The relationship between health and beauty is becoming more entwined as retailers in the nutrition and vitamin sector seek to expand their beauty and personal care assortments in an effort to fortify their sales as well as appeal to their body-conscious customers. Beauty and personal care brands are increasingly seizing upon opportunities arising from Americans' obsession with fitness and diet, as several avenues dedicated to beauty languish.
The outlook and demographics for the U.S. nutritional supplement retail industry are appealing. The Nutrition Business Journal estimates it generated $25.2 billion in sales in 2008 and $26.6 billion in 2009, and projects it will grow at an average rate of 4% annually through 2017. The nutritional supplement retail clientele is a loyal group of predominantly affluent 35- to 60-year-olds with concerns about health that are only mounting as they become older.
While some industry analysts predicted that the state of the economy and consumers' falling disposable income would hamper dietary supplement sales, the opposite occurred. As more people lost their jobs and ability to pay for healthcare, many turned to supplements to remain healthy and ward off expensive doctor visits and pharmaceutical drugs.
In addition, the aging Baby Boomer population, dissatisfaction with traditional health care and a general trend toward healthier living have kept demand strong at nutritional supplement stores even during a period of slack consumption due to the economy. Industry analyst also note that there is a great connection to the consumer who buys supplements for internal health and someone who is concerned about skin health.
For beauty and personal care brands, these nutritional supplement retailers provide access to a customer base that may not frequent beauty departments elsewhere and that skews more male than typical beauty venues.
Brown, Rachel. "Vitamin Shops Fortify Sales With Beauty." Women's Wear Daily. 2 Apr. 2010. Web. 15 Apr. 2010.