IKEA is launching new vegan meatballs in Europe this August.
The new “plant balls” were made to look and taste like meat and are made from a combination of pea protein—the primary ingredient in the Beyond Burger—, oats, apples, and potatoes. According to the Swedish furniture giant, its carbon footprint is 95 percent smaller than a traditional meatball.
IKEA first introduced veggie balls in 2015, consisting of a vegetable-forward blend of chickpeas, green peas, carrots, and carrots. The company announced last May that it was working with leading industry suppliers to develop a more realistic vegan meatball.
“It is a really exciting industry! Looking at the quality of the products that we have been tasting I am looking forward to serving a delicious plant-based meatball made from alternative protein at IKEA. I hope that the many meatball lovers out there will like it as well,” Michael La Cour Managing Director at IKEA Food Services AB, said in a statement.
IKEA and Sustainability
Sustainability is part of IKEA’s core mission. The company launched its Environmental Action Plan in 1992, championing a framework that uses minimal materials, packaging, and energy.
Vegan food has also become part of IKEA’s sustainable ethos. The company aims to become “climate positive” by 2030 and offering more plant-based food is one way to do that.
“We see a growing demand from our customers to have access to more sustainable food options and we want to meet that need,” La Cour continued. “Our ambition is to make healthier and more sustainable eating easy, desirable and affordable, without compromising on taste and texture.”
Over the past few years, IKEA has taken steps to increase its sustainable plant-based food options. The chain’s vegan veggie dogs were met with high customer approval following last summer’s launch. Other options include vegan seaweed-based caviar, dairy-free oat milk smoothies, and vegan soft serve ice cream, which launched in Europe last May. The chain eventually plans to introduce the dairy-free ice cream globally.
In addition to food, IKEA will attempt to source wood from more sustainable sources, use more recycled materials, and experiment with refurbishing products.