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Ikea Launches Veggie Balls, Pledges More Sustainable Food Choices

Ikea Launches Veggie Balls, Pledges More Sustainable Food Choices

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By the end of the year, the majority of Ikea’s seafood options will be certified sustainable

The furniture retailer pledged to continue developing healthier menu options that are responsibly produced.

This week, Ikea begins serving its new veggie ball, a move the company calls its first step to offering a greater variety of sustainable foods, “produced in a responsible manner that considers people, planet, and animal welfare,” the company announced in a press release.

Among its sustainability efforts, Ikea has pledged to focus on ingredients that are responsibly produced.

By the end of 2015, Ikea promises to make all of its seafood, with the exception of crayfish, certified sustainable by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) or the Marine Stewardship Council (ASC). The organization is currently working with the MSC to certify crayfish fisheries.

Additionally, Ikea will provide consumers with more nutritious and appropriately portioned menu options, and update the look of its restaurants to reflect its Swedish heritage and “a more personal experience and ‘homey’ feeling.”

“We will continue to serve delicious food, offering a taste of Sweden at affordable prices, but with increasing focus on the aspects of food that are really important to people: health and sustainability,” said Michael La Cour, managing director of Ikea Food Services AB. “We have high ambitions, and our journey in this direction has just begun.”

Half of Ikea meals to be plant-based by 2025

Retail giant Ikea has pledged to ensure that 50% of the main meals offered in its restaurants, and 80% of the pre-packaged foods it sells, are plant-based by 2025.

Pictured: Ikea's veggie hot dog

Ikea is best-known for its flat-pack furniture but is also one of the largest food providers in the world. In 2019, more than 680 million people purchased food at one of the company&rsquos restaurants.

In a statement, Ikea said that the new options would be as affordable as existing meals and snacks. The statement confirms that Ikea&rsquos motivation for developing the new targets were the health and environmental benefits of eating less red meat and more plant-based foods.

On the latter point, the global livestock industry is estimated to account for 15% of global annual emissions and to use 83% of all existing agricultural land. Moreover, only 28% of the world&rsquos largest 60 intensive farming firms having to set any plans for climate risk mitigation.

While beef produced in regions like the UK is likely to be lower-carbon than beef from Brazil or the US &ndash two of the world&rsquos biggest producers &ndash it is still resource-intense to produce. The Committee on Climate Change has recommended that UK residents should eat 20% less red meat by 2050.

Ikea has already released vegan-friendly hot dogs meatless meatballs in its restaurants in several key geographies. It claims that the plant-based meatball, the Huvudroll, has just 4% of the climate impact of its beef counterpart.

It will now work to roll these options out in additional restaurants and to develop new recipes. For dishes that still contain meat or fish in 2025, Ikea is targeting a lower environmental footprint. Just two in ten main meals sold in 2025 will contain red meat, so more chicken and fish dishes will also be developed.

&ldquoIkea wants to make healthy and sustainable choices the most desirable option, by for example demonstrating that plant-based food can be really delicious,&rdquo Inter Ikea Group&rsquos chief sustainability officer Lena Pripp-Kovac said.

&ldquoResearch confirms the importance of making sustainable products affordable and desirable, and Ikea can really make a positive difference here.&rdquo

To Pripp-Kovac&rsquos latter point, a recent Globescan survey of 27,000 people in 27 nations found that the majority of meat-eaters said they were deterred from eating more plant-based foods due to concerns about taste, cost and nutritional value. Ikea&rsquos broader &lsquoLive Lagom&rsquo sustainability communications approach is focussed around making low-impact products accessible and discouraging overconsumption.

Unilever&rsquos next steps

In related news, Unilever-owned brand Knorr has partnered with Wageningen University & Research to develop a new research programme centred around environmentally sustainable, nutritious plant-based food.

Called the Good Food Lab, the initiative will seek to understand the full environmental and social impacts of food systems and to develop recommendations for transforming them.

