Is beauty from within set to make a comeback?

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Is beauty from within set to make a comeback?

Related tags Dietary supplement

Beauty from within never went away in Asia, but in Europe initial enthusiasm waned, while in the US it never really took off in a big way. So is the time now ripe for firms to be investing in the area again?

It was in 2014 when the Nestlé-L’Oréal partnership in beauty from within brand Innéov finally came to its conclusion with a joint statement pointing out that brand had not  “met the development expected by both partners.”

With an estimated market value of €50m, it seemed that this kind of worth was small fry for mega multinationals of their standing. Since then both big and small beauty players have gone very quiet on the beauty from within front, but the market is still growing.

So how much is it growing by and what is driving it in the absence of the beauty players?

Beauty from within is small but still growing

Latest data from Euromonitor shows that the global market for beauty supplements is valued at around $2.9bn, while the global market for tonics and bottled nutritive drinks is estimated at almost $0.5billion.

Both of these markets are currently registering growth in excess of 4%, which is ahead of average industry growth rates.

But breaking this figure down on a regional level is also very revealing. The lion’s share of the industry is found in Asia Pacific, and more specifically in Eastern Asia, where continued interest in the category in countries such as Korea, Japan and China is pushing annual growth rates above 7%.

US market is tiny, but set to grow fast

Though the size of the 2015 US market is comparatively tiny – just $83m for the total beauty supplements, drinks and tonics, with drinks and tonics separately accounting for around $7m – Euromonitor predicts that this market will grow at a faster pace over the next few years, albeit from a small base.

In Europe the story is different. The market began to show significant promise around seven or eight years ago, but issues with market and retail positioning, combined with significant regulatory issues has led to beauty players staying well away from the category.

However, it still remains a much bigger market than the US, with Euromonitor currently estimating the value of the beauty supplements market across the continent being approximately $581m and the drinks and tonics category totalling about $12m.

The remaining slice the market is owned mainly by the Eastern Asian countries, where innovation and market growth continue to be the source of inspiration and ideas for the European and American players.

So, in the absence of the beauty multinationals from the category, it is supplement manufacturers that have continued to expand their small but important footprint in this space.

“Beauty-positioned vitamins and dietary supplements are certainly gaining popularity. In particular, hair and nail-growth supplements have gained a following due to their quick effect, relative to supplements aimed at skin maintenance.  We expect this trend to continue in the coming years,”​ said Eleanor Dwyer, research associate at Euromonitor International.

Supplement manufacturers fill the space

And indeed, it is supplement manufacturers that have taken note from the beauty world to deliver innovative, technically advanced supplements targeting hair, skin and nail care that have reaped the greatest awards.

In the US, supplements player Nature’s Bounty has led the way, creating a specific category within its portfolio for beauty supplements, which includes a wide range of supplements targeting different areas and a topical moisturising stick with Vitamin E.

The company also has a novel offering fruit gummies supplemented with biotin, and all of the products are packaged in colourful packaging that has been tailored to inspire and attract beauty consumers.

In the absence of the big beauty players, this has left an opportunity for supplement players to rule this market, so long as they are willing to take a few branding cues from the beauty world.

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