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Aleksandrina Yotova

“Beauty from within” supplements: how to win the consumer

“Beauty from within” is a current trend that has been explored by the food and drink sector, as well as by OTC supplement manufacturers. While the former has been developing ways to include ingredients that benefit the skin, nails and hair in food and drink, the latter have been researching solutions to better meet consumer expectations and convince of the supplements’ effectiveness.

Datamonitor Consumer’s 2013 global survey found out that younger consumers had the most trust in supplements that claimed beauty benefits. 41 % of the respondents aged 18-34 found such claims on supplements somewhat or completely trustworthy. Therefore, younger consumers would be more receptive to new launches in this sector, if the brands are able to find ways to attract them.

The question manufacturers need to ask themselves is what these consumers value in beauty suppléments ? Primarily, it is the result: scientific formulations presented to discerning young consumers in a clear way are key. An example of a company adopting such strategy is Works With Water Nutraceuticals in the UK. It has recently reformulated one of its products, called Works with Water Help: Clear Skin, and also changed the packaging to show clearer ingredient information.

Having a pleasant taste has been perceived as a minor factor in the OTC industry but it seems to play an important role in beauty supplements. Currently, there are many products on the market that offer indulgent tastes, creating a competition in offering interesting flavors. NeoCell Beauty Bursts (USA), for example, are “gourmet collagen soft chews” with a “fresh mint and chocolate” taste, while the same brand’s Beauty Infusion line offers a variety of cocktail-inspired flavors, such as Appletini.

Not only is the taste important, but also the way the supplement is administered. There has been a growing issue of “pill fatigue,” i.e. a preference towards other forms, such as drinks, jellies and chews, rather than tablets and capsules. The French company Laboratoire PYC has an anti-aging nutritional supplement based on an “on-the-go” powdered concept – 3g orodispersible sticks (dissolving directly in the mouth). Along with the novel administration method, the supplement offers a “dessert” peach flavor and is claimed to have proven effectiveness with four active ingredients, to reaffirm our previous points.

Consumers also actively look for supplements that are free from everything artificial. Hum Nutrition in the USA has responded to this with its Dietary Supplement for Hair, Skin & Nails that is tagged as “free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, gluten, GMOs or artificial ingredients, suitable for vegetarians.” It is also labelled as “sustainably sourced.” Although the ethical aspect has not been a key area of focus in the category, such claim could help advocate the “clean and pure” positioning.

Beauty supplements are becoming increasingly tailor-made, especially in the Asian market. Taier Pharmaceutical in China, for example, has launched Fruit Polyphenol Whitening Tablets, a skin whitening supplement, based on polyphenol obtained from grape and blueberry. With this launch, the company targets the country’s cult to brighten skin and promises a natural, therefore not harmful, solution. Illustrating this point in a different way is Purer Skin’s Bird’s Nest EGF Day & Night Beauty Jelly, launched in Singapore. The product claims to help skin produce collagen naturally and consists of sachets for day and for night, differing in their flavors and compositions but both featuring Bird’s Nest – an expensive animal product originating from China. The latter example is impressive with its specificity and, at the same time, reminds us that traditional medicine in the region enjoys a strong following.

Given these different criteria then, the OTC beauty supplements category has great potential if industry players find the right path to consumers. Among the prerequisites for success on the market are: reliable scientific research that is communicated clearly on the packaging, pleasant taste and form, as well as clean, natural and ethically sourced ingredients. Manufacturers also need to be aware of any regional particularity, especially if they aim to market their products in Asia, and remember that their main target group would mostly consist of young, presumably female, consumers.

about Aleksandrina Yotova

Aleksandrina Yotova is in Datamonitor Consumer’s household and personal care innovation tracking team, with special interest in OTC healthcare products and fragrances.

Part of Informa plc., the Datamonitor Group is a world-leading provider of premium global business information, delivering independent data, analysis and opinion across the Automotive, Consumer Markets, Energy & Utilities, Financial Services, Pharmaceutical & Healthcare, and Retail industries. Combining our industry knowledge and experience, we assist more than 6,000 of the world’s leading companies in making better strategic and operational decisions.

Website: www.datamonitor.com

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