The launch of the lab builds on Knorr&rsquos work with WWF. In 2019, the partnership launched a Future 50 Foods report listing 50 plant-based foods which purport to have a lower impact on the environment &ndash in terms of emissions, soil health, water use and yield &ndash than animal products and most other plants. The report went viral.

Since then, the brand has pledged to increase the amount of products in its portfolio that feature Future 50 Foods by 25% by 2025. Ingredients range from those commonly available in supermarkets, like beans and other pulses, to cacti.

Its learnings have also proven useful to Unilever&rsquos broader portfolio the FMCG giant recently set a &euro1bn sales target for plant-based meat and dairy alternatives for 2025.

Unilever was named as a leader in the alternative proteins transition in a recent publication from investor coalition FAIRR. It is one of the 40% of large food and beverage businesses with dedicated plant-based food teams, alongside the likes of Nestle, Sainsbury&rsquos, Tesco, Kroger, Coles and Marks and Spencer (M&S).

1. Goodness gracious, great balls of . Ikea

There’s more to Ikea than its flatpack furnishings, something customers were reminded of not once but twice this year when the famous purveyor of the Billy bookcase announced it was adding veggie balls and certified seafood to its menus.

The Swedish retailer is considered a leader when it comes to sustainable business practices, and some are hailing these moves to its £1bn food business as game changing.

The need to reduce people’s meat consumption (and help the public forget about the horsemeat scandal) is acute. The global livestock industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all cars, planes, trains and ships put together, yet a recent report from the Carbon Trust found that awareness of the environmental impacts of livestock production remains “surprisingly low”.

Environmental non-profit CDP points out that one of the key barriers to behaviour change is limited meat-free options from food manufacturers, retailers and restaurants. Ikea’s veggie balls could be a step in the right direction. For those keen to get a bit more adventurous, Brazil’s top chefs are embracing ants as a way to create protein-rich dishes that acknowledge Brazil’s native food culture. Yum.

IKEA's dogless hotdog

This menu option sees IKEA launching a menu that includes this "Dogless Hot Dog". The bun is green and made of micro-algae called spirulina- which has 50 times more iron than spinach. This bun contains more protein than than a regular hot dog in the bread alone.

The hot dog may look like something that descended from another universe, but it tastes just like a regular hot dog. Let that sink in for a second.

IKEA to Make 50 Percent of Food Menu Plant-Based by 2025

Today, furniture chain IKEA announced it aims to make 50 percent of its restaurant meals plant-based by 2025 as part of a new set of sustainability commitments. IKEA also plans to transition 80 percent of its packaged meals to be plant-based to give its 680,000,000 customers more sustainable options. To inform its transition, the multinational chain is responding to scientific reports and consumer research studies, including a recent GlobeScan study that found 75 percent of consumers across 27 countries want to make more sustainable choices but do not know how.

&ldquoIKEA wants to make healthy and sustainable choices the most desirable option, by for example demonstrating that plant-based food can be really delicious,&rdquo Lena Pripp-Kovac, Chief Sustainability Officer at Inter IKEA Group, said. &ldquoResearch confirms the importance of making sustainable products affordable and desirable, and IKEA can really make a positive difference here. The more sustainable choice shouldn&rsquot be a luxury for the few. It should be part of people&rsquos everyday life.&rdquo

In recent years, IKEA has made strides in providing plant-based options to its customers. In 2015, the Sweden-based chain launched the first vegan version of its Swedish meatballs. This year, IKEA launched an improved, meatier vegan meatball&mdashwhich carries only four percent of the carbon footprint of its animal-derived counterpart&mdashat its bistro locations and as a packaged food item (HUVUDROLL) across Europe, Australia, the United States, and other countries. IKEA also serves vegan hot dogs, dairy-free soft serve, and other plant-based options.

