Prepared Foods Exclusive: ‘Natural’ Beauty

The concept “what is good for the inside must be good for the outside” is a mantra captured by the evolving market of beauty through better nutrition. The current buzzwords of cosmeceuticals, dermaceuticals, biocosmetics and nutricosmetics describe the application of ingredients traditionally found in foods offering skin health benefit.

Following the modern day recognition of the nutricosmetic market by Raymond Reed, the commercialization of foods and beverages offering beauty benefits has emerged as a standalone category. The potential of this market is yet to be fully realized, but its consumer base reaches across genders, age groups and continents.     

Business Insights analysis has found that by 2011, the beauty food and drinks market is expected to be worth an estimated $6.6 billion, with a strong growth rate of 4.8% predicted until 2016. The functional food and ingredient market has become well-established across multiple health platforms -- from heart health, joint health, and mood management to sports performance. As a natural progression, the ability of foods to deliver appearance-based benefits was inevitable. The main appeal of these beauty foods, beverages and dietary supplements is their role as natural anti-aging treatments, influencing the processes which cause wrinkles, a loss of skin tone and elasticity. As aging consumers become more aware of the visual damage to their skin, there is an inevitable draw to the anti-aging/beauty market. Anti-aging and beautifying products that target the physiological processes of aging will become a likely purchase for this consumer demographic. To formulate and develop specific marketing claims for such products, a thorough understanding of the biology behind the process of skin aging is required.

Unlike any other organ, the skin is not only affected by internal processes but also by external processes, which accelerate the aging process. Despite a growing interest in the anti-aging and skin health markets, the underlying consumer motivation for purchasing these products is to see results. If a company can demonstrate that product X delivers on its promise, consumers are almost guaranteed to be willing to pay a premium price. Due to many of the skin health changes from beauty foods (especially over the short-term) being undetectable to the human eye, the use of technology, such as Dermoscan, is a key tool to demonstrate results to the consumer.

Business Insights’ report “The Evolution of Beauty Ingredients in Food and Drinks: Innovation and Ffuture Strategies for Success” establishes that nutritional interventions can come in two basic formats: dietary supplements, and functional/fortified foods and beverages. Unlike traditional cosmetic surgery utilized in the enhancement of the appearance of the skin, dietary supplements and functional foods work from the inside out rather than outside in. Dietary supplements, in the form of capsules, tablets and isolated powders, have until this point been the staple format for delivering nutritional beauty benefits. Although little taste benefit is offered from such products, they are a convenient choice for consumers.

Beauty foods in the U.K. represent the greatest potential for growth between 2006-2011 (15.6%) and also lead in projected dietary supplement growth (9.6%). Unlike the U.S., consumers in the U.K. are generally more accepting of functional foods and, as such, may be an early adopter for this category. Among Asia Pacific countries, one of the most overlooked -- in terms of potential by western research analysts -- is South Korea. Current estimates place the value of this market at around $296 million, rising to $426 million by 2014.

To expand knowledge on this subject while and gaining invaluable insight into the current consumer perspective on this under-exploited market and for help in designing products to meet its demands, click here.

From the November 9, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition