In 2019, IKEA announced that they had begun developing a plant-based version of their iconic Swedish meatball. This was part of efforts to reduce the company's climate footprint, meat being a big portion of that in the food department.
IKEA is now ready to unveil their plant balls to the world, and will do so starting this summer.
IKEA's version of plant-based meat is based in yellow pea protein, and also uses ingredients like potato, apple, onion, oats, mushroom, tomato, and roasted vegetable powder. All of this gives a texture and flavor that gets pretty close to what one of the retailer's original Swedish meatballs tastes like.
In terms of sustainability, IKEA claims that the plant-based meatballs have just 4% of the climate footprint of the meat versions. "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," added Sharla Halvorson, Health & Sustainability Manager for IKEA's global food business.
The fact that IKEA was able to develop their own plant-based meatball version is remarkable, and I'm definitely curious to see how it tastes like in a standard Swedish meatball plate.
IKEA will start selling the meatballs in Europe in August of 2020, and they will arrive in the United States on September 28th, 2020. They'll be sold in bulk frozen bags you can purchase in the grocery section, or as an alternative to the classic meatballs on their Swedish meatball plate — cream sauce, lingonberry jam, potatoes, and veggies all included.