Ikea Is Getting Into the Plant-Based Meat Game

New meatball will be available in European stores later this year

a row of Ikea meatballs
Ikea already offers several alternatives to its traditional Swedish meatballs, including chicken and salmon. Getty Images
Headshot of Kathryn Lundstrom

Ikea will launch a new, plant-based meatball in Europe this August, the retailer announced in its annual sustainability report released today.

The Swedish furniture giant released initial plans to create a plant-based alternative to its traditional meatball last summer, with the goal of improving the overall sustainability of the menu at Ikea’s in-store restaurants. The new meatball, according to Ikea, has only 4% the climate footprint of its traditional Swedish meatball.

Similar to other plant-based meat alternatives made by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods—which just became the preferred meatless burger of Disney’s U.S. theme parks and cruise line—the goal of Ikea’s new meatball is to give meat lovers a more sustainable option without compromising flavor. The newly developed product is made from pea protein, oats, apples and potatoes, and adds to an already robust, sustainability-focused menu featuring several other meat alternatives, including a veggie hot dog, burger and meatball.

The company plans to become climate positive by 2030.
Getty Images

The launch further expands the already varied meatball options at Ikea, which added chicken and veggie meatballs to the roster in 2015, and salmon and cod in 2018.

Ikea’s sustainability report also included several other announcements. Continuing its role as an industry leader in the fight against climate change, 2019 was the first year that the furniture retailer reported both a decrease in climate footprint and an increase in business growth. By increasing its use of renewable energy and improving the energy efficiency of its lighting and appliances, the company cut its climate footprint by 4.3%. At the same time, retail sales grew by 6.5% last year.

“We are on an exciting journey to inspire and enable more people to live healthier and more sustainable lives, while at the same time create a positive impact for people, society and the planet,” said Inter Ikea Group’s chief sustainability officer Lena Pripp-Kovac in a statement. Calling last year an “important milestone” for the company, Pripp-Kovac also acknowledged there’s a lot left to do to meet Ikea’s goal of becoming climate positive by 2030.

To jumpstart its progress toward that goal, Ikea has invested 200 million euros into its efforts to increase use of renewable energies and remove CO2 from the atmosphere. At the beginning of this year, Ikea had also removed all single-use plastics from home furnishing products, and it’s planning to get to 100% recycled polyester in textile products by the end of 2020.

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@klundster kathryn.lundstrom@adweek.com Kathryn Lundstrom is Adweek's breaking news reporter based in Austin.