Earlier this year, beverage distributor GnuSanté Creations Inc. announced the DTC launch of the RA.D8 skin care beverage line. The Collagen Sparkling Skin Support collection is available in four flavors: Cool Pineapple, Green Apple Ginger, Lemonade Thyme, and Blueberry Vanilla, and each contains a daily dose of collagen and elastin for skin support.
Collagen is already firmly entrenched in the ‘beauty from within’ supplement category for skin support, but the release of a skin support beverage is a creative and innovative supplementation option, and RA.D8 beverages are the first in North American to be formulated with Collactive Collagen (PLT Health Solutions) and Lumenato (Lycored).
To learn more about the product development process, including challenges that needed to be overcome to launch, as well as benefits to collagen supplementation for skin support through beverage consumption, we spoke with Autumn Kendrick, Chief Strategy and Ideation officer at GnuSanté for her insights.
Product development goals
When approaching the research, development, and formulation processes for the RA.D8 beverage collection, the GnuSanté team focused on the best ways to bring “a new and convenient way to enjoy easy-to-use beauty products to the market,” said Kendrick. To do so, the brand adopted an approach that was “user-friendly and all-inclusive in order to provide a fresh perspective on skincare for a new audience,” she shared.
The product development team aimed to “to show manufacturers the vast array of high-quality, innovative, and enjoyable possibilities available in creating effective products for the cosmetic and personal care industry by offering consumers more than just traditional products and collagen powders,” she added. With creative utilization of a unique supplementation option and “thinking outside the box to provide a diverse range of options, we can keep things exciting and engaging for our customers,” she shared further.
Kendrick partnered with her father to collaborate on the RA.D8 formulation and development process. “He delved into researching clinically trialed ingredients, while I tackled the actual formulations and technical challenges, such as the presence of overt fish tones, that we encountered,” she explained.
To bring the product line to market, they “spent numerous hours and days developing the right balance of key functional ingredients and creating flavors that complemented them, making sure they were enjoyable,” she said. For example, when working on the flavor compositions, “we wanted the flavors to be fruity and fun with a twist of adventure, like our lemonade, which is less sweet and paired with a dash of thyme and black pepper.”
Innovating a new form of collagen supplement was no easy task for the GnuSanté team, who faced multiple challenges when developing the RA.D8 beverage line. One example, shared Kendrick, was the incompatibility of collagen and sea buckthorn in the solution, which took six months of trial and error to resolve.
An additional issue that required a creative solution was the introduction of Lumenato to the formulation as it “added complexity to the beverage since the dispersion used to keep the tomato oil in solution masked all of our flavors,” she said. To address this problem, the formulators had to start over with the flavor development process and adopt the mindset that “each challenge as an opportunity to come up with creative ways to improve the product,” she shared.
Innovative skin care benefits
The final formulation of RA.D8 skin care beverages contain “a blend of ingredients that sets them apart from other collagen supplements on the market” explained Kendrick. In addition to being the “the first in North America to use Collactive Collagen in an RTD and Lycored Lumenato in a beverage,” the formulation’s “Sea Buckthorn brewed extract contains Omegas that are rarely found in drinks,” she stated.
Regarding the product’s efficacy, GnuSanté “carefully selected ingredients that not only have clinical trials to back them up but also work together in perfect harmony to enhance their benefits,” she said. For example, the collagen used in the formulation is a collagen elastin complex with added carotenoid-rich vegan collagen booster to improve the supplement’s absorption.
To further support hydration and promote glowing skin, added Kendrick, the formulation’s Sea Buckthorn berry extract contains Omega 5, 6, 7, and 9, all of which are known and well-studied nutrients to support skin texture and appearance.
Formulating the collagen supplement in beverage form also addresses a crucial issue for overall skin health: hydration. “Ingesting skincare supplements in bar form can deprive your skin of the added benefits of water,” she explained, and while the RA.D8 beverages are sweetened, they contain “just under 2 grams of sugar, essential for maximizing ingredients' absorption” and “exclude sweeteners, caffeine, and additives to provide skin with the nourishment it needs to achieve a natural, radiant glow.”
With so many types of consumable collagen supplements currently available to consumers in the ‘beauty from within’ category including gummies, tablets, and even chocolates, it will be interesting to gauge the consumer response to this unique product offering in the coming months.