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Buying into Functional Foods

By: Alisa Marie Beyer
Posted: July 31, 2009, from the August 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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In late 2008, Nestlé launched a clinically backed beauty drink dietary supplement. The drink, cleverly named Glowelle—playing on the words “glowing/wellness/woman”—has made its way to the top tier of the beauty market, selling at prestigious Neiman Marcus. Already, other retailers are clambering to get it into their doors. “It’s really exciting to bring a clinically proven product to women that helps them get healthy-looking, beautiful skin from the inside out,” said Kimberly Cooper, chief beauty officer of Glowelle.

One serving contains a proprietary blend of skin-beautifying antioxidants and ingredients such as vitamins A, C and E as well as lycopene and maritime pine bark extract. Perhaps the product’s most innovative inclusion is the 15,500 units of oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) per serving. ORAC—a measurement system developed at the National Institute on Aging in the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and utilized by the USDA—measures the antioxidant capacity of substances. A buzzword to the everyday woman, she now knows that antioxidants are critical to fighting free radicals, a common cause of skin aging. The clinical trial showed Glowelle protects skin from some of the damaging effects of the sun, helps even out skin tone and helps replenish antioxidants. Today’s beauty buying consumer wants to simplify her life, and this type of beauty-on-the go product seems to fit perfectly into her lifestyle.

Youth Seekers of all Ages Ignite Antiaging

The core demographic for nutraceuticals and nutricosmetics on the market tend to be baby boomers looking for additional antiaging solutions. With more disposable income, nutraceuticals can command a higher price point. One caution for a price structure such as this is that the younger beauty seeker could be alienated. It is key to note that much younger women are rushing to buy anything that keeps them looking young, and this a huge demographic to tap into. Distribution of nutraceuticals in the mass market will certainly prove to be fertile ground for growth, as it is much more price-sensitive. Even in this shaky economy, the antiaging category has continued to grow, and topped out at $1.6 billion in 2008. Inside-out beauty products have unlimited potential and the opportunity to be beauty blockbusters. With proper marketing to women of all ages and a heavy emphasis on education, these beauty consumers will inevitably become more comfortable and open.

Alisa Marie Beyer is CEO of The Benchmarking Company (TBC), a research and branding firm focused on the beauty industry. TBC’s women-only, permission-based Pink Panel provides beauty consumer data for the award-winning Pink Report, the quarterly research report that reveals what consumers of female beauty products want, what they’ll buy and why. E-mail:;