April 09, 2015

IKEA officially sells ... vegan meatballs?

Food Services Ikea
040915_ikeaveggie AP Photo Mark Lennihan/AP Photo

The Ikea logo is shown on the side of the warehouse-sized store during the grand opening of New York City's first Ikea on Wednesday, June 18, 2008 in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn.

IKEA is usually pegged as a home furnishing giant offering products that are frequently assembled using pegs. Those who haven't been there in a while might not know that many of IKEA's store locations around the world have restaurants inside that seat as many as 400-500 shoppers. 

The Swedish-based company is committed to serving its customers much more than your standard beds, dressers and sofas. As of Thursday, IKEA officially began selling vegan meatballs to go along with its regular, Swedish variety meatballs at in-store restaurants in the United States. Via the Huffington Post: 
"Furniture shopping is time consuming. I think very often the restaurant has become the oasis. It's the time to sit down and discuss whether it should be a blue or a red sofa," said Michael La Cour, IKEA's Managing Director of Food Services. 
The new veggie ball, known as GRÖNSAKSBULLAR, became a hit in locations across Asia and gained momentum to reach the U.S. after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) urged IKEA to go full vegan, not just vegetarian. 

Made with chickpeas, green peas, kale, corn, peppers and pea protein, the new veggie balls have about 100 fewer calories and half the fat of the meat-based variety. Customers can get 10 veggie balls on a plate for $4.49.

La Cour says that IKEA is striving to be a forward-thinking company by providing greater variety to the 600 million guests it serves at its food markets. He expects consumer interest in IKEA's restaurants to grow and hinted that additions to its food menu won't end with the veggie ball.