According to Grail Research’s recent report; New & Unique Innovation in the Beauty Market, while nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals have existed in the US since the 1980s nutricosmetics have only recently gained a foothold.
The report defines nutricosmetics as ‘ingestible products formulated and marketed specifically for beauty purposes.’ Grail estimates this market to be worth $1.5bn, predicting it to rise 11.2 percent to $2.5bn by 2012.
Confusion and skepticism still reign
According to James, contributing to the fact that nutricosmetics is a niche market in the US is consumer confusion over what a nutraceutical is, and skepticism about its efficacy.
“I think the US consumer in particular is very sophisticated in terms of what they see as adding value, as lots of products on the market are seen as sham products,” she told CosmeticsDesign.com USA.
She explained that nutricosmetics have probably seen success in the prestige market because consumers believe a higher price tag translates into product efficacy.
“It’s typical for higher-end brands to have a nutricosmetics offering,” she said, citing Murad and Intelligent Nutrients as examples of brands to have entered this market.
While the growing trend for nutricosmetics is evident in the prestige sector, James said she did not know whether this would be replicated in the mass market.
“When a large mass market brand makes an attempt to move into the nutricosmetics space, it is difficult as the brand is bringing with it a positioning familiar to the consumer, who doesn’t associate it with nutricosmetics,” she said.
Supplements rule but foods could gain ground
Both Murad and Intelligent Nutrients have chosen to launch supplements that boast beauty benefits, and James said this could be down to the fact the large US supplements industry makes this a logical area to start in.
However, James said it is not unrealistic that this could also translate into an increase in the number of beauty foods, citing the successful example of Bobbi Brown who teamed up with a chocolate company to offer a limited edition chocolate bar with beauty benefits.
When it comes to product claims, James said, realistic claims are vital to ensure a product’s success.
Taking Borba as an example, a company that launched a skin care water claiming to help improve and protect skin in 2005, she said that the most successful products in the nutricosmetics market do not claim to perform miracles.