Interest in cognitive supplements known as nootropics continues to rise. According to Verified™ Market Research, the nootropic segment was valued at $2.4 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $6.2 billion by 2028.
Why do nootropics continue to gain momentum? Part of the answer may lie in the ever-growing list of nootropic ingredient applications over a diverse array of supplement categories.
While nootropics were initially positioned as cognitive enhancers for high-performance individuals, consumers are increasingly aware that optimizing the brain can promote whole-life benefits.
According to the following chart from Grandview Research, nootropics in 2018 were primarily used for memory, followed by mood balance and attention/focus.
Since this report, additional nootropic supplement applications have risen. They include:
- Gaming & eSports
- Athletics & Sports Nutrition
And this doesn’t even include where nootropics started: Brain health supplements for adults age 55+. More dynamic than ever in 2021, age 55+ adults may be seeking both the classic brain health “memory pill” and the newer, cutting-edge performance-driven nootropic supplement.
Nootropic applications continue to expand, giving supplement marketers more opportunities to capitalize.
Whether you have a nootropic supplement or are thinking about launching one, the window of opportunity for cognitive enhancement formulas remains wide open.
Here are some tips and trends to look for on your way to success:
Choose the top nootropic ingredients.
Citicoline (as Cognizin®) – Citicoline may be the single best nootropic overall. Cognizin® is the most widely researched form, with beneficial effects demonstrated in well-designed human trials that may allow claims that other citicoline forms cannot make. Specifically, Cognizin® has been shown in human research to help with brain energy, attention, memory, processing speed, and more.[3-5]
- Energy supplements
- Sports performance & eSports
- Brain health supplements
- Focus & attention supplements
- All-around cognitive performance stacks
L-Theanine – Shown to tune brain waves to the Alpha frequency associated with relaxed alertness.  Numerous clinical trials have shown that award-winning Suntheanine® promotes this mind state, which is great for creatives, professionals, athletes, competitors, and more. As a bonus, it may help reduce some negative side effects of caffeine, making it a perfect complement for stim-driven supplements.
• Mood balance/relaxation supplements
• Formulas designed for creatives and competitors
• Any caffeine supplement; makes caffeine work better
• eSport formulas; helps with calm focus in gameplay
Phosphatidylserine (PS) – A “good fat” for the brain, PS might just be the most effective nootropic for memory. PS is associated with long-range brain health and 55+ populations, but its nootropic and anti-stress benefits are increasingly appreciated in competitive settings.
• Sport performance & eSports supplements
• Memory formulas
• Overall brain-booster stacks
• Brain health & long-range mental clarity
Look ahead during formulation.
When formulating with a nootropic ingredient, ask yourself: Is this brain-booster under scrutiny? Avoid nootropic ingredients that may disappear from the market or be banned in countries where you intend to sell. Get your ingredients on-point from Day 1, so you don’t have to reformulate later.
Tip: Along those same lines, take care of how you build your brand. For example, Study Juice, a great nootropic formula in capsule form, ultimately had to change its name and re-brand because it contained no juice.
Strive for a Clean Label
Clean-label is in vogue, especially in the context of brain supplements. Allergen-friendly, vegan, additive-free, 100% natural. In 2021 and beyond, consumers are increasingly seeking out these clean supplement features. Consumers’ preference for clean-label supplements also includes demand for caffeine-free formulas. Consider these points as you formulate to create a maximum-impact nootropic supplement.
Partner with Quality
As nootropics will likely face greater scrutiny from consumers and regulatory agencies in the coming years, nootropic supplements must emphasize safety, starting with clean, safe manufacturing facilities with superior quality assurance and quality control.
Brain health supplements are no longer just for adults age 55+. Just as nootropics are no longer for high-powered Silicon Valley executives. Now more than ever before, consumers recognize that optimizing the brain with top nootropics can help to enhance health, performance, and quality of life in many ways. As the mind expands, so to speak, so does the market – creating infinite possibilities for supplement brands to launch exciting new nootropic supplements that their customers desire.