Nutricosmetics -A Marketer’s challenge

Nutricosmetics Market and Challenges

What are nutricosmetics?

As the name suggest these are the combination of nutrition products with cosmetic applications reflecting the convergence of nutrition and personal care  supporting  the function and structure of skin. Some of the micronutrients and vitamins play a very important role in establishing the credibility of such ingredients. Examples: Vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids, carotenes, flavonoids, biotin, amino acid complexes etc.

The ingredients offers antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory properties and also acts as slimming agents

Sweedish biochemist Ake Dahlgren invented the word nutricosmetics in late 1980’s called Imedeen

Nutricosmetics: Currently prevailing dosage forms :

Tablets, capsules, gels and drinks are the most prevalent dosage forms prevalent in the markets

ƒNutricosmetics are positioned into the following space:

  1. Anti ageing products
  2. For skin ,hair and nails
  3. For weight reduction
  4. Beauty drinks

Nutricosmetics  Market Analytics: 

  1. Global Nutricosmetics market in 2017 is predicted to be = $ 4.5 billion.( Global Industry Analysts)
  2. 70% of the sales came from Japan and China which clearly indicates the consumption of the nutricosmetics in these two countries.(Asian markets)
  3. In the US, such products are categorized as dietary supplements and the FDA provides no clear legal definitions.US market is still in infancy
  4. In Europe, nutricosmetics falls under both medicinal and food law, and ambiguity persists about which law is applicable.
  5. Currently, the regulatory system (FOSHU legislation) in Japan is most favorable for introduction of nutricosmetics products.
  6. Markets on growth are North America which virtually is an untapped market . .” With an aging population, rising medical health care costs and increasing healthcare concern  North America is expected to shift from lifestyle treatment to prevention interventions (making nutricosmetics a primary player within the healthy aging marketplace)
  7. This  tilt towards certain countries is well influenced and driven by consumers preferences ,regulations, commercial dynamics

Concept of Beauty from within:

The idea of the concept starts from the saying that something outside the body is a reflection of what is happening in your gut. Beauty from within concept is gaining popularity and credibility.It signifies that outer beauty doesn’t depend only on topical application but also by nutrients that we consume. The food which we consume not only  supports our healthy lifestyle but also our physical appearance which has given birth to the entire range of nutricosmetics

 Consumer insights (Datamonitor survey results)

A poll of seven Asia Pacific countries – China, Japan, South Korea, India, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia – found that about three in five consumers agree that food or drinks can provide the same or better health benefits as non-prescription medications.

In China, 54 per cent of consumers indicated they regularly buy foods and drinks products with added health benefits.

Consumers perceive natural products to be superior to non-natural products in many ways

“For example, 70 per cent of Asia-Pacific consumers believe that health and beauty products formulated with natural ingredients are actually better for them.”

Asia is driving innovation in beauty foods and drinks, with five of the top 10 markets for new product development coming from the region. Japan leads the way with 19 per cent of new beauty foods and drinks launched since 2012, followed by the US and South Korea with 14 per cent each, and China with 10 per cent( Datamonitor’s product launch analysis)

Beauty food and drinks are expanding into more diverse categories and offerings, beyond current products such as functional drinks, tea and confectionery, Diamonon says. Here are some trends that will soon be on the shelves.
According to Mintel, consumer compliance in this area is still a long way off. A 2009 report found four in ten women believe there is no need for nutricosmetics if they have a healthy diet and among those that do use the products only 19% think they really work.

Furthermore a survey conducted by Ipsos Marketing last year found that consumers (39%) are still more likely to choose a topical cosmetic product over beauty supplements (23%) or functional foods (19%).

And nutricosmetics – used by an estimated 1.8m women worldwide – represent just less than 1% ofall beauty launches. Moreover, an estimated 12.4m women claim not to be familiar with nutricosmetics and over half of the women who have not used supplements said they do not know enough about them which represents two obstacles to this market.

