Admit it: While you might be roaming through IKEA's open stock aisles "for a sofa," you have a hidden agenda. It starts with m and rhymes with shmeatballs.
The Swedish furniture warehouse has good news: It's working on a new kind of meatball that's totally vegan. Huzzah!
According to a recent press release, IKEA is “working on the development of a new meatball that looks and tastes like meat but is made from plant based alternative proteins.” From that description alone, it sounds a lot like the Impossible burger of Swedish comfort food. We love.
The original meatballs are the brand's most popular dish offered at its in-store restaurants, so the alt-meatball has some big shoes to fill. But it's not the first meatball to join the family: IKEA also offers veggie, chicken, salmon and cod balls.
And while new vegan meatballs will obviously cater to people who follow an animal-product-free diet, it's not just about veganism. Said Michael La Cour, the managing director at IKEA Food Services AB, “We see a growing demand from our customers to have access to more sustainable food options and we want to meet that need.” The initiative is also about creating more environmentally sustainable protein sources. He continued, “Our ambition is to make healthier and more sustainable eating easy, desirable and affordable, without compromising on taste and texture.”
In an Instagram post, they summed it up rather nicely: “We want to create a more sustainable version of our iconic meatball that looks and tastes like meat—but needs no meat.”
According to IKEA, you can expect customer-facing taste tests of the new plant-based meatballs in early 2020—you’ll probably be looking for a new sofa by then, right?