The upcoming launch, consisting of three SKUs, is an extension to the existing range under INRYU – Shiseido’s beauty-from-within brand which made its debut in January last year. The products are available in Japan and via cross-border e-commerce in China.
Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, Carol Zhou, senior VP, China Business Innovations and Investments, Shiseido, emphasised that the beauty-from-within category was “a key strategic area” that the company was focusing on.
“The beauty ingestibles category is a key strategic area that we are focusing on. We truly believe that the beauty consumers of today are looking for all ways to achieve beauty, from topicals to ingestibles, and medical beauty aesthetic treatments.
“The quest for beauty is never ending and so we are continuing to innovate and to bring them new value through our new innovations and new product lines,” said Zhou.
Unlike the existing range that comes in tablets, the upcoming new launches come in a box of 10 ampoules drinks – designed for a 10-day regimen.
According to Zhou, Chinese consumers prefer drinks over the other formats when buying beauty-from-within supplements.
This is evident from Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, currently one of the most popular online retail platforms for consumer goods, including beauty-from-within supplements.
She added that the drinks format was experiencing a double-digit growth, which was why the company has decided to go with this format for its upcoming launch.
“Currently, Douyin is leading the inner ingestible beauty category sales across all other platforms, and the drinks format has the largest market share in this category.
“We see a double-digit growth for the drinks format, which is especially so for high efficacy, premium-positioned inner ingestible products, and this is why we’ve picked this format.”
The demand for beauty-from-within supplements is evident from the recent Double 11 sale, where JD Health said that ready-to-eat bird’s nest from the brand Yanzhiwu was ranked third on the top 10 bestselling health and nutrition products.
Instead of glass bottles, Shiseido has developed the functional beauty drinks into a 30-ml ampoule, as it is more convenient and light weight to carry it around.
Similar to the existing INRYU range, the new products will also address the same skin care concerns across anti-ageing, achieving even and brighter skin tone, but will come in higher dosages.
The new range, which was recently exhibited at the China International Import Expo (CIIE), is scheduled for launch in Japan in April and via cross-border e-commerce in China by May. It has a retail selling price of 788 yuan (US$111) for a box of 10 ampoules.
Market response towards existing range
Night Ritual + is the hero SKU out of the existing INRYU range of products, Zhou revealed.
Containing Siberian ginseng extract, GABA, elastin peptide, and green tea extract, it is to be taken before sleep. It is said to improve sleep quality to support the formation of collagen and increase skin elasticity.
Repeat purchase of the product is up to 35 per cent.
“Much of our consumers who have tried the product have been converted into our loyal consumers. Our repeat purchase is up to 35 per cent, that's pretty high for a new ingestibles brand.
“I think in this [beauty-from-within] category, anti-ageing and sleep benefits are very much needed and two of the biggest benefits sought by the consumers today,” she said, adding that the core target consumers were women from age 30 to 40.
This group of consumers is at a stage where they are looking for anti-ageing benefits. They also have the spending power to afford premium products and high efficacy ingredients that meet their needs, according to Zhou.
The other two existing products are Advanced Radiance and Laser Refine, both of which also contain Siberian ginseng extract.
The former, which is designed for skin radiance, also contains Sakura extract, pineapple extract, astaxanthin, and Peucedanum japonicum extract.
The latter, designed for hydration, also contains lactulose, Lactobacillus K-1, ceramide, Houttuynia cordata extract, as well as vitamin B2 and B6.
Huge growth opportunities for products backed by science and tech
Zhou believes that growth opportunities in China’s beauty-from-within sector is underpinned by two factors: science and technology driven innovation, as well as the use of new ingredients that consumers could resonate with.
At the moment, she notices that consumers generally take supplements such as vitamin C, E, grape seeds, and collagen for health and beauty. Other well-known ingredients for beauty include Goji berry and Astragalus.
However, there is a lack of technology driven innovations.
“If you look at the market, there aren't many brands or products that are at the premium level with high efficacy, technology driven concepts, which is especially the case for anti-ageing products.
“I think this is a white space, that’s why we want to lead the development of this category by coming up with premium, high technology, high efficacy, and benefits driven products.”
The upcoming INRYU’s new launches are developed using Shiseido’s trademarked nutri-vessel network technology.
The technology, which was developed over 20 years, is also utilised in the R&D of the existing INRYU range.
The technology uses a patented ingredient that is said to strengthen blood vessels and blood circulation, in turn promoting nutrients absorption.
“As we age, the blood vessels under our skin become weaker and can eventually become leaky. This is when a lot of the nutrients that we take in don’t get absorbed efficiently, and so can’t synthesise collagen efficiently.
"Also, when blood is not circulating efficiently throughout the body, you're also not letting new collagen reproduction to happen.
“For the nutri-vessel network technology, we are using a patented ingredient to strengthen your blood vessels. Once the blood vessels are strengthened, blood circulate easily throughout the body and nutrients will not be leaked and can help stimulate collagen reproduction,” she explained.