Aesthetics drive health and beauty, by Euromonitor International
Consumers are becoming increasingly obsessed with personal appearance and well-being. People are now prepared to invest significant amounts of money in order to improve the way they look and extend their lives, and this is having a growing impact on the health and beauty industries, according to a new report by Euromonitor International – “New Aesthetes”.
From images of glamorous, super-slim models and celebrities in magazines and on TV to the plethora of TV programmes offering advice on what to eat, how to look and what not to wear, consumers are being inundated with messages about their appearance. This, combined with rising disposable incomes, is giving consumers both the will and the way to spend more on self-improvement than ever before.
Euromonitor International's new report identifies dietary supplements and skin care as key markets that have been impacted by this trend, as consumers increasingly turn to products that promise to help them achieve the youthful and attractive appearance they desire. Dietary supplements are one such product. Boosted by rising consumer health consciousness and an ageing population, the global dietary supplements market has gone from strength-to-strength, growing by nearly 50% between 2002 and 2006, according to Euromonitor International.
Seeing an opportunity, cosmetics and toiletries companies have tapped into this growth by extending their brands into the beauty supplements niche, with vitamin and mineral cocktails that are said to promote healthy eyes, teeth, skin and nails. Beauty supplements are marketed mainly to women in their 20s and 30s – a group that previously rarely took multivitamins. They differ from regular multivitamins only in that they tend to have particularly large amounts of vitamins A, C and E, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and copper. The vitamins are believed to help prevent oxidative damage to skin cells, while the fatty acids are said to help support blood flow to the skin.
So far, L'Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Kanebo, Shiseido and Avon have all made moves into the dietary supplements environment, some in conjunction with celebrity doctors such as Howard Murad and Nicholas Perricone. In July 2005, Japanese-based Kanebo developed skin-whitening supplements, capitalising on continued demand for products that help lighten skin tone in countries where a pale complexion is desirable. In September 2005, Shiseido launched SuppleX a-Lipoic Acid, the first dietary supplement from the brand's new Health and Beauty Food Business division, which claims to offer moisturising and anti-wrinkle benefits. There are even believed to be opportunities for sun care manufacturers to develop this niche, as GliSODin – an ingredient commonly used in dietary supplements – has been proven to reduce susceptibility to sunburn.
Personal care products are increasingly targeting consumers by age, gender and ethnicity, and Euromonitor International suggests that image-conscious teenagers could become a key segment for manufacturers of health and beauty supplements to target. Vitamin products that promise to reduce blemishes and improve skin tone such as Hakubi B from Sato Pharmaceutical would be ideal for targeting this age group. Developed markets, such as Australia, would be the most suitable to target, given that an estimated 8 in 10 girls in the 14-19 age segment take supplements.
Looking good from head to toe
Given the growing emphasis placed on personal appearance and looking younger, it is hardly surprising that the global skin care market is thriving. Within skin care, anti-ageing products are driving growth, recording an 80% value increase between 2002 and 2006, according to Euromonitor International. Going forward, anti-ageing products are expected to become increasingly categorised, as manufacturers innovate to add value and capitalise on dynamic growth.
Consumers' growing occupation with the overall health of their appearance has also seen the skin care regime moving beyond the face, with manufacturers extending facial care brands into products targeting the body. This has resulted in body care products outpacing growth of facial skin care products, with firming/anti-cellulite body care performing particularly strongly. Product launches in body care included LVMH's Benefit brand's Wonderbod collection in June 2005 and men's grooming brand The Art of Shaving's Body Balm in August of the same year. In February 2006, Beiersdorf subsidiary Juvena introduced Juvedical Renewing Body Serum and Renewing Body Cream, as part of its attempts to offer products suitable for the whole body.
Self-tanning products are also enjoying excellent growth, benefiting from fashion trends that associate a tan with good looks and health, and a growing awareness of the damage the sun can do to the skin. According to research from Euromonitor International, the sector increased by 73% between 2002-2006 to reach US$765 million.
The UK self-tanning segment in particular experienced a shake up in 2005 with the launch of Johnson's Holiday Skin, which achieved phenomenal sales in its first year. Johnson & Johnson's new product consists of a moisturiser enhanced with a small amount of self-tan to build up a slow, natural-looking tan. Its success sparked a raft of rival launches – a trend that could threaten traditional sunless tans, and looks set to change the face of self-tanning forever. These include Dove Summer Glow by Unilever in the mass market, and the premium product Clarins Radiance-Plus Self Tanning Body Lotion. There is even a cut-price private label alternative: Boots' No 7 Naturally Sunkissed Body Moisturiser.
The desire of consumers to preserve their health and looks for longer is only likely to increase in the future, as pressure to adhere to the 'ideal' body shape and look ten years younger grows. This will continue to drive niches associated with health, beauty and fitness, as manufacturers develop new and innovative products that meet consumers' ever growing demands. Euromonitor International predicts that this trend will become increasingly apparent in developing markets such as China and India, as consumers become more affluent and can spend more money on self-improvement.
Skin care is expected to come under mounting pressure from beauty supplements, which will see manufacturers increasingly turning to technology to fuel product developments. There is also believed to be considerable long term potential for transdermal drug delivery to stretch the concept of 'beauty from within' outside of beauty supplements. Indeed, some specialist companies, such as Cosmepure, have already developed transdermal drug delivery skin care systems that improve anti-ageing and after-sun product efficacy.
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