Even before the pandemic tilted the world on its head, the World Health Organization (WHO) had declared stress a global epidemic, linked to six of the leading causes of death.
In the US alone, 83% of workers suffer from work-related stress, estimated to cost businesses up to $300bn each year, according to the American Institute of Stress.
myAir’s proprietary herbal extract blends are based on deep profiling machine learning technology and are tailored to the consumer’s unique stress profile and cognitive needs.
The startup’s team has developed a patent-pending algorithm based on physiological and psychological data collected via an online questionnaire, including an individual’s response to stress in alterations in heart rate, respiration, sleep quality and physical activity, tracked via smart watches.
The algorithm processes this data, then customises a combination of myAir bars to the consumer’s specific needs from a wide range of formulas.
Each bar is composed of a blend of nuts and fruits, and infused with a tailored formula of bioactive botanical extracts from sage, hops, oats, valerian and rosemary, among others.
These work synergistically to exert a specific stress-countering effect, be it to sharpen focus, revive energy, reduce anxiety, support relaxation or promote quality sleep.
“Stress has many facets,” said Dovev Goldstein, myAir founder and co-CEO.
“In our preliminary study, based on AI, we discovered that different consumers generally have different stress symptoms that are more dominant than the others. For example, stress affects me mainly in the mornings, so my energy levels and focus are decreased.
“My partner feels the stress at night and occasionally has problems getting fulfilling sleep. Each of us needs a personalised solution. This is where myAir has redefined the paradigm.”
Food for mood
Goldstein’s partner and Nestlé alum Rachel Yarcony added, “Our algorithm can analyse the data from each person’s specific mood and stress profile, then decide what formulation will provide them the best positive impact on their stress routine.
“But our expertise is in the ability to cross the cognitive data with individual physiological aspects. It’s a game-changer in personalised nutrition.
“Good nutrition is a key to managing stress naturally. This spurred me to seek a natural solution and develop a ‘food for mood’ solution that consumers can easily merge into their daily routine to help take control of their health and manage their personal stress levels.”
myAir’s novel concept taps into today’s booming trends of plant-based, personalised nutrition and stress management, along with the skew towards healthier clean label snacks. The myAir bars are also certified vegan, kosher and gluten-free.
“Studies show that 75% of the population prefers to improve their quality of life by embracing a healthy diet rather than dosing up on prescribed medication,” said Yarcony. “Meanwhile, 73% of adults snack in order to relax. Our concept effectively leverages AI technology to provide a simple-to-follow, tasty, customised nutritional solution to the global stress crisis.”
Goldstein adds AI technology will influence the foods we snack on in the same way GPS controls automotive navigation.
“Driving to a new location was challenging ten years ago. You’d have to either memorise directions or print out a paper map,” he said.
“Today, hardly anyone drives to a new location without using a GPS. That’s exactly what the future holds for our diets. I believe that in five years, AI technology will influence the food we eat in the same way GPS controls our navigation.”
Personalised combinations of myAir’s snack bars are available through a subscription service, delivered monthly to the consumer’s doorstep.
myAir was founded in 2019 by Rachel Yarcony, a former C-Level executive at Teva Pharmaceuticals, Nestlé and Strauss Group, and Dovev Goldstein, a personalised technology and media expert, to focus on personalised functional snacks developed from customisable data-based technology.
The start-up has secured a $2m pre-seed investment from Tel-Aviv University Ventures, iAngels VC and Entrée Capital.