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Food And Beverages Designed To Provide Beauty Or Hair Hope In Bottle?

Would you buy food or drinks if you knew it could offer you the hope of better skin, shinier hair, more overall beauty?  Believe it or not, those products are already available in the United States with expectations that similar products will be introduced in the very near future.

Eating for beauty falls under the umbrella of cosmeceuticals.

The concept of functional foods and beverages to enhance beauty (via cosmeceutical) is a trend gaining steam, according to Lynn Dornblaser from Mintel, who spoke on the topic of "Eating Beauty" during last Fall's SupplySide West conference in Las Vegas.

In her review of product concepts and marketing statements, she noted that the West is seeing the use of more familiar ingredients and general claims about good health. The East has a more-developed market with much more overt claims about functional benefits, as well as products with a wider range of ingredients.

Among the drivers of consumer purchases were convenience-as much a simplification of benefits as time savers, taste and variety, and value. "When I talk about value, it's not cheap," Dornblaser said. "It's about the value for the money and delivering the proof to make a connection."

Functional beverages were the primary products cited for their beauty effects, with some differences seen between East and West, including "shot" size versus refreshment.

The Nestle Glowell product, which just launched exclusively into Neiman Marcus, was one Dornblaser mentioned as a standard-setting product in the U.S. market. There were also a few snack products, particularly confectionery, in both Japan (a candy that has collagen and creates a fragrance on the skin after ingestion) and United States (Dove's Beautiful chocolate bar, which promotes its flavonols for beautiful skin).

As consumers get more educated, Dornblaser said, marketers will have to make a determination of whether consumers are looking for a functional benefit or "hope in a bottle."

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