Making meatballs for everyone
"There’s a ball for everybody," says Annika Dunnico, who helps create food for IKEA. “If you’re flexitarian, vegan, have dietary needs based on cultural beliefs, or just want to have your pick. It’s every person’s right to be able to experience this traditional food from IKEA, no matter who you are.”
The IKEA meatball is a taste of Swedish culture. Served with mashed potatoes, cream sauce and lingonberry jam, it’s an experience of our heritage. And the people who make our food want to share that tasty cultural experience with as many others as possible. That’s why they’ve created a range of variations on the classic meatball. You’ll find them all, along with the beloved original made of beef and pork, in the new ALLEMANSRÄTTEN series. Of course, the essential sidekicks of cream sauce and mashed potatoes are there too.
Catering to global tastes
Our IKEA food co-workers search the globe to understand the best way to make food for everyone. They talked to people from Asia, Europe and North America to find out what flavors they like, how they might use meatballs in their own cooking and the kind of culinary choices they make. The findings went into developing a variety of meat and non-meat ball options that can appeal to the whole world. Annika doesn’t have any particular dietary preferences. But, in addition to her favorite—the classic pork and beef meatball—she’s a big fan of one new ball in particular. “I think the veggie ball is absolutely fantastic. You can create so many different dishes with it,” she says, going on to explain it was created to adapt well to different cultural cuisines like curry or BBQ.
Offering a more sustainable choice
Sustainability was a big reason Annika and the IKEA Food team developed new options, too. Meat and dairy production contributes to climate change, and one way to combat that is with our food choices. Eating vegetarian meals more often can have a positive impact on our environment. The IKEA chicken ball has a carbon footprint that’s more than four times lower than the classic IKEA meatball, and the veggie ball is even more climate friendly, with a carbon footprint 20 times lower. Both the chicken and veggie balls are also lower in fat and calories, making them healthier options for customers too. Even if you’re not vegan or vegetarian you may want these options,” says Annika. "People are just looking to find an appealing offer. We are world famous for our meatball, and now we’ve adapted it so everybody can enjoy it."