Beauty from within
Powders, tablets, capsules… A list that once resembled a doctor's prescription list is increasingly becoming associated with beauty as more consumers are becoming true believers of "beauty from within". It has even reached a point whereby vitamin IV drips are trending.
Similarly to the health industry, the beauty and wellness industries have been booming in recent years, resulting in an increased interest in vitamins and supplements. According to Mintel, the vitamins, minerals and supplements (VMS) market is expected to reach £442m in 2018 and 46% of Britons take vitamins and minerals on a daily basis in 2016.
Since these are not new products, what's causing this rise?
A more holistic approach to beauty
While beauty typically revolves around products that you apply to your face (cosmetics and skincare), more consumers are taking a holistic approach, understanding the interconnections between health, beauty and wellness. As a result, consumers want to understand the ingredients in their products and their effects. They have become so educated that beauty retailers such as Space NK have started to categorise their products based on key ingredients, such as Vitamin C, retinol, lactic acid. As a result, they are able to select which supplements they should take.
Consumers want quick fixes
When it comes to beauty, quick fixes are on the rise with the likes of fillers, injectables, and supplements. There is a perception that ingesting a product will yield faster, more targeted results as these products can be absorbed within your body, rather than just on the skin. Since we are increasingly time poor too, supplements are a faster and more convenient way of obtaining those nutrients. The founder of The Beauty Chef, widely known for its edible skin care line (seen above), also believes that beauty begins in the belly and a healthy gut will have a knock-on effect on the rest of the body.
A more aspirational image
Supplements never used to be an aspirational or lifestyle product, but today many of them are marketed with glossy packaging and celebrity endorsements. New brands such as Ritual and Moon Juice have adopted the millennial-friendly direct to consumer model, which many beauty companies have done. This cooler, younger branding, has made supplements more accessible and enables a higher level of customer engagement as brands can speak to consumers directly. Furthermore, these products are no longer just sold in vitamin stores and pharmacies, but increasingly in department stores, fashion and beauty retailers. Once again, these channels reinforce the "trendiness" and acceptance of the products.
There is a clearly value in this space as KKR acquired a majority stake in Nature's Bounty, the vitamins and supplement maker, and more recently, Vitamin Packs received investment by L Catterton.
Despite this, there is scepticism of these products and some companies have been faced with scrutiny over some of their claims. Most notably, Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand, was sued for selling products that claimed to have health benefits without any scientific evidence. While this could be start of a more discerning consumer who looks beyond the shiny packaging, it is important that brands be more responsible in terms of what they deliver to the consumer.