Precision nutrition products personalized through genomic and diagnostic testing to maximize readiness, resilience, recovery, and longevity, delivered in a unique pouch format with agitator for on-the-go preparation and consumption: that’s the proposition being delivered by Boulder, Colo., startup Me Biosciences. It’s a product platform that’s so compelling, it has not only been rolled out for everyday consumers wanting to optimize their health, but it has also caught the attention of the U.S. Air Force, where physical and mental health are imperative.
Me Biosciences’ first retail product was launched in early March. To receive a personalized nutrition product, consumers can request a test kit that includes a saliva test and two blood tests, along with instructions, a biohazard bag, and other items to assist in gathering and sending the material. From these samples, the company’s lab performs an Optimal Performance and Health Panel that is used to determine the consumer’s wellness needs and develop a personalized supplement. The resulting powdered nutrition product is packaged in a pouch that allows consumers to “meet their needs at any given time and place,” says Aaron Beach, co-founder, President & COO of Me Biosciences. “With easy, on-the-go pouches, our customers are able to bring their supplements with them without worrying about the mess that your normal shaker bottle can make.”
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The package is the Go Mix™, from Denver-based Go Mix Tech. Co-founded by Joe Hansley and Paul Sorbo, the company is a full turnkey contract manufacturer that developed the distinctive package to “revolutionize the way people consume their on-the-go powdered formulations.” The patented pouch holds a plastic ball that was designed to break up powder—“very similar to your typical blender ball,” explains Hansley.
“As an athlete growing up, I always had complications when it came to consuming powdered products with a typical blender bottle. Powders are messy and a hassle to prepare and deal with, and blender bottles were always dirty or not accessible,” Hansley relates. “The agitator was added to ensure an even mix of the powder after the liquid is introduced. Introducing powders to liquid without any sort of agitator often causes complications with clumps and an uneven mix. It’s unfavorable to the consumer experience as a whole.”
The ball was engineered by Hansley and Sorbo, who own the custom mold for the piece, which is manufactured overseas by a proprietary supplier. While Hansley will not share the exact dimensions of the agitator, he says it’s larger in diameter than the spout to ensure it can’t be removed and accidently consumed. The ball is made from a recyclable plastic, which he says makes the whole package recyclable.
The pouch itself is made from layers of polyethylene and nylon. In the future, Sorbo relates, the film will include 60% recycled material. To ensure the functionality of the pouch for each end-user application, Go Mix Tech runs quality control testing on all the completed product runs, including testing each barrier for stress, pressure, and moisture at different levels.
The pouch, in 10-, 12-, and 16-oz sizes, is also produced overseas by a proprietary manufacturer, but Sorbo notes that Go Mix Tech is in the process of bringing the entire operation state-side. The package is fitted with a child-proof cap, which Hansley says is essential when dealing with supplementation. “Many of the formulations that are going inside the pouch, such as CBD or pre-workouts, contain ingredients not recommended or suitable for younger children,” he explains.
Me Biosciences’ Beach says the company looked to Go Mix Tech for packaging in 2019 because they had worked with the founders on other projects and were aware of their knowledge and passion for human health and performance. He adds, “The relationship has paralleled both companies’ mission and values.”
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The company is using the 12-oz shaker bag for three retail products: a pre-workout and two post-workout formulations, one with whey protein and another with essential amino acids. Beach shares that it will soon be launching other products, including formulas for sleep, immune, and skin health. Me Biosciences supplies Go Mix Tech with the formulas for the products; Go Mix provides the finished product with assistance from an Orem, UT, manufacturer.
As noted, Me Biosciences is working with the U.S. Air Force to bring its products to the military. In May 2020, it was awarded a U.S. Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract through AFWERX—a U.S. Air Force program with the goal of fostering a culture of innovation within the service—and the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) to advance the development of its precision nutrition technologies.
Says the company, “Although there is a demand to increase the resilience and longevity of the warfighter, the most direct solution for achieving this, precision nutrition, is currently underutilized due to the difficulties of scaling a personalized approach to nutrition. As Chris Young, a transitioning Green Beret and former XO at 10th SFG(A) told our team, ‘Our service members, and society at large, are overfed and undernourished.’”
According to Me Biosciences, through the SBIR contract it will be able to empower defense nutritionists and dietitians to scale their impact to the health and wellness of the soldiers in their care. Use of the Go Mix pouch will further enhance the solution, making it possible for them to easily mix and consume the nutrition products on base and in the field.
Me Biosciences is now eligible to pursue a Phase II contract with the Air Force, and the company is already in conversations with AFRL, Navy.