Fast Feed: The New Nootropics

February 25, 2018, 7:13 am

The hectic lifestyle of modern shoppers has meant many are looking for new ways to improve mental wellbeing through food and drink. As pointed out in the Flavour Feed 2018 Trend Report, a flexible and balanced diet has become an integral element of a good self-care routine, and we’re seeing a fresh focus on the concept of ‘food as medicine’ for both the body and mind.

As we continue to seek holistic ways to manage everyday pressures, traditional herbal supplements such as ginseng and mushroom are finding their way into packaged products. Consumers are now starting to embrace the energy-, cognitive- and mood-enhancing effects of adaptogens and nootropics too – something we covered back in January last year.

Brent Coons of natural, organic and speciality products consumer-insights company SPINS, agrees, claiming ‘cognitive function is back in full force’. He suggests the rise in popularity of ayurvedic ingredients will start to bridge the gap between the food-and-drink and herbal-supplement industries, boosting both. This time, the use of ancient herbs will go ‘beyond just tea and functional chocolate’, he claims. 

We’ve already witnessed this in the likes of bulletproof coffee and adaptogen-rich juices, but other ingredients gaining in popularity include ashwagandha (Indian ginseng), medicinal mushrooms, chocamine (cocoa extract) and even culinary cannabis. The lure of enhanced mental function is already big business in the world of sports nutrition – take yerba mate tea, for instance.

That said, nootropics tread a fine line between medicine and merchandising that companies will have to navigate carefully. The legality of ayurvedic ingredients is still not fully resolved, and with many promoted for their digestive, sleep-enhancing and even anti-anxiety properties, manufacturers will have to ensure transparency and honest marketing to retain their credibility.


Image: Pratiksha Mohanty on Unsplash

Content: courtesy of Flavour Feed


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