Officially launched this week, Liquid Focus contains Mucuna pruriens, L-theanine, and B vitamins, mainstay ingredients in the cognitive health (sometimes referred to as nootropic) space. It also contains Panax ginseng, yohimbe, huperzine A, and acetyl-L-carnitine.
The product comes in 100 ML shot form. “In many ways it looks like an energy shot, and I’m sure many people would conceptualize it as such,” More Labs founder Sisun Lee told us.
“I think in many ways it’s more similar to nootropic pills that are getting more popular,” he added. “One of the big things we care about is…how do we deliver and package something to fit people’s lifestyle.”
It builds on the format of the company’s debut product, alcohol recovery shot Morning Recovery which launched in 2017. “It was for the same reason we made Morning Recovery a drink and not a pill, we just think it has to be approachable, tasty, and all of that.”
Product formulators in the dietary supplements space continue to design products in the ready-to-drink format, either in shot or tonic form or traditional beverage sizes. Product launches in this delivery format include an oral microbiome drink, pre-workout supplements, sleep supplements, blood sugar management supplements, botanicals, and more.
The first product born out of internal R&D team
When More Labs first launched in 2017 with the Morning Recovery product, the endeavor was a side project. Lee worked with an external scientific team affiliated with USC.
“But we realized that the biggest thing we’re doing outside of branding and sales was the product itself, and we needed to be good at it, so we built an internal team of R&D,” he said.
They hired Dr Fu Chen to lead their R&D, who had previously worked as a fellow at the FDA working on reviews and compliance for pharmaceutical companies, as well as chemical company Ashland and food company JM Smucker.
Dr Chen was the perfect fit because “we thought that he has worked on both sides of the world,” Lee said, referring to the regulatory side and industry side. Liquid Focus was the first product that came out of More Labs’ new internal R&D team.
Marketing it as a ‘safer’ alternative
Lee is targeting adults who use a prescription drug like Adderall without a prescription to get an extra edge in performing brain-heavy tasks.
When More Labs did its own market research to get to know its customers to inform its product development strategy, they found that a significant amount of them have used the prescription drug even though they do not have ADHD. “Prescription drugs like Adderall has things like amphetamine salts in there to be able to trigger the neurotransmitters so that you can stay alert because it produces things like dopamine, and we thought that okay, well, it’s got amphetamine salts, so it’s not food, it’s a prescription,” he said.
“But what does that actually do to an unfocused brain, and can we try to replicate or mimic its behavior using FDA-compliant dietary ingredients?” he added. The final mix of ingredients that went into Liquid Focus was chosen to help meet that goal.
“We realize it won’t ever be exactly potent, but can we mimic this to the best of our abilities for an everyday use case? Because it doesn’t have to have the same potency as the drug.”