Brain health supplements see US growth from two directions converge4 Sep 2023
The market for brain health supplements has long been seen as two markets, each with specific goals and concerns, one fueled by aspiration and the other by desperation, but new data from Nutrition Business Journal suggests the twin drivers of brain health sales might be meeting in the middle.
Or they may at least be meeting in the mainstream, according to new data from the Condition Specific Report, the latest report published by Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ). This makes brain health a bright spot for the US supplement industry. NBJ tracked 7.2% growth for brain health in 2022, a year when the overall industry grew at just 1.9%.
Mainstreaming, the report contends, helps explain that growth.
Mention cognitive health to most people and they might think of commercials for Prevagen and the like, all featuring older consumers telling stories of failing memory followed by a lite version of the science. As one supplement industry insider jokes, “Four out of five jellyfish recommend Prevagen.”
But another slice of the market, younger and with ambitions of boosting their brain power rather than just hanging onto it is also a factor in cognitive health. It might be these consumers, only recently emerging from neurohacker chat rooms, who are helping move the concept closer to the mainstream where brands can court consumers not driven by the fear of memory loss and decline.
It’s difficult to tease out exactly how much of the growth for the condition category is coming from consumers chasing better mental performance and not fleeing decline, but NBJ is seeing brands marketing performance exhibiting strong growth. One of them, Neurhoacker Collective, is claiming 30% growth year over year.
Growth for the brain health category easily outpaced US sales growth for supplements marketed to conditions like sleep and heart health. Much of the brain health action is also happening online, with gains for the direct-to-consumer channels hitting double digits for the last three years. That could be another sign that younger consumers seeking a mental edge are expanding the market.
Brain health is just one of 19 condition markets covered in the 20-chapter report. Interesting developments are also being seen in weight management, menopause, and children’s health. The report provides a deep drive into not just what consumers are buying but why they are buying it.
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