In 2019, more nutraceutical companies are nudging their way into the cosmetics space with the concept of “beauty from within.” This is the idea that what we ingest can have a direct bearing on our physical appearance. Aptly named nutricosmetics, supplement companies are offering products that contain vitamins and minerals to support physical appearance. Perhaps the best-known example of this is collagen, which has long been a supplement meant to improve the appearance of skin, hair and nails.
If some of these nutricosmetics have been around for years, why should they be a trend for 2019? For one thing, the market is already valued at $121 billion globally and should reach $179 billion by 2022,1 which represents a nearly 50 percent increase. Another reason is that there’s a huge opportunity in the generation that’s moving into this market. Anti-aging products are traditionally marketed to those who are already showing signs of aging, or those who will be soon. The success of nutricosmetics depends on an entirely different age group and involves preventing those wrinkles or age spots from appearing in the first place.
While older consumers do purchase nutricosmetics, the untapped opportunity lies in a much younger group. The whole idea is to prevent signs of aging, and prevention must start long before the problems would normally occur. At the moment, millennials fill this consumer niche. The good news for nutraceutical companies is that millennials are a large part of the natural products/supplement market in general and will likely embrace these supplements. But for companies to be successful in the nutricosmetics sphere, they need to help millennials see how these industries are connected.
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Many consumers who take supplements believe that nutrition is intrinsically tied to their health. This belief induces them to take multivitamins, turmeric, fish oils, etc. in the hopes that they can prevent certain diseases by making supplements part of their daily regimen. Nutraceutical companies simply need to help millennials make the connection between nutrition and skin health. A successful nutricosmetic marketing campaign emphasizes health, not just the benefits of maintaining a youthful appearance.
The vast majority of beauty products are designed for and marketed toward women. There has always been an expectation that women go the extra mile to make themselves more beautiful. While this expectation is very much still present, a surprising shift is that men are starting to go the extra mile, too. As a result, men’s care products have taken off. Companies are very careful not to refer to these as beauty products, but men’s grooming products are growing at unexpected rates. And that includes products that fall under the skin care umbrella. Men are becoming more interested in preventing the signs of aging, or at least in aging gracefully, and companies are more than happy to provide options for those willing to add a little something extra to their morning grooming routines.
Marketing nutricosmetics to men isn’t quite an area where no one has gone before, but most companies lack experience in this area and not much research has been done. However, brands have given plenty of attention to other men’s grooming products. Since grooming products (especially natural ones) and nutricosmetics would be appealing to the same group of men, these numbers give a general indicator of this segment’s potential. One study found that about 84 percent of men ages 18-44 use facial skin care products.2 This same group is a prime market for nutricosmetics.
The beauty industry is built at least partially on the idea that aging is bad. Wrinkles, gray hair and age spots are seen as the enemy, with cosmetics presented as the remedy to hold onto youth for as long as possible. While this is certainly still a predominant viewpoint, part of the nutricosmetic movement holds a different attitude. Instead of marketing their products as a way to suppress or reverse the effects of aging, some nutricosmetics present their offerings as a way to age gracefully. The notion behind this is that aging and beauty aren’t mutually exclusive. Even though this concept is gaining momentum, popular opinion hasn’t shifted yet, and most marketing efforts still reflect the age-old idea that aging is bad.
Regardless of which market a nutraceutical company wants to focus on, nutricosmetics are set for significant growth. The momentum of the natural products industry, the shifting priorities of millennials and new attitudes toward men’s grooming and aging point to this being a profitable vertical for supplement companies.