Vitamins, Dietary Supplements and Meal Replacements


Vitamins, minerals and tonics sold in pill, capsule, tablet or other form and not considered to be ingredients in the preparation of foods or beverages for human consumption, as defined by law, are not basic groceries and are therefore generally taxable.

Dietary supplements

The GST and QST apply to dietary supplements made from synthetic or natural ingredients and produced in the following forms:

  • capsule
  • granulated
  • pill
  • powdered form
  • tablet

These products are sometimes sold by drugstores and health food stores.

Appetite suppressants sold in pill, tablet or capsule form are also taxable.

Dietary supplements in granulated or powdered form sold as ingredients to be mixed with foods or beverages, or that can be used in their preparation, are zero-rated, provided such supplements when mixed with water do not produce a non-carbonated fruit juice or fruit-flavoured beverage containing less than 25% by volume:

  • a natural fruit juice or combination of natural fruit juices, or
  • a reconstituted natural fruit juice or combination of reconstituted natural fruit juices.

Liquid dietary supplements that are taken with a spoon (and not drunk from a glass) and that are not meant to quench a thirst cannot be considered beverages and are therefore taxable.

Meal replacements

Meal replacement bars and beverages labelled as such within the meaning of the federal Food and Drugs Act are zero-rated since these items are not considered to be dietary supplements. (Meal replacement bars are considered to be zero-rated basic groceries.)

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