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Motif FoodWorks lays off workers because it restructures

Motif FoodWorks lays off workers because it restructures

Motif FoodWorks lays off employees as it restructures

Dive Temporary:

  • Meals-tech agency Motif FoodWorks has laid off an unspecified variety of workers after present process a restructuring. The information was first reported by FoodNavigator.
  • “Given the present financial circumstances, we’re pivoting our focus to key priorities that we all know will return most ROI for our clients and buyers,” a Motif spokesperson advised Meals Dive in an announcement. “In consequence, we’ll tighten our worker base in some areas.”
  • Motif mentioned it will spend money on precedence areas associated to its food-tech and completed merchandise the place it’s seeing sturdy demand. Information of the layoffs at Motif FoodWorks — which spun off from biotech agency Ginkgo Bioworks in 2019 to create components for protein alternate options — comes as development within the plant-based meat phase has slowed and startup funding has began to fall.

Dive Perception:

Motif FoodWorks’ previous yr has had its share of knockout information. It included a $226 million fundraising spherical, launching a plant-based meat line for foodservice and securing a high-profile funding from Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition Ventures.

In December, Boston-based Motif was slated to start work on a 65,000-square-foot market growth middle in Massachusetts, with pilot crops for fermentation, ingredient and completed product manufacturing. It additionally introduced that its Hemami ingredient — a heme protein created via precision fermentation — was prepared for large-scale distribution. And it positioned its subsequent product for debut later this yr: Appetex, a plant-based hydrogel that it mentioned can enhance the feel of plant-based meat. 

Hemami and Appetex are each starring within the new foodservice line focused at eating places, retailers with private-label manufacturers and distributors. It’s right here that the run of optimistic information for Motif turned. In March, plant-based big Not possible Meals sued Motif for infringing on at the very least considered one of its patents with the brand new Hemami ingredient. Motif responded by difficult the validity of Not possible Meals’ patent, which it requested the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace to revoke.

Motif has not supplied additional particulars on what number of employees it laid off or which areas had been affected, nor did it share any particulars of the restructuring when requested by Meals Dive. Nevertheless, a number of the tailwinds that helped propel Motif simply over a yr in the past seem like flagging. For one, development within the plant-based meat phase has stalled, with CPGs together with Past Meat, Maple Leaf Meals and Kellogg observing a downward shift in momentum.

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And, after a banner yr of food-tech funding in 2021, the development for 2022 has been the reverse. A current evaluation by Crunchbase discovered that funding for North American startups slipped within the second quarter, and had been off 25% in comparison with a yr in the past. This might make the necessity to function effectively and lean a high precedence for Motif, which operates in a capital-intensive house.

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