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Nutricosmetics Slated for U.S. Growth


SAN JOSE, Calif.—According to a recent report—Nutricosmetics: A Global Strategic Business Report—by Global Industry Analysts Inc., nutricosmetics is the latest food trend that is gaining popularity worldwide due to increasing consumer desire to go beyond conventional beauty solutions. This beauty avenue offers tremendous growth potential as the world moves toward a future where ingestible products would be developed specifically based on hormones, physical need, and health. Factors such as increasing awareness among consumers, rising number of aging population, inclination toward less invasive beauty treatments, emergence of the “spa culture" and environmental and societal pressures are likely to drive future acceleration. At a time when conventional cosmetic and food companies are facing the challenge of understanding complex customer needs, nutricosmetics are providing the ideal solution.

As personal care and medical science become interwoven with the aesthetics industry, consumers are increasingly embracing the “beauty from within" concept for promoting external beauty and optimizing total health. Various food, drinks, supplements and confectionaries have been developed to assist consumers in treating different body, hair and skin ailments. In general, nutricosmetics products are primarily targeted at women aged 40 or above since the group is particularly concerned about their appearance, health and age-related issues. However, lately the products are also gaining popularity among younger women in the age group 25 to 35, due to desire to stay youthful and start early with remedial measures. Lately, the nutricosmetics gambit has further widened to include the hitherto largely ignored category of men as a niche, but critical target segment. Although at present the market potential is highly untapped and mainly restricted to products dealing with hair loss issues, the male grooming segment is beginning to catch up with the rest, judging from the slew of beauty products specifically aimed at men.

Nutricosmetics ingredients, comprising of antioxidants, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and specific carotenoids is a rapidly growing category within the industry, and offers huge promise in the immediate future. The niche market for nutricosmetic ingredients is driven by the correlation between ever-dynamic consumer requirements and constantly expanding application areas. This opens up opportunity for growth and development of natural ingredient suppliers and others in the value chain. Emerging countries offer tremendous growth potential, as manufacturers seek to expand into more profitable and relatively recession-proof markets.

Domestic Versus International Waters

Japan and Europe represent the leading markets worldwide. Influenced by advanced FOSHU legislation, Japan has been successful in achieving extended growth momentum in the nutricosmetics sector. The market in the United States is in the initial phase of market adoption and as a result, represents a meager share of the global market. Stricter regulations in the United States are curbing large-scale success in comparison to other regions across the globe. FDA categorizes such products as dietary supplements in the United States and offers no clear legal definitions regarding various segments within the industry.

In Europe, mounting pressure from the consumers as well as regulatory authorities is driving the need for scientific validation to back the numerous beauty and wellness claims of products, be it for foods, drinks or supplements. Fast track, universal growth and acceptance of the nutricosmetics concept is severely hindered by the skepticism surrounding the product claims made by manufacturers, which in several cases fall far short of consumer expectations.

The turbulent years 2008 to 2009 witnessed the beauty products industry reeling under the pressures of constrained economic environment and limited growth. The situation was further complicated by drastic changes in consumer perceptions toward products/services aimed at luxury, well-being and exclusivity. During the recession, cash stretched consumers voted out indulgence in favor of functionality as they became more frugal in their spending habits. As a result, per capita spending on premium and luxurious cosmetics contracted sharply, while demand for economical mass products increased. The recession also impacted the marketing aspect of beauty products. A more personalized online advertising, targeting at-home consumers was the order of the day in an environment where consumers preferred to spend most of their time online, carefully scrutinizing their purchases.

Europe driven by anti-aging concerns constitutes the single largest market worldwide, as stated by the new research report on nutricosmetics. The European market is largely concentrated in developed, western regions of France, Germany, U.K., Italy and Spain. Japan is a highly developed and mature nutricosmetics market and trails behind Europe as the next largest and most influential global market. The U.S. market, although still in a nascent stage of development, displays great potential for future development and is forecast to expand at a high CAGR of more than 14 percent through 2017.

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