2021 Beauty and Health Innovations: Make it portable and targeted to win new customers


2021 Beauty and Health Innovations: Make it portable and targeted to win new customers

NielsenIQ’s latest report on innovation in the beauty and health space shows consumers willingness to explore new product formats in their beauty and health products, seeking more specific benefits and easytouse products that can be applied on the go 

Switch up the format

Portable products are in-demand again, and people are more open to trying out new, alternative formats of old favorites. This is paving the way for innovation opportunities in the beauty and health category, with brands aiming to make life more straightforward for their customers.  

Successful examples of popular new formats include: teeth whitening trays, which saw sales jump by 128.3% in 2021, and chewable laxatives, which saw sales up by 32.7% the same year.

Hit the target every time 

Consumers are also gravitating toward products for targeted pain relief, including innovations like roll-on pain relief gel.​ In fact, in 2021 sales of targeted topical pain relief products were up by 17%.  

As more consumers seek convenient products to fit into more active lifestyles, brands should consider how they can expand product usage occasions by offering new benefits.  ​ 


Nielsen IQ’s 2021 Health and Beauty Innovation Report, an annual compilation and celebration of innovation successes, recognizes brands that offer meaningful category innovation and are representative of key trends observed across health and beauty. Broadly, we considered new innovations that: 

  • Sell either in-store or online 
  • Represent a new brand or sub-brand 
  • Started selling in July 2020 or later 
  • Reached over $5mm in sales in their first 12 months on the market 

For online launches, we considered brands that were new to selling online and experiencing rapid growth (the analysis looks at year one sales and does not include any analysis of the long term potential​).

On-the-go favorites

These portable, easy-to-use products have won plenty of new fans in-store. 

Bayer Aleve X

This topical pain relief gel for on-the-go application saw year 1 sales of $21.6MM.

Johnson & Johnson Band-Aid Water Block Flex

Year 1 sales reached $14.8MM for these waterproof bandages, which protect wounds in an instant.

P&G Crest Whitening Emulsions

This fast and effective teeth whitener includes a convenient application wand for use anytime, anywhere. Year 1 sales hit $25.7MM.

Sanofi Dulcolax Soft Chews

These chewable laxatives can be stashed in a handbag and used on the go. Year 1 sales reached $10.7MM.

E-commerce solutions that hit the spot

These targeted-use products have made impressive sales in the online space.   

  • Voltaren Arthritis Pain: Designed to get right to the source of arthritis pain. Online sales in 2021 reached $20.7MM.
  • Mighty Patch The Original: A pimple-treating patch that works its magic as you sleep. E-commerce sales topped $66.6MM in 2021.  

Ready to learn more? 

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1 NielsenIQ RMS, Product Insider, powered by Label Insight, Total US xAOC L52W ending 5/21/22; Beauty & Personal Care