Swedish retailer IKEA has announced plans to introduce a meat-free version of its iconic meatball as part of its strategy to make its food business more sustainable.
The plant-based meatball, made with pea protein, oats, apples and potatoes, has only 4% of the climate footprint of the meat version, IKEA added.
The retailer will roll out the plant balls in the EU in August, followed by launches in North America, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific regions a couple of months later.
A Sustainable Option
Sharla Halvorson, health and sustainability manager for the IKEA food business globally, said, “At IKEA we sell more than one billion meatballs every year.
"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.”
The new product replicates the taste and appearance of the meatballs and will be served with mashed potatoes, lingonberries, and cream sauce, similar to the original dish.
The retailer will also offer customers the option to buy frozen plant balls from the Swedish Food Market, and prepare them at home.
'Meat-Like Taste And Texture'
Alexander Magnusson, chef and project leader at IKEA food, said, “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.
“We have tried and tested different ingredients and methods and we are very pleased with the final results.”
The plant balls are free from any animal-based ingredients and are therefore suitable for meatball lovers, flexitarians, vegetarians, and vegans, the retailer added.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.