It is all about being “Smart”: Nootropics NPD and scientific substantiation

Nootropics, or ‘smart supplements,’ have captured the industry’s attention as a new brain health area to watch. Consumers are seeking performance based formulas that help them reach their peak – not only physically, but also mentally. However, entering this increasingly popular space with a product does not come without its drawbacks. In an era where transparency and efficacy are becoming expected, companies must also substantiate their launches.

According to Innova data, the nootropic market is growing at a rate of around 20 percent per year, which has partly been boosted by public figures who have reported using nootropics.

Nootropics typically enhance any aspect of cognitive function, such as memory, creativity, motivation or coping with stress. A typical cognitive enhancement is caffeine and of course, caffeine has been present in the nutraceutical sector for decades. But in recent times there has been a marketing overhaul of brain-boosting ingredients which has elevated their status.

Innova Market Insights has placed “I Feel Good” among its top ten trends for 2019. This trend denotes a consumer who is interested in active ingredients that can benefit their mood, such as omega-3 and gingko biloba. Brain health claims in food and beverage launches are on the rise, with more than twice as many products (excluding infant nutrition) reported with a brain health claim in 2017 than in 2013, the market researcher notes. Another interesting ingredient to watch in the cognitive area is curcumin.

The appeal of “smart supplements” is global and can be expected to grow. An Innova Market Insights Consumer Lifestyle and Attitudes Survey (2018) found that eight out of ten consumers agreed that mental health is as important as physical health to their overall wellbeing, rising to nine out of ten respondents in China, the US and Brazil. This was found across all markets surveyed: US, UK, Germany, France, Brazil and China.

However, during this and future NPD, health claim substantiation will undoubtedly be a challenge and therefore any scientific backing of ingredients touting a nootropic profile is likely to be expected for success.

If you are looking into this area for your next product development, LEHVOSS Nutrition can assist you with selected high quality ingredients, some of them also with scientific research:

Bacognize® Bacopa extract, Longvida® Optimised Curcumin extract, Ashwagandha, Golden Omega Fish Oil Concentrates also available as DC powders, Phosphatidyl serine, Choline, Ginkgo Biloba, Magnesium Salts and more. Contact us for information.