Eating Your Way to Beauty

Nov 04, 2009
Bernice Hurst

By Bernice Hurst, Contributing Editor, RetailWire

With health, well-being and
the transparency of claims made for functional foods being increasingly scrutinized
and regulated, so-called beauty enhancing products are enjoying their own
growth spurt.

The latest report from Mintel Beauty Innovation
declares that more people are attempting to improve their appearance through
the food and drink they consume. According to the company’s senior beauty analyst, “global
food and drink product launches with a ‘beauty enhancing’ claim increased by
a staggering 306 percent from 2005 to 2008” with “one in five US women between
the ages of 18 and 25 interested in trying beauty functional beverages.”

the 300 new launches so far this year are dried fruit snacks containing mangoes,
pineapples, papaya and cranberries coated with collagen from Japanese manufacturer
Kracie Foods. Complexon Tea from Australia claims to help “revitalize each
cell of the body within, and is a positive step towards achieving beautiful
luminous skin and a fabulous complexion.”

To put their findings into perspective,
Mintel also points out that “overall global food and drink product launches
have only seen a 35 percent increase during the same timeframe. This data speaks
to the impact ‘beauty foods’ are having on the market.”

No mention was made
in the study’s publicity material, however, of any non-beauty related contributions
to the diet such as salt, sugar or fat. For some, it seems to be more about
appearance than health or weight.

Questions: What’s driving the surge in food and drink launches featuring
beauty-enhancing claims? Is it a healthy long-term trend or a shorter-term
fad? How would you rate the overall opportunity for beauty-enhancing
beverages and foods?

commentary] Creams, pills, potions, now food and
drink. What lengths won’t we go to to make us feel beautiful?
What a wonderful opportunity, Mintel points out, for more
manufacturers and retailers to become modern day snake oil

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6 Comments on "Eating Your Way to Beauty"

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Len Lewis
Len Lewis
11 years 6 months ago

Buying a health drink or an 8-ounce package of dried fruit is a lot cheaper than plastic surgery. Of course people are going to buy into it for a while. It’s too late for me, but people will generally buy anything that promises youth and beauty. This has been going on ever since they uncorked the first bottle of snake oil.

Of course there are foods that enhance health and beauty but there are no magic bullets, and I suspect the FTC might be getting busier.

Doug Stephens
Doug Stephens
11 years 6 months ago

It seems to me that this is a natural extension of the so called “super-food” category that we’ve seen growing over the last 15-20 years.

We now have foods that control diabetes, lower cholesterol and fight heart disease among other things, so it makes sense that beauty is the new frontier.

In terms of market potential, anything that appeals to our sense of vanity will find a market. Look at the junk that sells on infomercials! And with the recession lingering on and fewer trips to the aesthetics studio in the budget, beauty enhancing foods might be seen as valuable by the consumer.

Doron Levy
Doron Levy
11 years 6 months ago

Yeah, I have to agree with the snake oil salesman tactic. Yes, everyone wants to be beautiful and most people do care about their appearance but c’mon, dried fruit covered in collagen? Only from the country that can provide you with a square watermelon. I wouldn’t donate that to a food bank if it came into my possession. Although I wonder if something like that could take off in North America.

Consumers are so beaten up psychologically that a product that promises to enhance your beauty may sell. Consumers are always looking for a way to feel better about themselves. Can they afford it, though?

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
11 years 6 months ago

If consumers are more concerned about health and the impact of food on their bodies, choosing foods that have a positive impact on their appearance is another step in the same direction. As long as the claims are valid, consumers will continue making these purchases. If the claims prove to be invalid, the brands risk losing loyal consumers.

Ryan Mathews
11 years 6 months ago

The market for self deception is boundless. People have been looking for an ingestible counter to biology since before poor Ponce de Leon failed to find his Fountain of Youth.

With Boomers aging across the Industrial world, times have never been better for quick cures for aging or silver bullets to beauty. Of course, you can only perfume a pig so much before you start gagging on the smell. Most of us are stuck with the genetic hand we are dealt–and there just aren’t enough mangoes in the world to make us beautiful.

Ralph Jacobson
11 years 6 months ago

This reminds me of the age-old question of how much a CPG or retailer can affect a consumer’s diet. The latest news on this is from a huge effort by Nestle. Considering the high emphasis on health/wellness/nutrition in the media, but not really so much in the general populace, I don’t believe anyone will stop eating at Burger King anytime soon. Taste is still “King” when it come to food choice.

I think this trend will continue to grow, based upon the urban culture of “beauty” and the fact the for the first time, more people live in cities, globally, than not. This means more people will see each other and affect their behavior to higher degree in the future.


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