That was one of the key conclusions from the latest instalment of our Nutrition Asia video series, where we assess the state of play in the region's cognitive health space with Dr Shawn Watson, founder of Singapore-based manufacturer Senescence , and James Bauly, marketing director at DSM.
As you can see in the video, both agree that a fundamental challenge facing the industry is consumer education. While the notion of cognitive development is top of mind for infants, and then again later in life, both stress the importance of ongoing cognitive health care.
This is especially important in Asia amid the region's changing demographics.
Asia's elderly population is projected to hit almost 1bn by the middle of this century. As a result, the region is on track in the next few decades to become one of the oldest in the world.
However, according to recent report from the Asian Development Bank, governments in the region are generally poorly prepared for this vast change that will have wide social and economic consequences.
The bank states China alone will have 200m pensioners by 2050, while 15% of Malaysians will be over 65, a three-fold increase on the 2010 number. In Singapore, there will be only two working people for every pensioner y 2050.
With this is mind, it is inevitable that products designed to boost cognitive health will gain significance, not only due to consumer concerns around dementia, but also as governments look to ease the longer trm burden of rising health costs.
Take a look at the video to see Shawn and James discuss the best ways to educate consumers, the latest ingredient trends, the hottest emerging markets and some of the latest delivery system developments in the sector.