CosmeticsDesign has reported on three beauty enhancing drink launches in Europe and America over the past week, indicating that the cosmetics industry globally appears to be following the Asian lead. Japan is leading the way in the emerging global market for foods, beverages and dietary supplements that claim to enhance personal appearance, said Euromonitor analyst Eleni Grammenou when speaking to CosmeticsDesign. Euromonitor figures related to dietary supplements hint at this dominance as the Japanese market for dietary supplements with beauty claims is worth $750m, 8.8 per cent of the US market for all dietary supplements. In terms of positioning, direct sales have proved to be an important retail channel for dietary supplements with beauty claims. Grammenou said beauty supplements would suit direct selling because a sales representative is in a good position to communicate the benefits of a product that consumers know little about. However, the market analyst said other beauty enhancing food and beverage products were more likely to be bought through traditional retail channels like supermarkets, chemists and vending machines. Illustrating this last point is the example of the recently launched cosmetics drink, Le Royal ChocoDark, from Eurogran and Chr Hansen, which will be sold in vending machines in offices, sports clubs and health shops. As they often need to be refrigerated beauty enhancing food and drink products are likely to be found in the food rather than the cosmetic aisles, and within these aisles, Grammenou said they are often found alongside health foods like low calorie drinks. Global cosmetic and food companies are playing an active role in the growth of the 'beauty from within' trend. In 2002 Nestle and L'Oreal, the world's largest companies in food and cosmetics respectively, joined forces to create Inneov, a creator of nutritional supplements with cosmetic applications. Among an array of small- and medium- sized companies exploiting the trend, is another global giant, Coca Cola, which developed Yokuasa Purun for the Asian market. Fortified with cysteine, hyaluronic acid, ceramide, vitamin C and biotin, the milk-based beverage should be drunk last thing at night to promote beauty during sleep. While the market for beauty enhancing food and drinks is influencing all world markets, Japan continues to dominate. Explaining the Japanese interest dominance, Grammenou said: "The rise in self medication and the popularity of alternative medicine helped to move interest towards beauty supplements, beverages and foods claiming to enhance beauty naturally and from within." Grammenou also said the Japanese regulatory system is more sophisticated and therefore processes new product developments at a greater speed, allowing the Asian country to steam ahead in this evolving market.