Meeting summary from the MedilinkEM special interest group on food supplements, November 2016. This meeting had a focus on Beauty supplements. Beauty is a strongly emerging category, with sales in the ‘anti-ageing’ market growing by > 7% year on year.

The final Food Supplement Special Interest Group meeting of 2016, focussed on beauty, held in the Park Inn by Radisson, Nottingham. Beauty is a strongly emerging category, with sales in the ‘anti-ageing’ market growing by > 7% year on year.

The scene was set in the afternoon by Nick Bennett (Brunel) sharing with us ‘What is a beauty claim?”. Beauty claims exist in the grey area – they are classic borderline line products often described as cosmeceuticals/nutricosmetics or nutraceutials. We learnt that a beauty claim is one which has ‘a perceived improvement in appearance observed through consumption of product/specific nutrient’. Such claims should have data (bibliographic/published research or new data). The audience participation of what is a beauty claim revealed to all that beauty claims are not black and white.

The next session looked at the comparison between clinical and market research, presented by two consultants experienced in this field. Jenny Christian (Insight Clinical Consulting) gave an awareness of clinical trials and how these are often associated with medicines/devices due to the length and cost associated with producing the data and evidence for medicinal claims. However clinical data is generated for food supplements especially where new health claims may be sought. Victoria Buckingham (Alberi) developed this understanding further with a summary about the value of market research and how this may be helpful for food supplements, especially where you may wish to learn more about marketing trends, your product vs. the competition or the people who may buy your product (comparing both qualitative and quantitative research).

For many the last session before the break was a step back to earlier educational years, as Dr Neil Gibbs (Curapel) guided us through the anatomy of the skin, detailing the functions of the dermis, epidermis and stratum corneum. Skin is the largest of the body’s organs, accounting for 16% of total body weight. As the talk progressed it was shown that an understanding of why skin goes wrong aids understanding how to keep skin healthy. The session concluded with an understanding of the relationship between Filaggrin and atopic dermatitis helps keeping skin healthy.

The networking break, assisted by excellent homemade cookies, lead into the final session of the day. David Hyland (Ingenious Beauty) gave an honest and Insightful view of a serendipitous 10-year journey developing a beauty product from initial aim to find a supplement that would support horses tolerate the endurance of 3-day eventing! Ultimate Collagen, whilst an ingestible capsule, launched as a beauty product in January 2016. To date it is a winner of a bronze medal in the Beauty Awards 2016. Clinical data has shown that consumption of Ultimate Collagen leads to a reduction in fine lines by 26%. David’s shared his development journey, what worked/did not, retail options and marketing insights. The ambition for the product is to reach sales >£1million by Dec 2017.

Finally, to conclude the day, Dr Janet Worrell, (consult2deliver) shared a parallel story of a local home grown beauty success, showing how public exposure and social media can create a viral response to a beauty product. The achievement of “Protect and perfect” skincare mirrors the growing global skin care market (>$115 billion), over the last decade.

Comments from attendees:

  • ‘It was good to meet some new faces.’
  • ‘We thoroughly enjoyed the Medilink meeting last week. Many thanks for putting together such an interesting programme, we probably gained more from this than any previous meeting that we have attended.’