The world is hungry for better plant-based foods...

...but some companies are making that IMPOSSIBLE.

Motif FoodWorks is an innovator. For the past three years, we’ve been hard at work reinventing plant-based foods, making them better tasting, more nutritious and sustainable.

Impossible Foods has sued to stop our innovation. And if Impossible Foods wins their lawsuit in the U.S., that means less innovation in plant-based foods – hurting consumers, the industry, and ultimately the planet.

Here’s why it’s important we continue our work:

Motif FoodWorks is a plant-based food innovator. For the past three years, we’ve been hard at work reinventing plant-based foods, making them better tasting, more nutritious and so desirable that people crave them.

Motif provides taste and texture solutions across the spectrum of plant-based foods. Motif’s portfolio of products includes ingredients, ingredient systems and food products.

Our first-to-market ingredient, HEMAMI™, provides solutions for taste by creating real umami flavors, aromas and appearances of meat. Our next ingredient, APPETEX™, solves for texture and moisture by recreating animal connective tissue with plant-based ingredients.

Using our ingredients, we offer a range of better tasting finished products such as:

  • Motif BeefWorks™ Plant-Based Burgers & Grounds – our burger ranked the closest to beef for appearance and fresh off the grill flavor. 1
  • Motif ChickenWorks™ Plant-Based Chicken Cutlets
  • Our latest innovation in dairy alternatives, Motif CheeseWorks™, unlocks melt, bubble and stretch in cheese without the use of any animal dairy.

    1Motif FoodWorks Study, March 2021

  • Impossible Foods filed a lawsuit against Motif FoodWorks in US, claiming that we infringe on their patents. Impossible says there are certain types of ingredients – like heme – that we can’t use in our burger, even if Impossible doesn’t own those ingredients.

    While Impossible and Motif both make heme through precision fermentation for use in plant-based foods, they are different types of hemes. Heme is a naturally-occurring protein found in plants and animals that adds umami taste and color.

    Impossible’s heme is similar to the protein found in soy plants. Motif’s heme is identical to the protein found in cows, but made without animals.

    The Opposition Division of the European Patent Office recently announced that it has revoked a key Impossible Foods’ European Union patent, No. 2,943,072 B1 (‘072). Like the US patents that Motif is challenging, Impossible’s ‘072 EU patent addresses the use of heme protein, sugars and sulfur compounds in meat alternative products.

    The EPO results affirm our beliefs that Impossible’s patents are invalid and never should have been issued in the first place.

    This lawsuit highlights the very real possibility that companies like Impossible could dominate the use of naturally-occurring ingredients in food products. Many companies use precision fermentation to make ingredients for plant-based foods, from meat, to dairy, and egg-alternatives. Innovation in the plant-based food industry could come to a halt if Impossible’s lawsuit is successful, leading to lack of good tasting products in the market, which means poor product choices for consumers like you, stagnating category growth and continuing to harm our planet.

    If Impossible wins, it will mean less innovation in the plant-based food category. No one else will be able to experiment with heme protein in plant-based foods. It’s the same tactic used by technology “patent trolls” – securing overly broad patents and then using them to stop innovation and dominate the marketplace. Less innovation hurts consumers, the plant-based food industry and the planet.

    Less innovation means less choices for you, the consumer. And less choice means fewer better tasting options for a plant-based meal that meets your tastes and the need for more sustainable, nutritious food and a better outcome for our planet.

    Better plant-based foods can help the planet. They give consumers the taste and experience they crave – while requiring fewer natural resources and reducing animal agriculture. In fact, animal agriculture alone accounts for 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions. A weaker plant-based food industry means less chance of reducing consumption of animal products – and the environmental costs that go along with it.

    Since 2019, plant-based meat sales grew 20%, but recently plateaued. Why? Because they still fall short on taste. 67% of consumers would eat more plant-based options over meat if those products tasted better.2

    2 SPINS - Total MULO + Natural Enhanced - L52W Ending 10/2/22

    If Impossible wins, it means no one else can experiment with heme in plant-based industry.

    Imagine if Impossible invented yellow mustard, added it to a burger, and then stopped anyone else from trying any other type of mustard on their burger. If you wanted to try spicy or Dijon, the answer would be no. You’d have to wait for Impossible to come up with its own new mustard – and hope it’s what you wanted. Replace mustard with heme and you can understand the problem with Impossible’s lawsuit.

    At Motif, we believe that no single company can provide all solutions for a sustainable, nutritious food system. We all need cooperation and collaborate across the industry to solve the climate crisis. If Impossible truly believed in their mission to “make our global food supply more sustainable” and that they “can’t do it alone,” 3 they would welcome innovators like Motif who are creating new, delicious plant-based foods that benefit people and the planet. We want the industry to come together to support innovation and collaboration across the space.

    3 Impossible Foods Impact Report, 2020

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