Finally ready for prime time?
Beauty from within seems to be an perennially not-quite-ready-for-prime-time idea in the North American market. In 2009 a Euromonitor report claimed that beauty from within as a product concept was ‘going mainstream’ on both sides of the Atlantic. A number of products have tried and failed on the concept since then and at least two industry conferences focusing on the subject have come and gone.
It’s an attractive idea for suppliers and formulators. It offers dietary supplement ingredients a new field to play in and the demand is potentially driven by a connection to a basic human emotion—vanity. It’s just that North American consumers haven’t bought in. In this era of instant gratification not enough of them have believed in the long term promise of, for example, better skin health that comes from supporting the organ’s underlying structure rather than smoothing its outer layers.
But the wave is still coming, said Lauren Clardy, principal of the California-based firm Nutrimarketing. In other countries with well-developed markets and a discriminating consumer culture, the concept is a huge hit.
“Beauty from within been talked about for six or seven years. But it really is just getting going here. In the North American market we are really in the infancy stage. If you were a Japanese woman and you go into the convenience store at the train station they have collagen products at the counter. If you go into the aisles you would see 16 linear feet full of all kinds of collagen drinks. I am not kidding—I can show you pictures. In a 7-11 here we see energy shots,” Clardy told NutraIngredients-USA.
“Asian women understand the beauty from within concept and the benefits of collagen. It’s also big in Brazil. Just the other day here in New Beauty magazine I saw the first ads for collagen,” she said.
Importance of dosage form
The benefits of collagen for skin health has been established by a number of studies which show how supplementation with the protein improves the flexibility and resiliency of the skin by supporting its internal structure. A number of companies offer ingredients in the space, including Japanese firm Nippi Collagen, which offers a its TruMarine fish collagen ingredient, and Gelita and Rousselot, which offer bovine- and porcine-derived forms. But common to all of them is the problem of dosage size. It just takes a lot of collagen, relative to many other dietary supplement ingredients, to have a measurable effect.
“Part of the issue with collagen is you really need a 2.5 gram to 5 gram dose load. It won’t work in a standard capsule—you’d have to take eight or more every day. That is why there has been so much innovation in Japan beyond just drinks. They have collagen in things like marshmallows and gummies,” Clardy said.
Flexible pouch delivery mode
That is why Nippi has teamed with Flex Pak to offer a new delivery option for the North American market. Consumers want convenience, and only the most dedicated would consider swallowing 50 or more capsules a week. The new packaging, beyond delivering that benefit, also seems to be tapping into a wider trend, Clardy said.
“There are all sorts of products that are now being offered in squeeze tubes or flexible packaging,” Clardy said, who is helping to work on the launch.
Nippi has teamed with Innovative Flex Pak of Springerville, UT to offer a turnkey single serving flexible pouch solution for private labelers and other potential clients. The collagen is formulated into a single serving gel that offers a 5 gram dose of the TruMarine collagen.
“We are in product development with a number of companies in various channels,” Clardy said.