I’ve traveled around the globe this year, and found the story is pretty much the same wherever I went. We have an aging-population, Generation Y is coming into the work force, and there is a tremendous amount of disposable income. High profile consumers are demanding products to keep them looking younger longer throughout the U.S., Europe, Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Consumers are demanding more efficacious products and are willing to pay the price for maintaining their youth. In many cases, labels stating, “U.S. Made” have gained even greater status.
Expansion & Evolution
The natural beauty industry has never seen this kind of global explosion before. The market has evolved beyond collagen, omega-3s, and probiotics. Do a little homework and you will discover the amazing array of formative ingredients finding their way to store shelves. Backed by science and driven by brand power, concept marketing is throwing the beverage, food, nutraceutical, and cosmeceutical industries into a tailspin to catch emerging trends. From increasing cognitive function to slowing hair loss, from personalized medicine to bioceuticals, old paradigms for healthcare are crumbling as medical costs skyrocket. Designing personalized lifestyle programs will continue to become more utilized as time goes by.
Beauty from the inside out is driving sales for topical ingredients complemented with ingestibles. Mother-baby and American-made products in China are in such demand that manufacturers, exporters, and importers are scrambling to ride that wave to find products suitable for this unique retail market. My advice is to take a slow boat to China unless you have incredibly well established, vetted, and proven contacts. There are definite roads to navigate this market, but as a rule, it can take a couple of years and dollars can be wasted quickly. Focus is the key right now. Currently, the U.S. beauty market alone is enough to grow a company well into a multi-million-dollar empire.
Soaring above the competition is possible by following social trends, meeting consumer expectations, and through differentiation. This may mean introducing new technologies for greater absorption or new delivery forms. There are advantages to certain delivery methods, like melt strips with increased nutritional potency, for example. With a tight strategy, innovative marketing, the use of science backed and branded ingredients, proprietary formulations, and technology, new opportunities will become clear. Products for memory care, mobility, eye health, hearing, and water purification will continue to be in demand.
An example of a recent innovation, Mira-Skin’s patented Ultrasound skin wand increases the effectiveness of topical products for anti-aging. Paired with ingestibles, the results show even greater success at reducing fine lines and wrinkles right at home. Over the next 24 months, expect to see the market for home beauty applications grow. Another dynamic new product is Mira-Teeth’s Ultrasound toothbrush. This breakthrough in technology is fully patented and outperforms sonic and manual brushes. Watch for an invigorated interest in natural teeth whitening globally.
Marketing for a Cause
Another trend that has moved the natural products sector to the spotlight is mission- or cause-driven marketing.
Gay Timmons, founder/president of Oh, Oh, Organics, Inc., a leading brokerage firm offering organic ingredients and regulatory support, stated, “Young female entrepreneurs and millennials entering the beauty industry today are focusing their efforts on more than just organic and natural. Environmental responsibility, safety, and transparency are inherent in product development and their consumer outreach.”
Clean labels, pure ingredients, and farm-to-shelf sourcing are not only helping to empower villages and global communities, they are driving numbers that top charts with increasing revenue share, a clear indication that the natural beauty category can stand on its own and have sustained growth. The industry has moved from just thinking “green” to a strong commitment to quality that makes a difference while also making healthy profits.
Innovation with Excellence
If you are an innovator with substance and an entrepreneurial spirit it couldn’t be a better time to enter this vibrant industry. The main difference now is that rather than trying to just get back to “natural,” companies on the fast track to transformation are raising the bar for the next level of success by marrying Mother Nature with science and technology—proving that natural ingredients combined with advanced delivery methods can create products that are more effective than ever before.
Industry leaders are diving deep into absorption, detoxification, skin support, cellular matrix, DNA, nanotechnology and beyond, while coupling conscious awareness of ecology and authenticity. Rather than duplication within a category, it’s about innovation and integration of lifestyle and mind-body awareness. This change in mindset alone will create companies that will hold the next generations’ long-term commitment. The advent of social media is changing buying patterns, belief systems, and the relationship between the company, its mission, and the customer. Marketing position and customer loyalty for the next two generations is certainly up for grabs.
As for ingredient solutions, here are a few nutraceutical companies with outstanding results:
Pycnogenol from Horphag Research continues to be one of the most successful stories in branding history for a single, natural ingredient. From skin to heart health, this clinically proven nutraceutical from French Maritime pine bark extract is an ideal solution for addressing vascular health and wellness.
Indena, a global leader in the production of botanical derivatives, innovates with its plant-based cosmetic preparation, Vitachelox, a combination of grape seed extract, green tea extract, and a unique bark extract to protect skin from environmental pollution. This potent blend provides free radical scavenging activity and chelating agents on various mechanisms triggered by common air pollutants.
Berg Imports has introduced Aquasorb with Spanish biotech firm Bioiberica. The company’s revolutionary duo is a clinically validated combination of oral soft gel and topical cream for addressing common forms of dermatitis. The formulation contains chondroitin, HA, and essential fatty acids.
Sabinsa Corporation’s ForsLean CG brand is a patented and clinically studied Coleus forskohlii extract. Standardized with highly active forskohlin, a compound well known for its topical application in the field of skin conditioning and body contouring serum, it can be applied to serums, gels, and creams.
Seppic’s Ceramosides are breaking new ground. Developed to be the most efficient source of oral phytoceramides for skin hydration and anti-aging, this moisturizer for smooth and youthful skin replenishes wrinkles to give skin a healthy glow.
Evolva’s Veri-te resveratrol has been shown to penetrate cells and help rejuvenate mitochondrial function to support healthier aging. Evolva is a pioneer and global leader in sustainable, fermentation-based approaches, according to the company.
Tips for the Trade
With Amazon’s recent purchase of Whole Foods, there is a total disruption in all aspects of consumer sales. For the first time in history, the world of natural, organic, sustainable, green, and socially responsible will rise because there are proven economic and profit models. Big box stores will need to try harder, online experts will need to review the art of marketing with real analytics, and consumers will demand even greater connection and devotion for your brand. Pay attention to what they say and they will be your best advocates.
Here are some additional tips for product creators, formulators, and marketing companies:
- Work with higher quality ingredients that are backed by science. If you compete on price you can’t sustain long term. High value can mean high volume with targeted marketing.
- Use trade-marked ingredients on your label; lean on their science.
- Neo-Strata does a great job of sending mini, free samples with every order and always a discount-coupon introducing new and “hot items.” Value-added reward programs create return customers.
- Partner with “Sample Box Programs.”
- Build your mission, share your vision, include your customers. Make your mark to make lives better.
- Brand, Brand, and Co-Brand!
- Own the science.
- Take your story and the science direct to the consumers (pharmaceutical model).
- Do not rely on retail partners to drive your brand.
- Create proprietary formulations.
- Develop innovative delivery methods; take advantage of emerging technologies and global trends.
- Offer exclusive and cutting-edge ingredients for specialized customers.
- Prove your source.
- Build all brands on quality, sustainability, trust, science, long-term relationships, integrity, and authenticity.
As best-selling author of “Extreme Innovation,” Amazon Vice President Sandy Carter stated, “It’s time for extreme innovation. The motivation is both purpose and profit. Making the world a better place is the goal.”
About the author: Danielle Lin, CN, is founder/CEO of Danielle Lin Enterprises, a content creation and media company. She hosts the nationally syndicated radio program The Danielle Lin Show…The Art of Living and Science of Life. She is an international marketing consultant specializing in the ingredient industry, and author of the forthcoming book “Science of Your Life.” For more information: 801-918-0334; email@example.com; www.daniellelin.com.