Cognition, or the ability to think, understand, problem-solve, learn and remember, is an impactful part of the human experience and quality of life, from birth on through the entire lifespan. Once imagined as fixed and unchangeable, similar to eye color, we now know that cognition can be infinitely improved and enhanced at any stage of life through a variety of personal health actions, including diet, supplementation, exercise, new learning and stress management.

Despite the growing body of knowledge regarding cognitive potential and the impact of brain function on happiness, trends in cognitive health, especially among seniors, continue to decline. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia is growing—and growing fast. The organization states that by 2050, the number of people with Alzheimer’s is projected to triple, growing from 5.2 million to 13.8 million of the total population (in the US).

As sad as these figures are, there is hope. Loads of research focused on brain biology and healthy aging is taking place at universities across the world. Young people are taking note and are hopeful to turn-the-tide on their own well-being, both in the present and as they age.

According to the market insight company, Nielsen, Millennials (now between 20 and 38 years old) are taking personal responsibility for how they age, partially due to their role as caretakers of Baby Boomer parents. In an article published in 2014, Nielsen reports:

“Three-quarters of all American adults over 18 years old acknowledge that they are taking more personal responsibility for their health today compared to 10 years ago, with the majority doing so to ensure they don’t have to rely on others as they age.”


Enter the new era of cognitive enhancement…

Consumers of all ages are re-evaluating what it means to be healthy and how to get there. The workforce is being pushed to perform at greater capacity than any other time in recent history—cognitively and physically. To succeed, we all have to be smarter, faster and stronger than the competition, and Millennials know it.

Some tech elites are going to great lengths to push cognitive function to the limits with short-term methods such as “biohacking,” which may include intermittent fasting and a range of dietary supplement interventions. Why? To gain a competitive edge—the kind which produces million-dollar “aha moments.”

A San Francisco-based physician, Dr. Molly Maloof, spoke of her “biohacking” clientele in the article mentioned above:

“Entrepreneurs and executives and investors are not normal people. They are like high-performance race cars that are nonstop moving, and they need pit stops more often than normal people.”


It is clear that performance-enhancement trends are reshaping purchasing behaviors as consumers seek to disrupt the status quo and transform their lives through lifestyle. While short-term fads will come and go, the marketplace is adapting to messages that promote long-term changes for healthy cognitive function and acuity that spans the test of time.


The marketplace is rapidly evolving.

There are significant opportunities for brands that meet the demand for healthy aging and cognitive-enhancement products. Ingredients like Omega-3 fatty acids and choline-based products, as well as a whole range of botanical extracts and specialized nutritional compounds, are emerging. No matter what age or stage of cognitive health, product demand exists like never before.

We also see that the market for cognitive products is becoming somewhat specialized. Developers are choosing between stimulant and non-stimulant and even sedating properties, as well as between long-term and short-term benefits.

Other choices have to do with how “natural” the product is, where it comes from, its traditional use and supply chain traceability along with the sustainability story, which is especially important to Millennials. Finally, there is great potential in messaging the unique benefits of individual formulas through scientific substantiation.

In a previous blog, we discussed Chocamine®, RFI’s patented cocoa-based product with substantiated cognitive, energy and cardiovascular support. Read more about Chocamine® here.


We are now pleased to introduce Bluenesse®, a new patented lemon balm extract that has a unique story and range of benefits:


  • Lemon balm has a long tradition of use in food/beverage as well as in traditional European medicine as a calming, soothing and cognitive supplement.
  • Lemon balm is broadly considered safe as a food or dietary supplement.
  • Bluenesse® comes as a water extract and has a mild, pleasant flavor that is easy to incorporate into novel formulations.
  • Bluenesse® is derived from proprietary cultivars of Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) that have demonstrated benefits.
  • Bluenesse® has several clinical and scientific studies that specifically identify proven biological activity with Muscarinic M1 activity, which has an effect on learning and memory.
  • Specific clinical studies demonstrate support of alertness and memory with specific benefits in math functions.
  • Only product to be standardized to both a biological marker (Muscarinic M1 activity) and a chemical marker (> 6% rosmarinic acid).


The primary positioning for Bluenesse® is “focus under stress” 


  • Alertness / concentration / mental focus
  • Working memory
  • Calm, positive mood
  • Ability to cope with occasional, everyday stress


Are you ready to enter the rapidly growing cognitive health category? RFI can help!

Blueprints for Health® is our quick-to-market product development and formulation service designed to streamline the entire product launch process from concept to shelf. Contact us today!

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