In fact one in eight global nutricosmetic launches were made in those two markets in the past three months, according to the GNPD database produced by market research company Mintel. Only two years ago this product category was virtually unheard of in these markets, although in the Asia Pacific markets of China, Taiwan and Japan it was already at a stage of significant development. Bio-Synergy selling at Tesco According to Mintel, one of the most significant launches was Bio-Synergy's Beauty From Within drinking water, which was unveiled on the UK market last November. The line is flavoured with grape and contains aloe vera, green tea and vitamins A, D and E - ingredients that are said to instill glowing skin. This was the second functional drink launched by the company in 2007, and is being marketed by mainstream retailer Tesco, suggesting it could attain significant sales. Elsewhere in Europe, significant nutricosmetics launches have also been made by Russia-based Wimm-Bill-Dann and Switzerland-based Nestle during the course of the last three months. Day & Night drink Nestle's Day & Night is a collagen enriched low fat drink line that comes in a mixed berry flavour for the night drink and a grapefruit flavoured day drink. Containing 0.3 per cent fat, the drinks are said to maintain skin elasticity and moisture thanks to the collagen enriched ingredients and are being launched throughout Europe. Wimm-Bill-Dann is tapping into the fast-growing market for probiotic yoghurts with its Neo Beauty Aloe and Peach dairy drinks that are enriched with minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that aim to keep the skin, nails and hair in tip-top condition. Japan still leads the way However, the leading market for nutricosmetics far and away remains Japan, a factor that is reflected in a series of far-reaching launches in the past few months. Those include Lotte Bena, a health and beauty drink for women made with Korean ginseng, Calpis moisturising herb flavoured water and Nippon Milk Community's Kirapuru Lactic Acid Bacteria Drink, which contains 1,000mg of collagen per pack. Although consumer demand for such products in the Asia Pacific continues to be driven by the Japanese market, additional demand in both China and Taiwan means that two in three nutricosmetic launches worldwide are accounted for by this region. But despite the high development in this region, increasingly innovative and sophisticated launches are now winning over consumers in Europe and the US, suggesting that these markets should become the driving force of growth in the coming year.