The brain health category—which includes memory, focus and cognitive function—has been a $1 billion industry in 2020, sitting within the $54 billion supplement industry, according to Claire Morton Reynolds, senior industry analyst at Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ). She noted an anticipated 12.1% growth rate this year alone for brain health. “It’s been a category that’s had a lot of momentum in the last five years and one that we expect will continue to grow.”
Historically, products related to brain health and cognitive function included supplements like omega-3s, Ginkgo biloba and folate. While these ingredients are still popular, many others show promise.
“The largest single-ingredient category is fish oils, which account for approximately 30% of supplements for brain health,” Reynolds said. Newer ingredients and formulations have hit the market and are gaining a wide following, too, though. In its annual study, NBJ’s “2020 Condition Specific Report” data indicate “other specialty” ingredients are on the rise. Some examples include medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, mushrooms and apoaequorin—a key ingredient in Prevagen, a product of Quincy Bioscience. Reynolds noted Prevagen “came out swinging” in 2016, spiking sales to help drive the brain health category’s 10.2% growth rate.
Citing the Innova Database, Tom Vierhile, vice president of insights at Innova Market Insights, said launches of products making a brain health or brain/mood health claim in the U.S. increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22% from 2016 to 2019. “Three categories—Supplements, Sports Nutrition, and Baby & Toddlers—have accounted for just over 90% of new product innovation from Jan. 1, 2016, to Aug. 27, 2020,” Vierhile added.
Drinks, including soft drinks, hot drinks and dairy, are steady category innovators, according to Vierhile. He stated that hot and iced tea—primarily hot—accounted for 37% of new product innovation during that time period. Meal replacements and other drinks (and energy drinks) are most likely to see ongoing brain health-related advancement.
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Content writing and journalism are high on the list of Joy Choquette’s interests. Writing professionally for the past 12 years, her work has appeared in national magazines, regional newspapers and many websites. She specializes in health and wellness, business, and environmental topics. Learn more by visiting her website or find her on LinkedIn.