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Laura Giffard

Edible Beauty: the real-life answer to the Fountain of Youth

If Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth delivered the healing waters he claimed it to, or Ambrosia, the food of ancient Greek gods, really did exist, many of us would be out of a job - but on the flip side we would look forever young. Whilst not quite achieving immortality, there are a plethora of products dedicated to delivering the next innovative solution to healthier skin, boosting energy or overall rejuvenation.

The most aptly named has to be ‘Fountain’ - a highly concentrated beauty supplement with Resveratrol (a natural phenol found in the skin of red grapes) and Hyaluronic Acid, which claims to promote health, youth and longevity. It is perhaps one of the best direct translations of ‘Edible Beauty’ on the market – it literally makes nutrition the fountain of youth. The design is very scientific too, borrowing from medicinal and healing language but ‘beautified’ by crossing the boundaries between beauty, food and medicine.

Edible Beauty - as I call it, and in its simplest terms - is where beauty meets food, and food meets beauty.

It wasn’t long ago that we thought we had cracked the secret to being healthy. Eat your 5 a day, cut down on sugar and salt, reduce bad fats – the headlines were easy to understand and choices were limited but relatively simple. Generally, health products focused on the language of absence. Healthy eating was about cutting things out. Phrases such as “wellbeing“and”positive health" were more readily associated with vitamins and supplements rather than food, while “beauty” was something promised in a cream or a lotion.

That all changed with the rise of the ‘super’ ingredient. Each year a new berry, seed or other nutrient-rich food is heralded for its health and well-being qualities. Currently it’s the coconut.

Living up to its reputation as "the tree of life”, the humble coconut is incredibly interesting because it’s one of the best examples of a product that is relevant to the kitchen cupboard as it is to the bathroom cabinet. It has become a key alternative for food and beauty products, with uses spanning cooking all the way through to beauty regimes. It’s a truly great example of a single ingredient that’s become a by-word for holistic health.

It’s also an example of the increasing fusion of inner and outer health, captured by “Betterment”, a global consumer trend about the universal quest for well-being and self-improvement.

Consumers are looking for new and accessible ways of achieving their full potential, to be gained from nutrition, diet and living the best lifestyle. Our increasing confidence and knowledge, together with the accessibility of so many innovative products and brands mean it’s now far easier to take control. We are more empowered than ever before.

Health coaches like Madeleine Shaw are championing “Betterment” with the belief that we can actually turn eating into a way of ‘getting the glow’ - something that was once exclusive to the beauty territory.

Retail is another area aiding this trend. The Skinfood café in Seoul was founded with the philosophy that the products you eat to nourish your body are also good for your skin. It’s a three-storey playground emporium with a “beauty from within” café and beauty products displayed on cutting boards to showcase their edible ingredients. Sephora has also taken a major step in pioneering the “edible beauty” market by partnering with Hum Nutrition, an innovative beauty and supplement brand. It’s a great fit, with playful and purposeful product names that are rooted in fashion and beauty.

The rise of ingestible beauty holds a great deal of opportunity and change for brands and their packaging. We have already started working with premium brand Green Gate, which produces superfood blends, redesigning its packaging to move it away from looking like food – it takes the nutritional and ingredient message and dresses it in the visual language of beauty.

Category definitions are blurring and Edible beauty is here to stay. Health brands with a beauty focus will have to embrace the fusion of familiar category codes.

Laura Giffard

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about Laura Giffard
Laura Giffard

Brand and design expert with a love of food, health and beauty. Laura is one of Parker Williams’ more tenacious and inquisitive bright thinkers, with her expertise spanning strategy, trends and communication ideas.

Laura has worked for clients across B2B and B2C with a potent mix of major brands including Google, The British Heart Foundation, PZ Cussons, L’Oréal, bliss, Modalu, Fiorelli, Bronnley and Original Additions.  She holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship from The University of Liverpool and is bilingual in English and Italian and speaks fluent French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Website: www.parkerwilliams.co.uk

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