According to a recent research report, confusion and skepticism reign in the nutricosmetics market both in the US and Europe. Grail Research’s "New & Unique Innovation in the Beauty Market," published im March 2010, claims that while nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals have existed in the US since the 1980s, nutricosmetics have only recently gained a foothold.

The report defines nutricosmetics as ‘ingestible products formulated and marketed specifically for beauty purposes.’ Grail estimates this market to be worth $1.5bn, predicting it to rise 11.2 percent to $2.5bn by 2012. The US consumer is confused about what a nutraceutical is and there is skepticism about its efficacy.

According to Grail research client service manager Kate James, the growing trend for nutricosmetics is evident in the prestige sector, where customers are likely to purchase a nutriceutical due to a high price tag. However, James says she did not know whether this would be replicated in the mass market. “When a large mass market brand makes an attempt to move into the nutricosmetics space, it is difficult as the brand is bringing with it a positioning familiar to the consumer, who doesn’t associate it with nutricosmetics,” she says.

Both Murad and Intelligent Nutrients have launched supplements that boast beauty benefits, and James says this approach might be the most logical one due to the wide acceptance of taking supplements by US consumers. However, James adds it is not unrealistic that this could also translate into an increase in the number of beauty foods, citing the successful example of Bobbi Brown who teamed up with a chocolate company to offer a limited edition chocolate bar with beauty benefits.

When it comes to product claims, James said, realistic claims are vital to ensure a product’s success. For example, in 2005 Borba launched a "skin care water" claiming to help improve and protect skin.

The most successful products in the nutricosmetics market do not claim to perform miracles, James says.

[Source: CosmeticDesign]