Edible beauty products don't seduce US consumers

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Beauty foods Supermarket Us

Beauty foods have captured the imagination of European consumers
but the global trend has yet to catch on in the US, according to

The research and consultancy firm said the global market for nutricosmetics is small but growing with sales increasing over 10 percent in 2007.

The products are most firmly established in Japan, which has a 41 percent share of the $1.5bn global market, followed by Europe with a 55 percent share.

However, consumers in the US have yet to embrace the trend with the country taking only a 3 percent share.

Olay and Avon both entered the American beauty food market but were forced to exit because of unsatisfactory sales.

Unsuitable retail channels Kline spokesperson Gillian Morris told CosmeticsDesign.com that US retail channels do not lend themselves to nutricosmetics.

In Europe consumers tend to buy beauty foods from the pharmacy where the store lay-out and content suits the category straddling products.

Innovative and unusual products are also likely to be given a fair hearing in pharmacies because consumers trust them and listen to the recommendations of staff.

Pharmacies do not really exist in the US and companies have yet to find a suitable channel through which to market beauty foods.

Drug stores are too basic to perform the task and in department stores, where higher quality cosmetics are sold, consumers do not expect to find food products.

Promoting beauty benefits Another problem identified by Morris in the US is inadequate promotion and therefore a lack of understanding of the potential benefits of beauty foods.

For the moment customers are cynical and will need to be won over by marketing initiatives, innovative product positioning and a fresh approach to retail distribution.

Morris said whole food markets and supplement stores could be more promising channels for manufacturers of nutricosmetics in the US.

Overall Kline expects continued high growth in the beauty food market although Europe and Asia are likely to be the principle drivers for the time being.

Kline predicts that the global market will increase in value to $2.5bn by 2012 compared to $1.5bn last year.

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