In a pitch to promote a more sustainable food business, Ikea chefs have created a meatless version of the furniture chain’s legendary snack. The so-called “plant-balls” are made with yellow pea protein, oats, potatoes, onion and apple for a faux-meat treat that “looks and tastes like meat,” the retailer announced on Thursday.
“At Ikea we sell more than 1 billion meatballs every year. Imagine if we could get some of our many meatball lovers to choose the plant ball instead,” Sharla Halvorson, health and sustainability manager for Ikea’s global food business, said of the news..
“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.”
Across store restaurants, the plant balls will be served with mashed potatoes, lingonberries and cream sauce, just like the original meat version of the dish and at the same price point. Customers can also score a bag of the frozen faux-meatballs from the Swedish Food Market to cook at home.
Better yet, Ikea claimed, the plant-ball recipe does not contain animal-based ingredients, making the newest menu addition an appetizing choice for vegetarians, vegans and flexitarians alike.
Starving shoppers will have to wait a bit longer to sate their craving, however. The plant ball will be launched in the European Union in August, later hitting store menus in North America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific region a few months later.
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