Special edition: Beauty from within

The global market for beauty foods

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Market Global market Marketing

In the second article of a special series on nutricosmetics, we take a look at the size of the market for foods, drinks and supplements that promise beauty benefits, as well as the distinctly different approaches to the category taken in three key regions.

Benefits of beauty foods


When it comes to ingestible beauty, the three areas addressed by products are skin, hair and nails.

Benefits of beauty foods, drinks and supplements include: (for skin) repair and prevention; sun protection; firmness; pigmentation; whitening; and slimming; (for hair) retention and growth; restoration; nourishment; and volumizing; (for nails) strengthening.

Market size

According to the most recent market data available from Kline Group – which closely tracks the market for beauty-from-within products – the global market for nutricosmetics was worth $1.5bn in 2007, and is expected to grow to $2.5bn by 2012.

Europe and Japan currently lead the global market for these products, accounting for 55 and 41 percent of sales respectively. In contrast, the US holds only 3 percent of the market.

Overall, the global market for nutricosmetics grew over 10 percent in 2007. Factors influencing this growth include an aging population, increased consumer awareness, societal and environmental factors, a rise of the ‘spa culture’ and a shift towards less invasive ​beauty procedures.

Kline points out that the three main markets for nutricosmetics are very different in their nature due to varying culture, consumer expectations and legislation. As such, the markets must be tackled individually by companies developing and marketing products in this category.

Market differences


Japan:​ The most developed market for nutricosmetics is Japan. This is the first country to make the category mainstream, and is now the most mature market with the greatest national consciousness for beauty foods.

Products sold in Japan are available at cheap prices in mass market channels. The category includes a wide range of innovative and frequently updated products, which generally focus on ‘total beauty’ with no specific claim. Prices usually range between ¥100 and ¥300 ($1 - $3), and the market is more focused on liquid products.

Europe: ​The European market brings up the opposite end of the spectrum, with products positioned in the premium channel, usually sold in pharmacies with prices ranging between €20 and €40 ($29 - $58).

The European market is still largely concentrated in France, Italy, Germany, the UK and Spain. It is mainly driven by anti-aging concerns, with most products marketed for skin and hair benefits and coming in dietary supplement format.

According to Euromonitor International, one of the reasons behind the success of nutricosmetics in Japan and Europe is the widespread availability of the products. For example, 16 percent of all supplements sold in Japan are positioned as beauty supplements, while in Germany 11 percent of supplements are beauty-focused.

US: ​In contrast to Japan and Europe, the US market is still in the early stages of growth, with a clear focus yet to be established.

According to some analysts, the category has been slow to develop as American consumers tend to want instant results, which are not delivered by nutricosmetics.

In addition, the main retail outlet for these products is neither mass market nor pharmacies, but specialty retail stores, which charge medium prices. This in itself could be restricting the category by not targeting different consumer groups on either side of the fence.

Products sold in the US tend to be marketed only for skin and take the form of dietary supplement capsules.

Beauty From Within 2010

CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com and NutraIngredients.com have combined resources to bring you the Beauty From Within 2010 conference. Taking place in Paris on 11th October this one day event aims to help companies harness the potential of the category.

The conference program will look at the science behind the ingredients and the important issue of marketing claims, as well as exploring how to bring successful products to a highly competitive market.

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