Formulations promoting brain and nervous system health have been largely applied in baby food and formula products; however, there has been an increased focus on adult food and drink products making these claims in the past few years. Food and drink products for adults that feature functional brain and nervous system claims have seen an overall upward trend, with global launches increasing 111% from 2008-2009.

Asia Pacific leads other regions in the volume of these types of launches, followed by North America and Europe. Manufacturers are fueling this growth by taking care to highlight the inherent health benefits of foods naturally containing vitamins and minerals that promote brain and nervous system health, as well as creating fortified products to provide these benefits. For example, in Canada, High Liner Fish in Tempura Batter states front-of-pack that the omega-3 fatty acids naturally present in fish help the development of the brain, eyes and nerves. Also, in France, Marie de Mazet Tis’ Up Verbena & Raspberry Juice is formulated to help calm the consumer and reduce nervousness. There also has been notable product development in formulations that combine functional brain and nervous system claims with energy benefits. For instance, in Greece, Nescafé Body Partner Instant Coffee Mix is available in a Focus variety. The instant coffee comes in single-serve stick packs and is formulated with guarana, ginko and ginseng extracts to provide the ability to focus, clearly stated on the front of the package.

Information in this column is from the Global New Products Database, the premier source of global product intelligence, published by Mintel International Group; 351 W. Hubbard, 8th Floor; Chicago, IL 60610; call: 312-932-0600; fax: 312-932-0474; or e-mail