Mind over matter: Industry focalizes nootropics for e-sports, healthy aging and skin care
27 Apr 2021 --- Nootropics are one of the fastest-growing industry segments, according to a roundtable of experts from Mibelle, Finzelberg, Lubrizol Life Science, Health and Givaudan Active Beauty.
From supporting cognition and healthy aging to e-gaming and skin care, NutritionInsight speaks with experts about COVID-19’s impact, nootropics’ varied application areas and trending ingredients.
“Concern over COVID-19 has led to a rise in consumers’ stress levels and ultimately put a strain on overall brain health. In light of this, a key driver for ingredients that boost the mood and help manage stress such as nootropics have come into focus,” says Dr. Torsten Grothe, head of food & health at Mibelle Group Biochemistry.
Andrea Schid, senior expert marketing for Finzelberg, notes that COVID-19 has significantly impacted consumer behavior. “Remote work is increasing and information needs to be processed at a much higher speed. Consumers need to handle more information and make decisions in less time.”
“At the same time, the balance between professional and private life has become more difficult for many consumers. Mental health is gaining importance,” Schid adds.
Nootropics for cognitive function is one of the fastest-growing segments in the nutrition and health industry and was valued by several reports at US$2.2 billion in 2019. It is expected to reach US$6 billion by 2027, according to Grothe.
annual growth of 70 percent in global nootropic product launches between 2015 and 2019.Innova Market Insights data shows there was an average
Healthy aging and dosage
For Lonza’s Lindsey Toth, associate director of product management nutrition, healthy aging continues to grow across the board, from mobility to antioxidant protection.
“At Lonza, we’re leveraging our technology to support our customers in these new product development endeavors,” she supports.
“Lonza’s dosage forms enable brands to unlock the full potential of nootropic ingredients for brands, whatever ingredients they’re working with. If the ingredient needs to be delivered for immediate release, Plantcaps pullulan capsules enable fast disintegration and absorption.”
Meanwhile, in the case that dietary supplement ingredients are sensitive to acidic environments, Lonza has designed DRcaps capsules that can help protect from stomach acidity.
“If it’s a combination product of synergistic ingredients to deliver the end benefit, Lonza’s Duocap capsule-in-capsule technology makes it possible to combine ingredients with customizable release profiles,” Toth notes.
“This allows for ingredient combinations of typically immiscible ingredients to become a reality within the energy nootropics category.”
Traditionally, nootropic NPD is focused on supporting sleep quality, stress relief and brain-enhancing functions such as perception, concentration, learning ability and memory, says Isabel Gómez, global marketing manager, nutraceutical ingredients at Lubrizol Life Science, Health.
“Reinforcing their natural, yet functional credentials, the use of nootropics is increasingly seen across market categories such as functional food and dietary supplements,” she explains.
However, more interesting areas of applications are rising, such as e-sports.
“We are also seeing sports nutrition and energy drink brands incorporating these ingredients to offer a more holistic, cognitive-focused quality in their product offering. New products being launched specifically targeting gamers and those active in the world of e-sports will propel interest in formulas for mental energy,” Gómez says.
The nutraceuticals business of Lubrizol Life Science recently launched an algae-based nootropic. The Astagile microcapsules are the first product that combines astaxanthin with spirulina designed to support healthy aging with proven cognitive performance claims.
Grothe says nootropics fit very well in the rising e-sports segment, which has gained increasing attention as a rapidly growing market in recent months. Due to COVID-19, the popularity of video games has exploded as consumers were forced to stay at home and keep themselves entertained, he says.
“E-sports requires a very high level of attention, concentration, focus, mental endurance and performance over several hours of game playing to stay competitive. Many new supplement brands designed specifically for the needs of e-gamers are entering the market rapidly, with very innovative and remarkable product packaging.”
Mibelle Biochemistry is offering the natural cognition enhancer SaraPEPP Nu, available in two different formats, as MCT-oil-based liquid and powder.
Nootropics for skin care
Giada Maramaldi, personal care category manager at Givaudan Active Beauty, says that the company has observed that the pandemic has boosted an overall research for well-being and self-care.
“It has made us all more conscious and willing to seek holistic well-being, as we have seen the link between mental and physical health is very strongly perceived. Consumers are more conscious of their health and lifestyle and willing to take care of themselves with a more holistic approach in which the concepts of nootropics fit perfectly.”
Givaudan Active Beauty is tapping into the potential of nootropics’ cosmetic properties by unveiling a line of six botanical extracts that benefit the skin.
From guarana, ginger, green tea and gotu kola to ginkgo biloba and green coffee, the ingredients are well-known among the industry for their use in food supplements.
Givaudan highlights nootropics’ cosmetic properties, which include soothing and purifying the skin, as well as moisturizing and aiding in healthy aging.
“Right after food supplements, skin care is the second most popular vehicle for products mentioning ‘nootropic,’” says Melanie Duprat, global category manager at Givaudan Active Beauty.
Maramaldi adds that according to the company’s analysis, the Beauty and Personal care market accounts second as per the number of launches of nootropic products, accounting for 28 percent of the launches in all market segments.
“There is no doubt for consumers, as the large majority (depending on the regions, up to 91 percent of consensus in Brazil) agree that there is a link between mental health and well-being. According to this holistic vision, this has a deep impact on skin health, too,” she highlights.
By Kristiana Lalou
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