and other crunchy, savory snacks. They also have an option for those with a sweet tooth: crunchy brownie thins. Crunchmaster is a 100% peanut-free facility, however, some of their products contain tree nuts, sesame, and soy.
Free samples offered: Product samples and coupons to share with your clients.
How to get them: Fill out this form on their website and select “free samples” in the dropdown menu.
Bob’s Red Mill
About: Bob’s Red Mill specializes in whole grains, flours, and gluten-free products. Their flours are stone milled. Having coupons or samples of a trendy new grain (hey amaranth!) can be a fun way to try something new.
Free samples offered: specific products and coupons can be requested.
How to get them: Fill out this form at least eight weeks in advance.
About: RightRice is a higher protein alternative to regular rice. This product is made from lentil flour, chickpeas, peas, and rice and is ready in about ten minutes on the stove.
Free samples offered: Varies
How to get them: To request RightRice samples, please email them at [email protected].
About: GoGo SqueezⓇ makes applesauce, yogurt, smoothie, and pudding pouches. They have dairy-based and plant-based products. They also have a larger serving size option for older kids to be able to get an entire serving of fruit in one pouch.
Free samples offered: Varies
How to get them: Fill out this form at least 4 weeks in advance.
Bada Bean, Bada Boom
About: Bada Bean, Bada Boom specializes in crunchy, savory snacks that are all made from…beans! Crunchy roasted broad beans (aka fava beans) are seasoned in a wide variety of flavors, from sweet sriracha to honey BBQ.
Free samples offered: Varies by request
How to get them: Request samples using this form.
Protein and Nutrition Drink Samples
In this section, we explore a few companies that offer high-protein product samples for dietitians to try and share with their clients.
About: UNJURY offers high-protein products that are appropriate for a variety of settings, including weight loss surgery, oncology, wound care, and long-term care. Their product line includes ready-to-drink protein shakes, protein powders, and high-protein soups.
Free samples offered: samples to share with patients as well as a tasting kit for your office staff.
How to get them: fill out this form.
About: Orgain specializes in plant-based, soy-free protein shakes that are free of artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives. Orgain was founded by Andrew Abraham, M.D., physician and cancer survivor.
Free samples offered: Orgain offers “samples, coupons, special offers, resources, and continuing education that enable them to make a positive impact in the lives of their patients or clients.”
How to get them: You can become an Orgain Ambassador in three steps.
- Complete and submit the Ambassador Account Request form.
- Activate your account via the email you receive from Orgain.
- Create your own unique password.
About: Small-volume protein drinks that provide 16 grams of protein per two-ounce “shot” serving. This product is developed with dietitians and is appropriate for use in a variety of settings, including in long-term care, dialysis, and bariatric.
Free samples offered: coupons for your patients and clients.
How to get them: Use this form to request coupons.
About: dairy-based protein drinks, powders, and bars. They offer a wide range of flavors beyond chocolate and vanilla, including pumpkin spice, mint chocolate, and cake batter.
Free samples offered: varies based on your work setting and typical clients.
How to get them: complete the application form.
Here are two supplement companies that offer samples for dietitians to try and share within their practice.
About: Culturelle is a company specializing in evidence-based probiotics with products that are for people across the lifespan. From immune defense to IBS support, there is a probiotics that is a helpful match for your wellness goals.
Free samples offered: Sample products for adults and children are available as well as new products as they become available.
How to get them: Fill out this form on their website to apply.
About: Regular Girl products are low-FODMAP certified supplements to support regularity, without excessive gas or bloating. Regular Girl Original contains 5 grams of prebiotic fiber and 8 billion probiotics and easily dissolves in your favorite drink.
Free samples offered: Regular Girl Original, Regular Girl Wellness, and Sunfiber GI.
How to get them: Fill out this form on their website to apply. Must be based in the US to receive samples or to become an ambassador.
About: OMG Nutrition is a company that makes powdered, fruit-flavored magnesium supplement powders. Their products are gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, and dairy-free. They are also free from artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavors. They are manufactured in an NSF-certified facility.
Free samples offered: product samples
How to get them: Click the button at the bottom of this page to request samples
Clinical and Long-Term Care Samples
For our clinical and long-term care dietitians, these samples might be of interest to try!
About: Kate Farms specializes in plant-based formulas for oral supplementation and tube feeding. Their menu of options includes pediatric and adult formulas. Their nutrition shakes come in chocolate, vanilla and coffee flavors.
Free samples offered: product samples.
How to get them: Scroll down to ‘healthcare providers’ and click the button to request samples
About: Thick-It makes starch-based products to thicken liquids so that people with dysphagia can safely swallow them. They also offer ready-to-drink beverages that have been thickened already, such as apple juice.
Free samples offered: Samples are available for US-based home care providers as well as facility managers who work in a hospital or long-term care facility.
How to get them: Create an account to request your free samples.
About: Novasource is a high-calorie, high-protein oral supplement designed for people on dialysis.
Free samples offered: Each sample may include one of each flavor (Vanilla, Strawberry, and Café Mocha).
How to get them: Complete this form to request samples.
About: Nestle is the largest food and beverage company in the world. They offer a wide selection of infant formulas including specialized formulas for infants with more complex medical needs. They also make Arginaid, a protein supplement for wound care, and other products for adults.
Free samples offered: Varies.
How to get them: Create an account on their medical hub to request them.
