While the companies called the move a “unique adventure,” they are not the first to collaborate across industries. Food giant Nestlé last year launched its first cosmeceutical supplement under a new venture with French firm L’Oréal, called Laboratoires Innéov.
In an increasingly mature food and beverage market, foods with “cosmetic” purposes offer an outlet for product differentiation. They are however limited in the health claims area. The concept for Coca-Cola’s drink was developed around Shiseido’s “aroma theory,” which suggests that the effect of fragrances from plants such as grapefruit or peppers can increase the generation of uncoupling proteins (UCP) that burn neutral fat.
However, the product itself does not promise any specific effect or medicinal benefit to consumers, according to Coca-Cola, and it is not being marketed as a food for a specified health use (FOSHU)—foods allowed to carry a health claim in Japan. Coca-Cola proposed the joint project with Shiseido after the cosmetics firm introduced a popular ‘fat-burning’ body lotion in 2002, according to Japanese press reports.
The soft drink giant has revealed no plans to launch in other countries. Both the drink and the Shiseido’s new lotion, Body Stylish mist, will be sold under the Aroma Works brand in supermarkets, convenience and drug stores.