We reported on this story a while back and it’s now official: IKEA is offering a vegan take on its popular Swedish meatballs throughout its U.S. locations. The new IKEA vegan meatballs, named GRÖNSAKSBULLAR, made “entirely of vegetables” including the ever-popular leafy green kale, are available at IKEA locations for $4.49 for a pack of ten.
It’s the first step “to include a wider variety of nutritious and more sustainable food choices,” the furniture store chain said in a press release. “The veggie ball consists of only vegetables and has a reduced environmental impact; for example, a lower carbon footprint. This is a natural step for IKEA, building on the vision of creating better everyday lives.”
IKEA, if you have never had the psychedelic experience of being inside one, is a massive furniture and homeware store focused on Swedish designs that require a lot of elbow grease once you get the items home. Sold in assembly-required parts, the chain claims it can sell its products for reasonable prices because a big part of the work is done by the consumer, mainly fiddling with those little allen wrenches until you go slightly insane. This, of course, will also work up quite an appetite, which may be why the chain has always offered snacks and take-home foods like its iconic Swedish meatballs. But now, IKEA “will also add more food options that are nutritious and more sustainable,” says the chain. “IKEA menu additions will also be produced in a responsible manner that considers people, planet, and animal welfare, based on our People and Planet Positive strategy. In addition, IKEA Restaurants will be updated to improve the customer experience of IKEA food.”
“We will continue to serve delicious food, offering a taste of Sweden at affordable prices, but with increasing focus on the aspects of food that are really important to people: health and sustainability,” Michael La Cour, Managing Director of IKEA Food Services AB said in a statement. “We have high ambitions, and our journey in this direction has just begun. I am proud that we now take the first step and start serving veggie balls.”
According to IKEA, it’s new focus on food considers four main points:
- Health – We will provide more food options that include nutritious ingredients and consider portion sizes.
- Sustainability – Increased focus on choice of ingredients and responsible production, including animal welfare. Salmon and herring are important parts of our Swedish heritage food. By the end of FY15, our restaurants and all seafood at IKEA will be ASC or MSC certified, except crayfish. We are currently working with the MSC organisation to certify crayfish fisheries.
- The food experience – During FY16, IKEA restaurants will be updated to offer a more personal experience and ‘homey’ feeling, incorporating our home furnishing competence and Swedish heritage.
- IKEA food co-workers – We want to be a great place to work! Our co-workers are at the heart of our new direction, and we will continuously build their knowledge around health and sustainability.
So, will you give IKEA’s vegan GRÖNSAKSBULLAR veggie balls a try?
Image via The Trends