Although Motif FoodWorks remains to be in its R&D part, the elements innovation firm is ramping up its development efforts. 

With $117.5 million in funding raised this yr, the corporate has been stacking its groups with skilled hires and persevering with to construct up its organic engineering platform to recreate proteins from dairy, egg and meat to use in plant-based options. Motif’s Chief Commercial Officer Michele Fite advised Food Dive that the corporate is working to create high-quality, animal-free elements that meet shopper calls for for sustainability.

We need to develop elements that do not compromise between style and their values,” Fite stated. “We want to be a company that changes the eating experience for consumers in the plant-based world. We’re a group of food scientists and food lovers, and we want to create a better food experience.”

The firm is getting ready to launch merchandise by 2021, Fite stated, and investments have been pouring in. At the start of the yr, startup Gingko Bioworks introduced the launch of Motif with a $90 million funding spherical. Motif’s partnership with Ginkgo permits the elements firm to use its organic engineering platform. 

“We want to be a company that changes the eating experience for consumers in the plant-based world.”

Michele Fite

Chief business officer, Motif FoodWorks

Then in August, Motif raised a further $27.5 million by itself. The firm stated on the time it deliberate to use the funds to speed up improvement of animal-free elements derived from extra sustainable processes. 

Fite stated Motif would be the “secret sauce” that helps CPG firms develop plant-based merchandise which have higher style, texture and dietary profile. Motif is working with companions now and has plans to check samples subsequent yr,  Fite stated, however she could not reveal specifics. 

“Our R&D efforts are moving at a rapid pace,” Fite stated. “The penetration remains to be so low and there is a lot room for development. We additionally see that there is nonetheless so many unknowns and a lot room for enchancment, when it comes to bettering the style, diet and performance profiles of the product, and that customers are nonetheless compromising on all of these facets.”

There are a rising variety of gamers entering into the plant-based meals house, and Fite stated many CPG firms are already coming to Motif and asking to work with them to assist enhance merchandise. ​



“Our ability to move into the space is based on a value shift in the industry, so we have time to get in and start improving products,” Fite stated. “We have time to continue to improve products over the next 10 years because this is a long-term shift that is happening within this industry. The move into plant-based foods and plant-based protein is a change that is here to stay.”

Consumers have pushed for meals and beverage firms to launch extra sustainable merchandise, and the market for plant-based meals has grown quickly. Plant-based meals gross sales jumped 11% up to now yr, reaching a complete market worth of $4.5 billion, in accordance to figures launched by The Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association. 

Motif has been constructing its top-level crew because the summer time, tapping seasoned execs and well-known innovators from CPGs and large companies. This month, Motif introduced two new hires in its govt crew: Michael Leonard as chief expertise officer and Elizabeth King as vp of individuals and tradition.

Leonard beforehand served as vp and head of R&D for white house innovation and commercialization at Kraft Heinz. Before that, he was VP of course of expertise for international snacks R&D at PepsiCo. 

He stated in a launch asserting his place that he made the transfer as a result of Motif is paving a brand new path for extra purposeful, dietary and sustainable elements.

“The role of food in peoples’ lives is changing, and animal-free options are increasingly top of mind for many consumers,” Leonard stated. 

Michele Fite


Fite, who was employed in June and has expertise in firms like Nestlé, DuPont​ and Kerry, stated she additionally made the change from Big Food to Motif to be a part of the “revolution that’s going on in the food industry.”

“I’ve been in this business for over 30 years and these are the kind of things that just don’t happen often, where you see a major change in how consumers behave, and the opportunity to impact that with a significant technology,” she stated. “So I just wanted to be a part of that.”

Big Food has lengthy been criticized for its lack of mobility to transfer on developments. Fite stated it’s more durable for massive company firms to give attention to innovation and adjustments within the business after they want to give attention to their core enterprise and drive development in legacy merchandise. 

“In an organization like Motif, we will be 100% centered on the invention wanted, the brand new science and innovation, discovering new enterprise fashions, discovering new avenues and new alternatives to invent. And it simply offers us the liberty and the pliability to be on this new house,” she stated. “That’s why you see people like myself and the new hires that we’re are bringing in that are just moving and rushing into these new exciting companies like Motif so they can have the freedom to operate in that space.”

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