SIRIO Europe (Ayanda) – the European nutraceutical and pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) and member of SIRIO Group – forecasts a winter surge in requests from nutra brands for new ‘dual benefit’ mood enhancing formulations as a result of COVID-19 measures. The company said the normal winter increase in demand for mood enhancing formulations is being significantly accelerated by the ongoing effects of European and North American lockdowns and national restrictions. But rather than purchase these as stand-alone products, consumers are looking for nutraceuticals that also provide physical health benefits – including enhanced immunity, heart function or metabolism. Various trendy ingredients can help in the creation of innovative formulations that hit the nerve of the times and open up new sales and revenue potential.
Brands are increasing differentiating by marketing products with health benefits for ‘body and mind’ with ingredients that combine holistic wellness as well as mood enhancing properties. For example, combination products containing plant-based extracts, that may increase the body’s ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote normal physiological functioning in combination with omega-3 oils and vitamins. One product class increasingly promoted as offering ‘dual benefits’ are probiotic formulations – often in combination with omega-3 and or another ingredient – as research has established a strong relationship between mood and the gut-brain axis, in addition to its traditional dietary tract benefits.
Trendy ingredients in the spotlight
Adaptogens are another group of trendy ingredients undergoing a renaissance based upon emerging hard evidence on wellbeing. Recent studies have shown turmeric, widely used for its anti-inflammatory properties, can also positively enhance mood. Ginseng is seeing rising attention in Western countries for its traditional use to fight mental fatigue and exhaustion. SIRIO identified saffron as one trendy ingredient that is attracting a lot of interest, due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of its two extracts crocin and safranal. Several recent studies pointed to improvements in mood and depression, even in a comparative trial versus an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). Additionally, saffron efficacy is now being explored for preventing age related ocular diseases.
Usually these plant extracts are offered as powders. However, by suspending these adaptogens in essential oils, brands can develop complex formulations that cover a larger range of ‘body and mind’ benefits. For example, omega-3 is known for its health promoting effects on the heart, eyes and brain function.
“The majority of European countries are in national lockdowns or have ongoing restrictions on meeting people, with the expectations this will extend well into the New Year. Unfortunately, these lockdowns happen to coincide with the beginning of winter, a season typically associated with lower moods. We anticipate a huge surge in demand for products that offer new mood enhancing formulations, but those that really stand apart, will be marketed with additional wellness benefits. Nutraceutical customers are, therefore, looking for contract manufacturers like SIRIO that have knowledge both in the ingredients, but also a pedigree in rapid development of complex formulations. These ‘body and mind’ nutraceuticals, we anticipate, will see significant growth in the first half of 2021, and it is potentially a big trend we expect to see continue even after the pandemic is over,” commented Dr. Dominique Baum, Managing Director at SIRIO Europe (Ayanda).
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