Being true to our ambition of becoming an even more sustainable food business, IKEA challenges a brand icon – the meatball, creating a more sustainable option for the many meatball lovers. The new plant ball, a plant based meat substitute, is made with yellow pea protein, oats, potatoes, onion and apple, but looks and tastes like meat. With a climate footprint of only 4%*** of the classic IKEA meatball, the plant ball contributes to the IKEA ambition to become climate positive by 2030.
“At IKEA we sell more than one billion meatballs every year. Imagine if we could get some of our many meatball lovers to choose the plant ball instead. If we were to convert about 20% of our meatball sales to plant balls that would mean around 8% reduction of our climate footprint for the food business at IKEA.*”, says Sharla Halvorson, Health & Sustainability Manager for the IKEA food business globally.
Driven by the vision to create a better everyday life for the many people, IKEA wants to inspire a more sustainable eating and lifestyle habits with a positive impact on people and the planet. Adding the plant ball to the IKEA food offer contributes to this ambition.
“In order to reduce the climate footprint of the IKEA food business, we need to reduce the amount of traditional meatballs that we sell. With the new plant ball we can now offer meat lovers a more sustainable alternative – without compromising on the IKEA meatball experience that is loved by so many,” explains Sharla.
In the IKEA restaurants the plant ball will be served with mashed potatoes, lingonberries, and cream sauce, in the same way as the traditional dish and at the same, low price. Customers can also buy a bag of frozen plant balls from the Swedish Food Market, and prepare them at home. The recipe of the plant ball does not include animal-based ingredients, which make this new addition to the IKEA food range a suitable option for the many – meatball lovers, flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans.**
“In the development phase of the plant ball our key objective has been to recreate the meat-like taste and texture, only using plant based ingredients. We have tried and tested different ingredients and methods and we are very pleased with the final results”, says Alexander Magnusson, chef and project leader at IKEA food.
The plant ball launches in the EU in August 2020; IKEA stores in North America, Middle East and the Asia Pacific region will follow a couple of months later.
*These calculations are based on volumes sold in FY18
**The plant ball does not include animal based ingredients. Served in the traditional way, with mashed potato and lingonberry jam, the dish includes dairy products and is not suitable for a vegan diet.
***This original assessment of its plant ball in 2019 was primarily based on the ingredients and their impact on climate change, water consumption, water pollution and land use. Today, we acknowledge that agricultural production and sourcing are dynamic and constantly evolving, and that there are more factors – like changing production practices, seasonal variability, regional variations, and regulatory changes – which impact the climate footprint. Therefore, we have decided to not continue using numbers based on the original assessment.