Home » Motif FoodWorks Opens New Home for Plant-Based Food Innovation
Motif FoodWorks, the ingredient innovation company on a mission to make plant-based food taste better and more nutritious, announced the grand opening of its new lab and office space in the Boston Seaport neighborhood, a growing hub for science and technology innovation.
The new state-of-the-art facility will house Motif's expert research and development team working to analyze, discover and design new approaches to developing foods and food ingredients in the plant-based category. The 10,600 sq ft. space features labs dedicated to foundational aspects of Motif's unique, comprehensive R&D process, including analytics, food science, fermentation, and test kitchens. The work done in each lab will play a crucial role in understanding the stages of the food experience, from the physics of how food transforms as you chew it to new ingredients that will ultimately improve the taste, texture and appearance of plant-based meat and dairy products. The labs will also enable the discovery of entirely new plant-based food forms.
The lab opening comes as consumer demand for more plant-based foods has grown significantly, especially during the pandemic, despite data that shows current products fail to meet taste and nutrition needs. A Yale survey showed nearly half of consumers (44%) say they don't like the taste of plant-based foods, yet two in three (67%) say they would be willing to eat more plant-based foods instead of meat if plant-based foods tasted better than they do today.
Motif scientists are on a mission to break these barriers to enjoyment and better eating experiences by harnessing a broad spectrum of science and technologies, including those that have not historically been brought to bear on the food industry.
This new space is a culmination of nearly two years of momentum following Motif's official launch in February 2019, as the company moves from development to scaled production. The company was initially spun out of bioengineering platform Ginkgo Bioworks, which now serves as one of its major investors and strategic scientific partners. To date, Motif has raised $119MM in funding, has multiple ingredients currently in development, assembled a leadership team composed of industry veterans across food, science and technology, and inked a number of partnerships with renowned research institutions to solve some of the most critical challenges facing plant-based foods. With the opening of the new space, the company will now be able to further expand and accelerate its R&D pipeline.
Motif's new labs are located in the same building as Ginkgo Bioworks, allowing the two teams to collaborate more closely. Ginkgo's facilities team also offered crucial support during the construction of the space, sharing best practices for managing security, IT, and workplace safety.
Built and completed during the pandemic, the facility incorporates state of the art health and safety design and construction features. The Motif team implemented rigorous COVID-19 protocols for the lab and adjoining office space, including limiting capacity to essential lab employees, mandating mask-wearing and providing socially distanced work areas with plexiglas barriers. Motif also invested in new technologies to ensure employees are healthy and adhering to mask-wearing policies, and maintains detailed check-in logs for contact tracing purposes as needed. The precautions will allow Motif's world-class team of scientists and academic partners to safely continue their work of rewriting the rules of food design.