Rise of gamer segment pushes nootropic ingredient supplier to market directly to consumers

By Adi Menayang contact

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / Gorodenkoff
Getty Images / Gorodenkoff

Related tags: epsorts, gamers, video game, Nootropic, nootropics

Kyowa Hakko saw value in marketing its branded citicoline Cognizin directly to consumers at the SXSW Gaming event this past weekend, which is a gamer-focused offshoot of the popular SXSW event in Austin, TX.

This was the first year that Cognizin had a booth at SXSW Gaming, first held in 2014. The company was the only ingredient supplier exhibiting at the show.

We have attended some other consumer shows like the Arnold Sports Festival ​[an annual multi-sport festival in Columbus, OH] but not as exhibitors,”​ Elyse Lovett, senior marketing manager of nutrition, pharmaceutical & CCM at Kyowa Hakko USA told NutraIngredients-USA.

“As our Cognizin brand grows in many different outlets, Kyowa’s strategy is to educate consumers on all of our branded ingredients and open new outlets for our customer’s products.

Cornering the gamer market

Cognizin is Kyowa Hakko’s patented form of citicoline, a brain chemical which occurs naturally in the body. Kyowa’s Cognizin has been available for dietary supplements since 2003.

According to the company, the ingredient helps increase brain energy, provides structural components for synthesizing cell membranes in the brain, and helps the formation of brain nutrients that regulate cognitive function.

Because of this, an increasing number of Kyowa’s customers use Cognizin to formulate products targeting the rapidly growing gamer consumer set​.

Looking at eSports alone—the term used to describe professional competitive video gaming—the industry encompasses an audience of 380 million, and North America represents the largest market with projected revenues of $656 million by 2021, up from $345 million this year, according to video game market research firm Newzoo​.

“It is an industry dominated by the need for an edge in mental acuity, reflexes, alertness and awareness, so it seems like a natural fit for nootropics companies to expand their reach,”​ said Matthew Oster, head of consumer health research at Euromonitor International, a market research firm, in a past interview​about tapping the gaming community as supplement buyers.

Building consumer trust, transparency

Ingredient suppliers are slowly coming out of the backstage area, putting effort into creating brand recognition not just in a B2B context among product formulators, but also to consumers that buy the finished product.

Transparency is one reason to do this. Direct-to-consumer women’s health brand Ritual, for example, features all the ingredient suppliers of its products on its website​, complete with interviews with R&D managers or chief executives of the ingredient supplier companies.

Related Article

Youtheory science chief: ‘There’s a shift away from commodity to branded ingredients’

There-s-a-shift-away-from-commodity-to-branded-ingredients-says-Youtheory-science-chief_wrbm_large

Supplement brand Youtheory refreshed its branding and package design and launched new products at the 2019 Natural Products Expo West Show in Anaheim, CA this month. The company is highlighting the use of branded ingredients in these products.

READ MORE

For Cognizin, exhibiting directly to consumers was about helping them understand the difference between branded ingredients and finished products.

“Most consumers at the show were really interested in our brand and the research behind Cognizin,”​ Lovett said. “Consumers also loved that there were different formulations with Cognizin on the market to choose from. For example, some wanted Cognizin formulated with caffeine, other wanted with a B-Complex, while others were just interest in trying a single formulated product with Cognizin.”

Differences from B2B exhibitions

Kyowa tailored its consumer-facing booth differently from how it sets up booths at trade shows.

“Normally at the trade industry shows we attend, we feature all of our ingredients and attend as Kyowa Hakko,”​ Lovett said. 

“We were very focused at SXSW Gaming as we exhibited as Cognizin, our branded form of citicoline. We also featured and sampled some of our customers' products including Natures Bounty’s Active Mind, Optinutra’s Performance Lab and Mind Lab Pro, Nootropics Depots Cognizin Citicoline, and Nutrabolt’s newly launched C4 Natural Energy Beverage, all containing Cognizin Citicoline.”

I think the benefits are also for our customers, going out to niche markets and featuring their brands definitely raises awareness and keeps the consumer engaged both on the ingredient and the finished product,”​ she added.

After their first booth experience at a consumer show, Lovett said that the biggest takeaway was: “More samples!”

Related topics: Suppliers, Sports nutrition

Related news

Show more

Related products

eBook: Press reset on joint health with Lonza

eBook: Press reset on joint health with Lonza

Lonza | 23-Sep-2022 | Technical / White Paper

It’s no secret the pandemic had a profound and prolonged effect on the way we live and move. Now, consumers of all ages are looking to press reset on their...

Concentrated milk protein beverages for seniors

Concentrated milk protein beverages for seniors

Ingredia SA | 12-Sep-2022 | Technical / White Paper

To fight against malnutrition, nutrition plays an essential role. People likely to suffer from this problem need specialized nutrition. It consists in...

Improve DOMS and Postexercise Lactate Accumulation

Improve DOMS and Postexercise Lactate Accumulation

Gencor-Pacific | 08-Sep-2022 | Clinical Study

Hydrocurc®’s clinical study suggests that a highly bioavailable curcumin may facilitate a quicker return to exercise training and/or allow a higher training...

Alesco, the Sucrosomial® company

Alesco, the Sucrosomial® company

Alesco S.r.l. | 29-Mar-2022 | Product Brochure

Alesco raw materials and functional ingredients offer unique, scientifically proven characteristics, suited for a wide range of needs in the pharmaceutical,...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars