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Photo of the different available Ensure shakes from June 2012
June 2012 Ensure product lineup
Type Dietary supplement, Meal replacement
Invented 1973; 44 years ago (1973)
Cookbook: Ensure  Media: Ensure

Ensure is the brand name of nutritional supplements and meal replacements manufactured by Abbott Laboratories.

In 1903, Harry C. Moores and Stanley M. Ross launched the "Moores & Ross Milk Company" which specialized in bottling milk for home delivery for the first few years.[1] By 1964, however, the company merged with Abbott Laboratories. A drink called Ensure was first marketed by Ross Laboratories in 1973.[1]

In the 1990s Ensure and other nutritional drink products like Mead Johnson's Sustacal and Nestlé's Boost and Resource brands were fiercely competing to capture market share among healthy adults.[2] In 1996 Ensure had sales of about $300 million and accounted for 80% of protein supplement sales; Abbott spent $45.4 million to advertise Ensure during the first nine months of 1996, around 70% more than it spent during the same period of 1995.[3] In 1995 the Center for Science in the Public Interest said that ads for Ensure were "the most misleading food ad" of that year.[2] In 1997 Abbott settled charges from the Federal Trade Commission that it was falsely marketing Ensure as having a similar amount of vitamins as multivitamin supplements, as being recommended by doctors more than any other nutritional supplement, and as being recommended by doctors as a way to stay healthy and active for people who were otherwise healthy.[2][4]

Ensure has been used in the force feeding of hunger-striking prisoners at the United States' Guantanamo Bay detention camps.[5]

When Abbott split off its pharmaceuticals division, Abbvie, in 2013, the Ensure product line remained with Abbott with the other nutritional products.[6]

As of 2016, variants of Ensure included:[7]

  • Ensure Original
  • Ensure Original Pudding[8]
  • Ensure Plus
  • Ensure Enlive
  • Ensure High Protein
  • Ensure Clear
  • Ensure Light
  • Ensure Compact
  • Ensure Original Nutrition Powder
  • Ensure Muscle Health[9]

As of 2016, Ensure Complete had been discontinued.[10]


  1. ^ a b "Ross Laboratories". Ohio History Central. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Burros, Marian (8 January 1997). "Eating Well". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  3. ^ Gellene, Denise (3 January 1997). "Ensure Maker Settles Ad Charges". Los Angeles Times. 
  4. ^ "Docket No. C-3745: In the Matter of Abbot Laboratories, a corporation" (PDF). FTC. May 30, 1997. 
  5. ^ Photos from Guantanamo’s force-feeding facilities, Washington Post 10 May 2013
  6. ^ Marbury, Donna (November 29, 2012). "As Abbott and AbbVie move toward split-up, Wall Street waits". Medill Reports. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "Ensure Products". Ensure. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  8. ^ "Ensure Original Pudding". Abbott Nutrition. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "Muscle drink with HMB targets the middle-aged". LA Times. May 29, 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "Ensure Complete". Ensure. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 

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