Consumers expect cosmetics and toiletries to offer health and well-being benefits in addition to beauty benefits, and use products for the mind as much as for the body. The beauty benefit of what is ingested is now considered to be as important as that of what is applied, spawning a whole new category termed nutricosmetics. “The pressure to look good all the time is pushing consumers to find an arsenal of beauty measures,” says Diana Dodson, senior industry analyst for cosmetics and toiletries, Euromonitor International.* “Increasingly, the trend is toward a more natural look, and beauty-from-within is better aligned with this ideal than the short-term fixes topical products provide.”
Research firm Kline & Company* puts the value of the global nutricosmetics market at $1.5 billion, compared to $168 billion for the general cosmetics and toiletries industry. Its research shows that Japan and Europe are the two largest markets for nutricosmetics. “The category is significantly smaller in the U.S., given that Americans tend to be more skeptical of the ‘beauty-from-within’ concept,” says Carrie Mellage, director, consumer products, Kline & Company.
Nica Lewis, head of cosmetics research, Mintel,* maintains that nutricosmetics have also not met with great success in France. “Several factors have been holding back the market—including indifference, skepticism, perception that consumers don’t need vitamins and limited distribution,” she says. “The problem with oral supplements is that people take them on faith, as it is hard to see that they are working. With exfoliators and serums, they are more likely to see a result.”
Japan is the most developed market for nutricosmetics, where consumers have long been aware of the role of food, drinks and dietary supplements in health, wellness and beauty. “[The Japanese] receptiveness to this concept has opened the way for an innovative nutricosmetics market crowded with products so novel that they struggle to find credibility beyond Japan,” points out Dodson. Examples include a collagen-enriched soup from Nissin Food Products, Shiseido’s skin whitening drink and edible fragrance, Fuwarinka, a candy that releases a vanilla scent through the sweat glands.
The launch of innovative nutricosmetic products by major non-C&T multinationals may influence the way consumers perceive the segment. French dairy brand Danone has launched a vitamin-fortified yogurt called Danone Essensis, designed to integrate into a regular skin care regimen to supplement skin from within. It was first launched in the cosmetics department of Printemps before rolling out to supermarkets. “Yogurt has many known health benefits, but now it is continuing to gain ground for its beauty benefits,” says Mintel’s Lewis. “The active live cultures are responsible for most of the benefits, and eating yogurt has been shown to support digestive health, improve immune system function and prevent imbalances in the body’s yeast levels. More recently, yogurt has also been linked to promoting healthy skin and hair.”
Nestlé recently launched a collagen-enriched lowfat drink in Hong Kong under the Day & Night brand. The two-drink pack consists of a 225 mL bottle of both Night and Day drinks. The formulation contains collagen ingredients, which are said to maintain skin elasticity and moisture, and the day and night combination mimics skin care beauty regimens.
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