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IKEA announces a new plant ball for the many meat lovers

A bag of IKEA plant balls with various grains, vegetables, spices, and an apple against a green background.
Corporate newsSustainability, RetailJuly 16, 2020Last edited: September 29, 2021
IKEA has reimagined its iconic meatball by introducing a more sustainable, plant-based alternative for the many meatball lovers. 

Conshohocken, PA (July 16, 2020) – As a company committed to being people and planet positive, IKEA has reimagined its iconic meatball by introducing a more sustainable, plant-based alternative 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, available in U.S. stores starting September 28, 2020, contributes to the IKEA ambition to become climate positive by 2030.

“At IKEA, we sell more than one billion meatballs every year,” says Sharla Halvorson, Health & Sustainability Manager for the IKEA food business globally. “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.”1

Driven by the vision to create a better everyday life for the many people, IKEA wants to inspire more sustainable eating and lifestyle habits with a positive impact on people and the planet. Adding plant ball to the current IKEA food offerings further 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 IKEA U.S. restaurants, the plant ball will be served with mashed potatoes, lingonberries, vegetables and cream sauce, in the same way as the traditional dish and at the same low price ($5.99 for an adult plate, $2.99 for a kid’s plate and $1.25 for a side). Customers can also buy a bag of frozen plant balls ($5.99 for a 500g bag) 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.2

“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,” says Alexander Magnusson, chef and project leader at IKEA food. “We have tried and tested different ingredients and methods and we are very pleased with the final results.”

The plant ball launches in the EU in Au­gust 2020 and in the U.S. on September 28, 2020.

[1] These calculations are based on volumes sold in FY18.
[2] 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.