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Six reasons for Asia's growing appetite for ingestibles Listen with ReadSpeaker

Six reasons for Asia

Beauty is far from superficial when it comes to the globally shifting dynamics changing the face of the beauty industry. One such zeitgeist element is the concept of beauty-from-within ingestibles or also known as nutricosmetics.

The face of this modern movement has an undoubtedly Asian profile with markets like Japan, China and Korea leading the way and Thailand, India, the Philippines and Vietnam along with numerous global markets mirroring this development.

With demand growing, opportunities for market entry are opening up for vitamin, mineral and supplement beauty manufacturers as well as food and beverage players. Let us look at the six key reasons for Asia’s growing appetite for ingestibles.

Asia is renowned as an innovative skin care technology center and supplements are starting to play a big part in consumers’ beauty regimens in the region. Products are not only presented in specialist shops or at beauty counters but also common retail outlets like 7-Eleven.


Thailand has been closely following market leaders like Japan and Korea in the field of beauty products where the focus on having flawless skin and immaculate personal care is ingrained in the cultural psyche of consumers.


Seeking out personal care products goes beyond vanity in Asia; in many ways looking good is regarded as a way of demonstrating confidence and is tied up with feelings of self-respect. With Asia at the forefront of social media, this fits perfectly with the beauty industry.


Mintel reveals that over one in ten consumers in Japan are influenced by claims that food and beverages can improve the appearance of their skin when it comes to making purchases. The K-beauty trend that has long been evident in other parts of Asia and the demand for ingestibles has also spread to the West. This, along with more consumer-engaging products and a fast-moving marketplace, puts beauty supplements into the cultural narrative of Asia.

Asia is an ingestibles hub and has been a catalyst for increased global demand. To see how large Asian markets are, Goldstein Research reports that the market for beauty supplements in the USA was at USD 144 million, which was considerably smaller than Japan’s USD 1.54 billion market.


Asia Pacific accounts for the highest share in global beauty supplements and while Japan is the largest market, other Asian markets are expanding rapidly. Consumer demand in India is rising while the Philippines, a relatively new market, is seeing year-on-year growth from the newly emerging middle classes.


Mintel’s 2019 edition of The Beauty and Personal Care Landscape: Asia Pacific offers insights into the importance of Asia’s industry as having become an innovation center of equal caliber to its global counterparts. When it comes to ingestibles, the West looks to the East for inspiration while markets in Asia lead the way in terms of market expansion. 

According to a Goldstein Research report, the global beauty-supplements market is projected to reach worldwide sales of USD 7 billion by 2024 with Asia Pacific continuing to dominate. Nielsen too reports that changing lifestyles are boosting the usage of supplements and the popularity of beauty supplements among both male and female consumers has impacted the global beauty supplements market positively. 


There is an increasing emergence of independent brands as social media influencers and celebrity ambassadors play a growing importance role in helping new brands to win over consumer interest and trust.

With Asia being home to some of the world’s most aging populations, over 25 percent of new beauty and personal care launches in the region are focused on anti-aging products. The link between this consumer focus and ingestibles is clear especially when considering that more than 35 percent of the global beauty supplements market is made up of skin care supplements.


The desire to look youthful is not skin-deep as Goldstein Research expects the global beauty supplements market to continue an upward trend until 2024 as a result of rising beauty and health concerns among consumers globally.

Growth of the millennial demographic in emerging Asian markets along with greater disposable income for this age-group is pushing the market upward. Euromonitor’s Global Beauty Survey showed that looking healthy was considered a beauty standard by over half of millennials surveyed.


With the focus on skin care and anti-aging and a more connected view of wellbeing, beauty supplements that inspire health, bringing about beauty from within are market drivers. Nutricosmetics that contain ingredients to promote glowing, healthy-looking skin, great hair and strong nails, as well as those that combat free radicals are considered by consumers as an investment into their health and future.

Consumer understanding of how health and beauty are linked resonates with a wider consciousness about wellness. According to Mintel Trend, this is intrinsically about how consumers are treating their bodies like an ecosystem and seeking solutions that complement their health and evolving beauty needs.


This holistic attitude, according to research by Mintel, is also evident in the fact that Asia Pacific accounts for 33 percent of global beauty products connecting with relaxation and de-stressing. There is also a focus on adding ingestibles into the mix as a preventative measure.


Consumers are also seeking out more natural, quality ingredients that are organic and ethical. For example, according to Mintel’s 2019 Beauty and Personal Care Landscape: Asia Pacific, 28 percent of urban Thai consumers are prepared to pay more for products that are kinder to the planet.


In Asia, the relationship between ingredients and health has long been established in the cultural mindset through ancient remedies. Today, this renewed interest in traditional medicine and the purported benefits of natural plants such as ginseng and time-honored ingredients like vinegar are gaining greater traction and momentum in Asia’s ingestible markets.