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How to market cognition supplements to today's new demographicsHow to market cognition supplements to today's new demographics

Marketing supplements for cognitive health has changed dramatically over the last decade—affecting marketing copy and even clinical study design.

Todd Runestad

May 1, 2023

Show me the science! A sea change in health targets, coupled with a slew of new ingredients that hit those targets, has greatly expanded the cognitive health category over the last decade.

Once it was all and exclusively about a small category tailored to an aging demographic to address age-related cognitive decline. But what is seen as cognition today in the brain space has shifted to various aspects of memory for middle agers looking for their car keys, and then to knowledge workers looking for a performance edge in the office, and today to young e-sports enthusiasts looking for concentration and focus. Who would have thought so very recently that supplements for cognitive health would start to target a younger demographics—Gen Z, even—about performance, optimization, stress and efficient memory?

The chief reason for such a change starts with clinical research and has greatly influenced how marketing communicates messages from the lab to ingredient suppliers and then to dietary supplement brands and downstream to concerned consumers who understand the value of maintaining mental sharpness.

Science is driving everything in the category. When designing clinical trials, researchers have gained a sophisticated understanding of clinical end points, subjects and age ranges. This means that studies that historically have been looking in that aging population have now shifted to a younger, broader population. Study design arms are now selected with appropriate subjects.

Related:Healthy aging and geroscience – digital magazine

Some studies, like with PLT Health Solutions’ Zembrin brand of the South African botanical sceletium, have been studied on healthy populations, with the results showing the ingredient—looking at clinical end points around serenity and calm focus—makes happy people … happier.

“Without the science,” said PLT’s marketing director Steve Fink, “there’s no consumer trust.”

That science foundation is what cements brand loyalty—between supplier and manufacturer and between the brand and its expanding consumer base.

Click on the video to hear the full story, recorded at SupplySide East 2023 in Secaucus, NJ.

About the Author(s)

Todd Runestad

Content Director, NaturalProductsInsider.com, Sr. Supplements Editor, Natural Products Insider

I've been writing on nutrition science news since 1997. I'm The content director for NaturalProductsInsidercom and digital magazines. Other incarnations: supplements editor for newhope.com, Delicious Living and Natural Foods Merchandiser. Former editor-in-chief of Functional Ingredients magazine and still cover raw material innovations and ingredient science.

Connect with me here https://www.linkedin.com/in/toddrunestad/

My daily vitamin regime includes a morning smoothie with a range of powders including protein, collagen and spirulina; a quality multi, B complex, C with bioflavonoids, >2,000IU vitamin D, E, magnesium, high-selenium yeast, PQQ, choline, alpha-lipoic acid with carnitine, coQ10, fish oil concentrate, probiotics and some adaptogenic herbs. 

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