Laboratoires InnÃ©ov, the “functional foods” venture formed by L’OrÃ©al and NestlÃ© (MW June 27, 2002), is gearing up to launch its first product across Europe.
The product, called InnÃ©ov FermetÃ© (InnÃ©ov Firmness), is designed to enhance the appearance of hair and nails. It is being rolled out in two phases this year. This month, pharmacies in Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain will begin to sell FermetÃ©; in September, the product will become available in Austria, Greece, Italy and Switzerland. It is understood that if the product proves successful, it will appear on UK shelves in 2004. Marketing spend for the launch has yet to be finalised.
The two companies announced their intention to pioneer “nutricosmetics” last year. At the time, NestlÃ© global spokeswoman and official voice of the venture FranÃ§ois-Xavier Perroud claimed that the product would “not only make you look good, but will taste good as well” (MW July 4, 2002). However FermetÃ©, which is aimed at women over 40, is a pill supplement containing vitamin C and soya extracts.
L’OrÃ©al recommends that the supplement should be taken every day for six months in order to see an improvement. Launching as a supplement instead of a food also means that the product can side-step stringent guidelines governing health claims on food.