At a time where beauty bloggers rule the world—or, at least YouTube—some restaurants are finding success marketing the aesthetic benefits of ingredients. Here’s how health-conscious concepts are blurring the lines between health and beauty.
Encouraging staff testimonials
When Nékter started, the goal was to reinvent the juice bar like Starbucks reinvented coffee, says Steve Schulze, president and CEO of the chain. Part of that was getting rid of processed ingredients and promoting a “Glow from within” campaign, a saying that can even be found on the chain’s doors. “Our goal is to motivate others to eat healthier, and overall health includes the largest tissue in our body: our skin,” Schulze says. Nékter markets ingredients such as goji berries and hemp for their skin care advantages on social media, he says. On a more word-of-mouth level, Nékter’s mostly teenage employees receive free juices and often see improvements with their skin. Schulze says they can then talk to customers about their experience and give advice.
Taking note from the cosmetic industry
Every year, the marketing and development teams at Juice It Up attend the Anaheim Natural Products Expo in California to see what healthy alternatives people are using for shinier hair, clearer skin or stronger nails. This past show, Juice It Up took home an idea for their next LTO: a smoothie with matcha green tea powder, which is said to help clear and hydrate skin. “We think a lot about the cosmetic industry—how it’s using all of these natural and organic products to increase the collagen in skin,” says Meredith Gough, the brand’s senior marketing manager. “We think about the same types of things, except it’s obviously something we are ingesting in our bodies.”
Promoting foods with a function
Beauty benefits are often bundled with other health perks under the moniker “functional foods.” This month Chopt, for instance, tweeted about the functional ingredients in its Santa Monica Market Plate. According to Google’s 2016 Food Trends report, searches for functional foods have exploded. A search for the “best foods for skin” is up by 131 percent since 2011. Functional foods are an ancient notion, as the report points out, but consumer interest in the role food has to play in health and beauty appears to be growing, with rising probiotic stars such as turmeric, apple cider vinegar, avocado oil, bitter melon and kefir.