Cosmetics are among the fastest growing health-and-beauty aids products in the nation's supermarkets, according to a recent survey.

Food stores account for nearly 20 percent of the cosmetic category's annual total of $1.8 billion in sales - or more than $348 million, reports the Howard Marlboro Group, a New York-based merchandising specialist organization. The percentage figure is expected to rise some 4 percent over the next five years.Food stores still trail America's drug stores as a mecca for cosmetics sales. Drug stores account for nearly 60 percent of all cosmetics sales.

Fragrance sales are not growing as quickly as cosmetics, according to the survey.