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Meet Rebecca Hedstrom, Great Earth

What are consumer preferences that nutricosmetics companies should respond to? 

In a wide-ranging discussion of nutricosmetics formats, flavors, ingredients and consumer preferences, freelance beauty and wellness editor Mara Santilli hosted Rebecca Hedstrom, chief product developer of beauty products at Great Earth, a Swedish beauty and wellness supplement company. 

Rebecca shared that being in product development is partially about listening to consumer feedback and taking notes for future nutricosmetics products. She noted that nutricosmetics is a growing sector within Great Earth, accounting for 10% of their overall sales, and a part of the brand they’re looking to expand. Some of the factors of nutricosmetics products that consumers are responding to include the ingredients and formulation of the products, the taste and overall experience with the product, and convenience of fitting the product into a daily routine.

Here is how each customer concern influences the company’s decisions from a product formulation standpoint.  

Taste of collagen supplements 

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to the flavor of beauty supplements. Some people may prefer mixing powders into their morning smoothie, while others will find this inconvenient and not tasty. Liquid formulas, including collagen shots, are becoming increasingly popular sellers in the industry, but again, can have a strong smell and aftertaste. 

Luckily, TOSLA Nutricosmetics developed VELIOUS™ Masking Technology, which masks the strong flavor and aftertaste of collagen and other active ingredients more palatable and gives them a rounder flavor. This game-changing technology enhances customers’ experience and helps them to stick with their beauty routines, resulting in visible improvements in their skin, hair, nails, and overall well-being. 

Convenience of consuming

There is consistent consumer demand for other forms of collagen-based supplements besides tablets and capsules, as they can be large and challenging for some customers to swallow. According to Rebecca, many people have reported looking for a more “fun” way to consume supplements. That’s why Great Earth in particular is working on exploring other formula options besides their capsule offerings, including liquids, gummies, and powders. 

Format and taste seem to be some of the top concerns for consumers when purchasing a vitamin or supplement, as evidenced by a Nutraceuticals World report that cites market research company Mintel’s 2021 data. For example, in the U.S., 37% of consumers report a preference for gummies, for their vitamin and supplement intake, according to that data. Gummies are a convenient, often tasty supplement format. The downside of them is a concentration level, which is often much lower than any other format.

Sustainability of product ingredients 

Rebecca highlights the rising consumer interest in vegan collagen products catering to skin and joint health. As the sustainability movement gains momentum, consumers are increasingly drawn to vegan ingredients as a way to align their purchasing choices with eco-conscious values. However, vegan does not necessarily mean sustainable. On the other hand, collagen is an upcycled ingredient, meaning that it is a byproduct of the meat industry and would be discarded if not returned to the food chain to be used for human consumption.  

And the current buzz in the nutricosmetics arena rightfully revolves around collagen peptides sourced from animals. However, with the growing vegan movement, there’s a rising call for vegan-friendly nutricosmetics. While the market has been flooded by numerous “vegan collagen” products, it’s crucial to note that actual “vegan collagen” doesn’t exist.

Ultimately, the goal of nutricosmetics companies is to secure customer loyalty by helping them curate a beauty routine that involves a holistic approach towards skin, hair, and general wellness. Continued innovation on behalf of nutricosmetics companies is important to help align with consumers’ lifestyles, preferences, and values.

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