Tips for Using Free Samples
As much fun as it is to have something complimentary arrive on your doorstep, it is important to keep in mind the why – oftentimes brands are sending you free samples because they want you to feature their products!
Marketing, trial and brand awareness are usually the key reasons behind a brand’s sampling strategy.
Jaime Schwartz Cohen, MS, RD, and director of nutrition at Ketchum says: “the primary goal is to make the dietitian aware of the product and give them the opportunity to try it for themselves. The brand ultimately hopes to earn the recommendation of the dietitian.”
What to do with your samples?
How you use your samples will vary based on how and where you practice as a dietitian.
If you’re practicing clinically, samples of various protein shakes and supplements might offer clarity to your clients on what they’ll want to purchase once they go home from your facility. Knowing that they’ll like the new product will be a huge comfort to them.
If you’re a dietitian practicing in a community or private practice setting, your samples might be a fun and valuable addition to your next 1:1 counseling session, lunch and learn or health fair.
Coupons, product handouts and info guides that brands provide to you can add value to new client welcome packets, be an addition to your display at a health fair or a useful teaching tool during your next session.
For dietitians in retail settings (or foodservice), sampling various products can offer brands an opportunity to be added to menu or items for sale.
And no matter what setting you practice in: don’t forget the interns! Even if you’re familiar with a product, be sure to let the students and interns get to sample them, too. Getting to try all of the different products and supplements is a valuable learning experience for students. (Never supervised an intern before? This blog post walks you through best practices to make the experience valuable for all parties: Precepting Interns as a Private Practice Dietitian)
Now that you know how you might be using samples…what are the brands expecting in return from you?
What do brands expect in return?
When you request free samples from a brand, or when they proactively reach out to you with the offer to send samples, you may be wondering what their expectations are. Should you feel obligated to post or thank the brand on social media? What are the ethics requirements for dietitians regarding disclosure?
Unless you expressly agreed to share on social media, you shouldn’t feel obligated to do so, but it’s an excellent way to say thanks.
When you receive free product samples it is courteous to share a story post thanking the brand for their generous samples. Samples are expensive to ship and a big deal, particularly for small companies, so the polite thing to do would be to mention the product in your stories as a thank you.“ – Jenna Gorham, RD, Founder of The RD Link
If you choose to share on social media, always disclose that you received free samples!
Unsure how to disclose correctly? Grab our guide featuring key Do’s and Don’ts for Social Sharing about Free Samples.
Nurturing relationships with brands
Have you set your sites on serving as a brand ambassador or securing a sponsored blog post or reel?
Receiving samples can be a valuable part of building relationships with companies and brands.
Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, CEO of Master the Media explains that “brands like to know that you’re a natural fan before they decide to work with you. It does nobody any good if you are not naturally enthusiastic about a product when partnering with a brand! So I always ask myself, “Would I eat this product, serve it to my family, and/or recommend it to clients?” before I even consider working with a product. If the answer is “yes,” it passes the gut check test.”
If there is a company that you’d like to partner with that isn’t on this list, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. Explain who your clients or patients are and how the company’s product might be of interest to them. Grab this free pitch template for help with what to say!
“If you love the product and want to email the brand to express your interest in partnering in the future, be specific about how and why you would make a good brand partner (e.g., sharing stats about your audience, engagement, examples of previous work) and how the partnership might fit into the brand’s current marketing campaign. It’s not enough to be a fan of the brand, you also need to do your homework to determine if you are the right partner for the brand’s current priorities and what you can offer them as a partner.”
Remember there is difference between nurturing a potential relationship and working for free (samples are not a form a payment!).
“Another common mistake is giving away too much for free. A properly positioned Instagram story, placement in a blog post, or even inclusion in a media interview are all great when done strategically—but I wouldn’t recommend doing all of these and doing so blindly. There is a big difference, for instance, between spending a few minutes posting a story and spending a few hours creating and editing a Reel.
If you’re ready to dive into media work and brand partnerships, be sure to check out Amy Gorin’s coaching program. You’ll gain comprehensive training and mentorship in developing a media-based business.
Amy shares: “In the Master the Media Coaching Program, we help our students navigate all the ins and outs of how to secure paid brand sponsorship work, how to negotiate to earn your worth, and how to protect yourself legally so you don’t make mistakes that can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
The bottom line
Many companies partner with registered dietitians. Not only does this give registered dietitians an opportunity to try the products, but it also allows their clients and patients to try the products before investing in them themselves.
If you request samples, keep in mind that providing you with samples is an investment that the company is making. Be sure to follow best practices in terms of disclosure, requesting far in advance, and don’t forget to say thank you!
Did we miss any? Comment below with any companies you’ve received free samples from.
More Resources and Further Reading
Right here on RD2RD, we have blog content and products created for dietitians by dietitians.
- Ethics Self Study (1.5 CEUs): What Dietitians in Online Business Need to Know – By following other best practices related to email marketing, disclosures, and testimonials – you’ll be able to uphold your ethical obligations while running a profitable online business.
- 38 Free CEUs for Dietitians: Your Ultimate Guide – Let’s talk about money – M-O-N-E-Y! This post breaks down average dietitian salaries by position and offers tips to get paid more.
- The 7 Best Specialty Certifications for Dietitians – Of the many certifications for dietitians available, which one is the very best? Depends on who you love working with!
- The Best Unconventional Jobs for Dietitians: Think Outside the Clinical Box!– Move over clinical: if that work doesn’t light you up, open up this post as quickly as you can! We have 28 unconventional jobs for dietitians to explore.