BOSTON — Motif FoodWorks unveiled three finished products for foodservice providers, distributors and retailers with private labels. The food technology company also announced an investment from FootPrint Coalition Ventures, a climate-focused investment firm founded by Robert Downey Jr.
Terms of the investment, which will see the companies partner on the development of new plant-based food forms, were not disclosed.
New products launching from Motif include finished alternative beef, pork and chicken formats that feature the company’s Hemami and Appetex technologies. Launched last year, Hemami is a yeast-derived heme protein. It provides umami flavor and meat aroma to meat analogs, according to the company. Appetex is a hydrogel designed to replicate the springiness, juiciness and bite associated with animal-based connective tissue using plant-based proteins and carbohydrates.
The new products are called Motif MoBeef, Motif MoPork and Motif MoChicken. The company currently offers Motif MoBeef plant-based burger patties, which will be joined by a ground format and Motif MoPork later this year. Motif MoChicken will be available in 2023.
Motif originally created alternative burgers and sausages to showcase the performance of its food technologies. A positive reception from consumers and restaurant customers led it to offer the finished formats for operators and retailers with private labels, said Jonathan McIntyre, chief executive officer of the Boston-based company.
“Whether on the store shelf or a menu, we’re focused on making our customer’s plant-based foods so desirable that people actually crave them,” he said.
Motif will use the investment from FootPrint Coalition to shape its next wave of innovation in plant-based foods, McIntyre added. It plans to move beyond animal mimicry to create new product categories that offer tastier and healthier options.
“If plant-based foods are going to make a real impact on sustainability, we need an approach that's both delicious and nutritious,” Downey said. “By focusing on both better tasting and healthier options, Motif is not only making a difference in products today but reimagining the future of tomorrow's plant-based foods.”
FootPrint Coalition has invested in more than a dozen companies focused on climate-friendly power, food, transportation, fashion and homes. Other food companies in the firm’s portfolio include MyForest Foods, a maker of mycelium-based whole-cut meat replacements; Nobell, a startup creating dairy-free cheese with casein from soybeans; Zero Acre Farms, a brand of sustainable cooking oils; and cultivated seafood startup Wildtype.