The market for beauty food, drinks and supplement is set to grow
significantly in the coming years, but difficulties with market
positioning and product claims could make tapping into that growth a
According to the most recent market data available from Kline Group –
which closely tracks the market for beauty-from-within products – the
global market for nutricosmetics was worth $1.5bn (€1.15bn) in 2007, and
is expected to grow to $2.5bn by 2012.
Factors influencing this growth include an ageing population, increased
consumer awareness, societal and environmental factors, a rise of the
‘spa culture’ and a shift towards less invasive beauty procedures.
Europe and Japan currently lead the global market for these products,
accounting for 55 and 41 percent of sales respectively. In contrast, the
US holds only 3 percent of the market. These three markets have evolved
in different ways. Japan is considered to be a mature market that is
very much focused on the mass channel. On the other hand Europe has
evolved with a distinct focus on the premium end of the market, while
the US is still very much in the early stages of market adoption.
Targeting skin hair and nails
Globally nutricosmetic product launches invariably target skin, hair
and nails, with many formulations targeting highly specific areas such
as UV protection, whitening, and pigmentation for skin, retention and
growth for hair and strengthening for nails. On the ingredients side,
vitamins and many food-derived anti-oxidants have proved highly popular
in beauty from within formulations. In turn vitamins C and E,
carotenoids, some selenium-containing enzymes, EGCG from green tea,
hydroxytyrosol from olives, and resveratrol from grapes have emerged as
ingredients with the most potential for a range of nutricosmetic
products. One brand that looks likely to establish itself as a world
leader is In & On, given that it is being launched by global
cosmetics giant Shiseido. The fact that Shiseido is Japan’s leading
global personal care player also underlines the strength of
nutricomsetics in its domestic market. Launched worldwide just a few
months ago, the range is a six week programme of beauty drinks and
supplements that cost in excess of $100 and contains a skin relaxing
complex, formulated to moisturise the skin, increase elasticity, leaving
it looking smoother and less wrinkled. Although Shiseido’s range is
fairly conventional for the category, there are signs that the market is
evolving in new and different directions as it develops.
Nutricosmetics targeting men
While most launches have tended to target women, one new product is
going in quite another direction. French brand Skeen + has launched a
vitamin enriched drink, Réanimator Jeunesse, targeted at men’s skin
The drink contains the active ingredient reservatrol, an anti-ageing
antioxidant that targets the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as
well as skin firmness, together with green tea concentrate and vitamins
A, E and C and is priced at around $60 for 50ml, very much putting it at
the prestige end of the market spectrum.
Getting these products to market is no walk in the park though. The two
big obstacles are product claims, and then once that hurdle has been
overcome, the next challenge is often how to market the product and
where to position it in retail channels.
Product claims have a big bearing on this, determining if it will be
positioned as a cosmetic, supplement or even a drug. In view of this
dilemma, most products are being tackled on a case-by-case basis, but
many companies are finding that claims have to be very carefully worded
in an effort to ensure that products can be purchased over the counter.
Product claims and positioning
But when all the challenges relating to product claims are resolved,
the challenge of where to position a nutricosmetic on the market then
Should it be marketed more like a food or drink alongside other such
products, or should the emphasis be on its beauty-giving properties, in
turn putting it in the cosmetics category?
Likewise, there is the added dilemma of how and where to position in
the retail channel. In a supermarket environment, should a supplement
for skin care be marketed alongside topical skin care products or should
it keep company with other supplements? In a supermarket, would a
beauty food sit in a food aisle or in an aisle amongst personal care
Undoubtedly the nutricosmetics category offers huge potential and
plenty of opportunity, but alongside that there are significant
challenges that, if overlooked, could mean a lot of new products will
never get off the starter block.