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The recession and its aftermath, according to Euromonitor International, did nothing to dampen the global desire to remain young-looking. On the contrary, in fact, anti-agers was one of the few categories within beauty to remain relatively unscathed. However, while anti-agers tend to dominate beauty sales in most countries globally, sales of beauty-from-within products remain concentrated in just a few markets.
Unlike Japan’s ailing beauty industry, which is set to see declines in many areas through 2014, its beauty supplement industry is thriving. Beauty supplements accounted for 17% of dietary supplement sales in 2006, and this figure rose to 18% by 2009. Furthermore, many ingredient trends and product innovations originate in Japan. The trend for adding collagen to everyday foods and drinks, such as Nescafé with Collagen from Nestlé, has caught on in other Asian countries, with products such as Vitagen Collagen drink from Vitagen hitting the market in Malaysia recently.
Japanese Consumers Prefer Supplements Over Other Formats Despite the popularity of fortified beauty foods and drinks in Japan, many consumers still consider beauty supplements to be more effective. The main reason for this is that many fortified products contain only a small amount of beauty-enhancing nutrients compared with the concentrated format seen in dietary supplements. Ultimately, beauty foods and drinks are not expected to replace beauty dietary supplements, nor are they marketed as substitutes for them.
Japan remains, by far, the largest market globally for dietary supplements with a beauty positioning. With sales of $1.2 billion in 2009, the country accounted for 43% of global beauty supplement sales, followed by China with sales of $724 million—a figure that looks set to rise dramatically as Chinese consumers become more affluent. The concept of beauty-from-within also sits well with traditional Chinese medicine, as traditional herbal dietary supplements such as E Jiao, Lingzhi and Aweto are popularly recognized by consumers in rural areas as traditional Chinese products that benefit overall well-being.