BioPQQ shoots beyond cognitive health benefits to capture younger consumers

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

BioPQQ has been typically associated with improving cognitive functions such as memory recall and spatial awareness, but the ingredient has other benefits, the company said.
BioPQQ has been typically associated with improving cognitive functions such as memory recall and spatial awareness, but the ingredient has other benefits, the company said.
Since receiving an NDI for its BQQ Ingredient in 2008, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America is uncovering further potential benefits beyond cognitive health functions such as increased energy and stamina.

BioPQQ is naturally derived from fermentation using proprietary technology that has been studied and documented and is the only supplement of its kind with FDA’s NDI notification and GRAS designation, according to the company.

BioPQQ has long been associated with improving brain health in the areas of memory recall, attention and focus, and spatial awareness by enhancing mitochondrial genesis -- the powerhouse of cells that are critical to brain and heart functions.

The market for brain health dietary supplements has also risen dramatically in recent years at a CAGR of 19.6% with the market expected to reach $11.6bn by 2024, up from $2.3bn in 2015.

Shoji Matsukawa_headshot

"Yes, BioPQQ is known to be good for the brain, but it’s just one aspect of this ingredient. It can totally benefit the whole body by activating the cell activities, enhancing the metabolism, and assisting cell growth," Matsukawa (above) said. 

“Until recently, we have focused on its benefits to cognitive functions. We want to add more and more evidence of its function to energize the body,”​ Shoji Matsukawa, general manager, organic chemical sales & marketing at Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America, told NutraIngredients-USA. 

New target: Younger adult generations

The company is participating in a number of clinical trials looking into BioPQQ’s energizing functional benefits. Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America hopes that the evidence it builds from this research will help reach a younger generation of active consumers who may not be concerned about brain health just yet but are interested in supplements that boost energy and possibly metabolism.

“Senior citizens have been our target, but the market of [people in their] 40s is growing and we are aiming to go into the market of [people in their] 30s,”​ he said.

BioPQQ recently received an anti-doping accreditation from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in order to compete in the sports nutrition market and target a new set of health and fitness-focused consumers.

“This is good for those who enjoy exercising…They do feel the benefit that they are being energized,” ​Matsukawa claimed.

He added that as an ingredient supplier, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America has seen the delivery formats of BioPQQ diversify from pills and tablets, like PQQ by Jarrow, PQQ Energy by NOW Foods, and PQQ Plus by Douglas laboratories, to liquid products such as "The One"​ by Quicksilver Scientific.

The rise of liquid dietary supplements (projected to hit $28bn worldwide by the end of 2024, from $18.95bn currently, according to Goldstein Research) provides future growth opportunity for PQQ and possibly unique nutritional benefits, according to Matsukawa.   

“By using liquid technology, absorption of BioPQQ may be improved,”​ Matsukawa added.

And younger consumers, especially the older end of millennials (ages 30-35 currently) are looking for alternatives to traditional pill and tablet supplement formats.

As Jeff Hilton, co-founder and chief marketing officer of BrandHive, previously told NutraIngredients-USA, “They (millennials) don’t look at supplements the same way as boomers. They prefer food forms and delivery rather than a pile of pills.”

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