Encouragingly though, nutricosmetics users are beginning to understand that there is no magic pill that instantly transforms skin. Mintel found 37% of those polled in a survey realised that any benefits took time to see and almost half of users used nutricosmetics alongside their usual skin, hair and nail care products anyway

Category drivers :

  1. Increasing awareness among consumers
  2. Ageing population
  3. Inclination towards less invasive beauty treatments
  4. Emergence of the spa culture
  5. Environmental and societal concerns are expected to encourage robust growth in future
  6. Reducing me time amongst the consumers which
  7. Well-documented scientific evidence of major ingredients
  8. Increasing demand for naturally extracted nutricosmetic ingredients
  9. Healthier lifestyle and increasing beauty concerns

Category barrier:

Perceptual barriers:

  1. Does these  products work?? This factor triggers in late acceptance of such product category
  2. Iam ingesting something in my body. Will this not have side effects??.Consumers are trained from the birth to apply the topical products  on skin( Soaps,shampoo,lotions) .For them its now a paradign shift
  3. Are these products natural??
  4. Where is the effect?? While topical have the immediate effect which can be felt but with orally consumed nutricosmetics the time to show the effect will be a lot longer
  5. Are these quality products??
  6. Familiarity  of consumers with the topical applications

Awareness barrier:

  1. Low degree of awareness  about nutricosmetics is posing a regular challenge
  2. Education level about such products which  stimulate the biologic process  having a positive impact on external appearance is still not gained momentum

Nutricosmetics Marketing Challenges:

  1. Building awareness about importance of nutricosmetics in addition to topical applications which will lead to category acceptance
  2. Clear differentiation  in the product offering
  3. Building credibility amongst consumers. This could be developed gradually with the recommendation from dermatologists and cosmetologists
  4. Targeting by understanding the psychographics of the target group
  5. Price point –The marketers need to price the products in such a way which breaks the entry point barrier and ensure a long term trial by the consumers
  6. Country specific targeting .Not every country globally will accept the idea in the same manner. This needs to be taken care while devising a global strategy
  7. Breaking the country specific  acceptance barriers for the category emergence
  8. Positioning of  such supplements .The products could be positioned specific to certain indications in skin care, hair health, body health which are well backed up by scientific evidences
  9. Building a great deal of education how the consumption of various nutrients can stimulate the biologic process  which impacts the external appearance
  10. Innovation in marketing techniques- Delivery system, active ingredients, etc

Opportunity to TAP:

  1. There is still a great opportunity to tap when  looked at the  hugely unpenetrated and high potential market for male health and grooming products.
  2. At present  nutricosmetics are primarily targeted at women aged 40 or above ,the group who are particularly concerned about health and wellness .But the trend is shifting with the concept  gaining popularity among the younger women in age group 25-35 due to their cosmetic applications and ease of administration ( saves time)

Some of the marketing failures in Nutricosmetics:

  1. Essensis   yogurt  from Danone
  2. Dove Vitalize chocolate (Dark chocolate enriched with B vitamins)
  3. Dove beautiful (which includes vitamins C and E, biotin and zinc)
  4. Glowelle  beverages from Nestle in USA

Steps ahead:

  1. There is a need to bridge a wide gap between something totally unfamiliar with something which is familiar
  2. The approach of combination of topical along with nutricosmetics could be a well defined approach toward providing a short term effect and maintenance of skin care over a long period of time
  3. Clearly documented and independent  scientific research will be a key in building consumer faith
  4. Innovation with a new delivery system can break the acceptance barrier

Some brands in the Nutricosmetics category :

S.No Tablets/Capsules/Pills Drinks Jelly


 Imedeen Lumae Melvita royal jelly


Perfectil Suage


 Caudalie Collagen shots


 Suage Fountain


 Biona OLIVIO Daily Antioxidant plus


 Vitrum beauty Borba


Glow Glowelle


Laval Beautyscoops


Inneov Oenobiol Beautific


Oenobiol  Sunlover tanning drink


  • Datamonitor survey results

 By Kumud Kandpal 







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