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'Beauty foods' have yet to take off in the U.K., Datamonitor study finds


LONDON The buzz around so-called "beauty foods," which marry such appearance benefits as anti-aging properties into foods and beverages, has yet to take off in the United Kingdom as many consumers there remain skeptical, according to a recent Datamonitor study.

In recent years, the personal care segment has seen an influx of "beauty foods," also known as "nutricosmetics," hit the market as manufacturers have promoted the notion of "you are what you eat."

For example, in the United States, Borba sells its skin balance water blends that contain exotic fruits, antioxidant ingredients, and essential vitamins and minerals to help improve and protect skin from the inside out. There?s also Luna, the makers of the nutrition bar for women, which developed Luna Elixir, an organic drink mix formulated specifically for the nutritional needs of women.

Datamonitor's research found that, despite some skepticism, U.K. consumers do have a casual interest in "beauty foods" but seem to be holding back for various reasons. The survey found that only 27% of British consumers said they were not interested in the idea of foods and beverages that improved personal appearance. In addition, nearly half (49%) said they were interested in but not actively buying these products. These findings suggest, according to Mark Whalley, consumer markets analyst for Datamonitor, that industry players need to do more to convince these consumer groups that such products are worth the money.

"People want to believe that they can look better just by eating or drinking a product, but the truth is that many Brits are skeptical about this. Manufacturers must do all they can to convince people to really get behind beauty foods, because the interest is there," stated Whalley, who suggested such ideas as gaining an endorsement from a respected professional association.

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