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Why natural products consumers are nutricosmetics’ biggest ally

If you’re not targeting the natural consumer, you’re missing out on a big market with devoted customers who can champion your inner beauty supplements.

If you're in the business of nutricosmetics, you know the industry well. In 2009, the global nutricosmetic market was $2.1 billion while the market in the U.S. was less than $1 billion, according to Frost & Sullivan and Nutrition Business Journal. But in order to grow, there's another market you should capture, especially in the United States, which was valued at $117 billion in 2010—the natural products market.

Research from Delicious Living magazine and New Hope Natural Media shows these influential shoppers are the ideal nutricosmetics demographic. Educated about health and wellness, "dark green" consumers are more likely to seek out targeted supplements (think skin, hair, or nails) and research a product before purchasing, therefore understanding how it works. This means they're less likely to rely exclusively on instant gratification from topical products and give nutricosmetics time before they expect results.

Once you've snagged these shoppers? Research shows they'll be more likely to share the info with a friend. Another boon: These health evangelists are willing to spend more for a quality product.

The problem is that nutricosmetics seldom appear in natural retail stores where these consumers shop. Instead, they're marketed primarily in aestheticians' offices, spas and recommended by plastic surgeons. Some brands have gone mainstream such as BORBA in Walgreens or VitaminWater Zero Glow, but only a small portion of natural consumers trust beauty beverage delivery, according to Delicious Living's Personal Care Report.


So what do natural products consumers trust?


Here's what they don't trust: Sugar, calories, and artificial colors and flavors, which could be why they're less willing to chug a beauty beverage (let alone nosh on "beauty" chocolates or cookies). Even if these products are low in calories and sugar, the "dark green" consumer—who is looking for products that support overall health and wellness—may still perceive them as unhealthy.

Delicious Living readers turn to supplements and nutrition for everything from preventing disease to increasing energy. And through direct conversations with our readers, we've found that these consumers do think nutrients can impact their appearance. "I believe with 100 percent certainty that eating greens, whether in salad form or in a powdered supplement, has absolutely improved the way I look and feel. I used to get breakouts regularly and when I eat greens, it not only eliminates bacteria but also makes my skin radiant," one reader told us.

When asked for specific examples, other readers also focused on the key nutrients found in real, whole foods and supplements. They also associated consuming nutricosmetics with the overall concept of a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle, which is in agreement with findings from Delicious Living's Personal Care Report that stated "dark green" consumers are more willing to switch brands if they perceive a higher quality, more wholesome ingredients or greater value for themselves and their families.

To capture these consumers, try these three marketing tips.


  1. Skip bold marketing claims. Instead, manufacturers should focus on ingredients consumers are familiar with and those with the most scientific research to support them.
  2. Favor efficacy of dose over creative delivery systems. More and more consumers are becoming aware that it's not just about which ingredients a product contains, but also how much.
  3. Offer a pill: no sugar, no calories, only nutrients. Sixty percent of natural products consumers were most receptive to softgels/capsules and a cream/lotion, followed by 21 percent, who preferred the tablet form. Ready-to-drink shots and beverages came last, with only 6 percent of dark green consumers wanting to give them a try.
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