Nutricosmetic Sales Are Growing Globally, Ranging from Pills to Beauty Food and Drinks
Nutricosmetics, also sometimes called “beauty foods,” are meeting growing demands for convenient, proactive tools for looking youthful longer. These beauty products combine elements of functional foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. The majority of nutricosmetics in the market are nutritional supplements designed to support the structure and function of the skin. Nutricosmetic ingredients include micronutrients such as vitamins with antioxidant properties, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, carotenoids, and flavonoids to protect the skin from damaging ultraviolet light. There are also products for hair and nail care, with more mainstream beverages starting to tout claims related to these areas.
Nutricosmetic sales are growing globally. While the more established market is in Asia, growth is actually stronger in North America and Western Europe, where aging populations are looking to maintain health, including appearance, into later life.
Nutricosmetics’ share of the overall dietary supplement market is still small. According to Innova Market Insights data, just under 2% of global dietary supplement launches recorded in 2017 were specifically targeted at hair, skin, and/or nail health, up from 1% of product launches five years previously. In Asia, unsurprisingly, nutricosmetic launch activity is higher, accounting for nearly 3% of the region’s supplement launches in 2017. The United States was well below the global average, by comparison; just 1% of U.S. supplement launches targeted hair, skin, and/or nail health. Still, this percentage is an improvement over the 0.6% share that such supplement launches had in the U.S. in 2012.
Imedeen was probably the first global nutricosmetic brand to come to market. The brand was developed in the late 1980s in Scandinavia and is available globally today. The company’s range of skincare tablets was promoted as working from within to nourish the deep layer of skin “untouched by traditional creams and lotions.”
One of the most recent entrants to the U.S. nutricosmetic market is direct marketer Avon, which launched its Espira range of health and wellness supplements in early 2018. The line is segmented into Restore, Boost, and Glow sub-brands, with the Glow range focusing on hair, skin, and nail care and featuring key ingredients such as antioxidants, biotin, vitamin C, and collagen peptides. The Glow range includes an AM Protect product for protecting skin and building healthier hair and nails, as well as a PM Restore product, a powdered mix to support better skin and nail quality in just 30 days.
Many nutricosmetic launches focus their marketing on skin, hair, and nail health and avoid mentioning the term beauty specifically, perhaps in order to reduce the risk of challenges over claims. There are some products, however, that do feature beauty in their names. One example is Viatal’s Better Beauty supplement, which is launching this fall.
Finally, there is ongoing interest in developing more mainstream food and drink products with a beauty positioning, although Japan is the only part of the world where this is really an established part of the market. Beauty food and drink launches have been largely confined to the dairy and beverage categories. In the U.S., activity is highest in beverages. Oftentimes, these are soft drinks, particularly juice-based lines, that offer a range of active ingredients targeting a variety of health concerns, one of which is maintaining beauty and skin health.
In the U.S., ingredients used in beauty drinks have mainly been vitamins, minerals, and high-antioxidant botanical extracts. In the tea-based drinks market, products often promote a high antioxidant content, but instead of making specific beauty-related claims, these products rely on consumer awareness of the relationship between antioxidants and antiaging properties in areas such as skin, hair, and nail health.
Plant-based waters and juice drinks have seen a high level of nutricosmetic activity, with launches such as Botanic Water’s 100% Plant-Based Rose Water for “multifunctional hydration,” purification of toxins, and improvements to skin texture. Meanwhile, Bonafide Prairie’s Glow Drinkable Veggies + Bone Broth includes collagen, protein, and nutrients from whole organic vegetables, while Lakewood Organic’s Cold-Pressed Super Veggie Juice claims to keep eyes and skin healthy, as well as promote normal cell growth.
In the hot-beverages category, herbal and fruit teas are leveraging their natural image and traditional health associations. Recent launches include the mainstream Tetley brand with its Tetley Glow Pineapple & Citrus Herbal Infusion containing vitamin B7 for glowing skin, as well as Bigelow Tea’s Bigelow Benefits Radiate Beauty Blueberry & Aloe tea, which also features rosehips, acerola, and elderberries.
Room for Growth
Outside of Asia, the beauty food and drinks market is still in its infancy, but is increasingly being driven by the growing number of customers, primarily women, who want to maintain or achieve a youthful and beautiful outward appearance. The “beauty from within” concept is now more widely recognized and, along with interest in antiaging products in general, is driving demand among all age groups.
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