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Ikea launches sustainable plant-based alternative to iconic meat balls

New product has just four per cent of the climate footprint of the Swedish chain's regular meat ball

Olivia Petter
Thursday 16 July 2020 11:59 BST

Ikea has launched a new plant ball as a sustainable alternative to its famous meatballs.

As the name suggests, the plant balls are entirely vegan and unlike Ikea’s veggie balls, they have been designed to replicate the flavour and appearance of real meat.

The plant balls are made from pea protein, oats, apples and potatoes and have just four per cent of the climate footprint of the meatball.

“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.”

Halvorson added that if Ikea could convert about 20 per cent of its meatball sales to plant balls, that would mean result in an eight per cent reduction of the shop’s climate footprint for its food business.

While the plant balls are vegan, when served at Ikea, they will be done so with mashed potatoes, lingonberries, and cream sauce, which is not vegan because it contains dairy products.

This has been done so that the plant balls are served in exactly the same way as the meatballs.

Customers can also buy a bag of frozen plant balls from Ikea and prepare them at home.

Ikea’s food team underwent several tests and trials in order to find the right recipe for the plant balls.

“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,” explains 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.”

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