Editor's Spotlight: Startup Focus

Israeli startup creates tailored snack bars with cognitive health benefits

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags startup Innovation Cognitive decline mood stress

An Israeli startup has created a personalised nootropic snack bar subscription service offering products tailored to each consumer’s cognitive response to stress.

Co-founded this year by husband and wife team, tech-expert and serial entrepreneur Dovev Goldstein and former business manager for food and pharma giants Rachel Yarcony-Goldstein, MyAir taps into a health trend that just so happens to have exploded during COVID-19.

Each year, 25% of the population suffer from depression or anxiety and up to 50% of chronic sick leaves are due to depression/anxiety, while about 50% of major depressions are untreated, and the cost of mood disorders and anxiety in the EU is about €170 billion per year, according to WHO Europe​.

Now, funded with a $2m pre-seed investment from Tel-Aviv University Ventures, iAngels VC and Entrée Capital, MyAir’s founders have pooled together their expertise in health, food, business and technology to offer an app-connected personalised service offering proprietary herbal extract blends in snack bar format.

What's more, the selection of bars that each consumer receives is based on physiological and psychological data collected via an online questionnaire and health data tracked via smart watches.

Yarcony-Goldstein explains to NutraIngredients the user experience: "They enter our website, fill out our quick questionnaire, answer questions related to sleep, focus, mood, relaxation, muscle soreness etc, then our algorithm calculates the data, informs them of their two key stress responses and customises a combination of myAir bars to the consumer’s specific needs."

There are 12 different stress effects targeted by the bars and a huge range of functional ingredient combinations including: nuts and fruits, artichoke, green tea, passion flower, guarana, balm leaf, sage, hops, oats, valerian, rosemary, and others.

These are said to work synergistically to exert a specific stress-countering effect, be it to sharpen focus, revive energy, reduce anxiety, support relaxation or promote quality sleep.

"Each bar is developed with a blend specific to a certain stress effect, from calm and sleep, to energy and focus. The consumer receives their box of 20 bars with instructions on the best times to consume them. At the end of the month, they update us on their psychological and physical wellbeing and we send them another box tailored to their needs."

The health data is captured through the use of the consumers' wearable trackers. Although the majority of consumers may not own these at the moment, the founders are confident that these trackers are the way of the future. They say that California provides a view of the future as already 52% of the state's population wears a tracker.

Yarcony-Goldstein compares health data tracking to the proliferation of GPS trackers today.

“In the past we used to get everywhere without the use of GPS but now we rarely go anywhere without our GPS on our phone. The reason we do this is we know we can trust big data to get us to our location in the best way possible. I believe this is how we will look at health trackers in five to ten years.

"And digital health will be the way we prevent diseases and other health problems."

The bars are currently distributes to the US, with thousands of customers already subscribed, but the company will expand to Europe in the next six months.

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