IKEA is making the transition to do its part in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, a large portion of which it says are produced by the animal agriculture industry. &ldquoA truly sustainable food system must be based on delicious, nutritious, and responsibly produced food,&rdquo Peter van der Poel, Managing Director for IKEA of Sweden and Manager IKEA Range & Supply, said. &ldquoIKEA is taking a full value chain approach to contributing to sustainable food systems, from responsible sourcing of materials, reducing food waste along the value chain, circular and more sustainable packaging, and using the IKEA reach to make healthy and sustainable food options available to as many people as possible.&rdquo

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Branding Sustainability: Ikea’s Pledge to Make 50% of its Food Plant-Based

Branding Sustainability is an ongoing series highlighting the ways brands and agencies around the world are trying to build a greener future.

Late last month during the UN Food Systems Summit, Sweden-based furniture, and home accessories giant Ikea pledged to make 50% of its food plant-based, a decision that reflects a shift in consumer diets. The Swedish retailer, also one of the world’s largest restaurant chains, will ramp up its plant-based food options while cutting down on red meat in a phased rollout of new products over the next five years.

The move aligns with shifting consumer preference changes globally says Ikea, which in 2019 saw over 680 million customers eat IKEA food in its restaurants, bistros, and the Swedish Food Markets. According to the brand they also commit to 80% non-red meat in their foods by 2025 along with 80% of the packaged goods sold at the Swedish Food Markets within their stores becoming plant-based within the same timeframe.

With sustainable foods also comes a heightened cost, a barrier to change for many brands. To address this, Ikea has committed to having comparable pricing for meat and meatless products so that eating sustainably and doing good for the planet can be affordable for everyone.

The brand is “taking a full value-chain approach to contributing to sustainable food systems, from responsible sourcing of materials to reducing food waste along the value chain circular and more sustainable packaging and using the Ikea reach to make healthy and sustainable food options available to as many people as possible,” said Peter van der Poel, managing director for Ikea of Sweden and manager of Ikea range and supply.

In August, Ikea announced the launch of the plant ball, made with yellow pea protein, oats, potatoes, onion, and apple. The meatless meatball has a substantially lower climate footprint at 4% of the classic meatball’s impact. Several other versions were also cooked up — the salmon ball, chicken ball, and veggie ball — to cut down on the use of ground beef.

Ikea’s its “Plant Ball” meatball. (Image via Ikea)

“IKEA wants to make healthy and sustainable choices the most desirable option, by for example demonstrating that plant-based food can be really delicious,” added Lena Pripp-Kovac, Chief Sustainability Officer at Inter IKEA Group. “Research confirms the importance of making sustainable products affordable and desirable, and IKEA can really make a positive difference here. The more sustainable choice shouldn’t be a luxury for the few. It should be part of people’s everyday life.”

What we like: Increasing plant-based options while not eliminating the classics – consumers like to feel that they have a choice.

What can be improved: The plant ball doesn’t sound very appetizing. But as long as the cranberry sauce stays I guess we’re good.

Better for the Planet

The meatless hot dog isn’t like a ballpark frank—it’s made from a vegetable-forward blend of kale, red lentils, carrot, and ginger. It comes topped with pickled red cabbage, spicy mustard, and roasted onions. IKEA worked on the recipe for over a year.

According to the Swedish furniture giant, its vegan hot dogs produce seven times fewer CO2 emissions than meat-based hot dogs. “The emissions factors are provided by external consultants and include all greenhouse gases,” explained an IKEA representative.

The meatless hot dog launched in the food courts of its European stores in summer 2018. According to Fast Company, it was a big hit on an international scale. IKEA sold one million hot dogs two months after the launch.

“We’re happy that you like the new veggie hot dog as much as we do,” the brand wrote on Instagram. “In the first two months IKEA stores in Europe sold around 1 million veggie hot dogs. From all of us at IKEA Food to all of you: 1 million times thank you for making planet positive choices!”

The U.S. got its first taste of vegan hot dog at the Boston Calling music festival. | IKEA

PUBLISHED ON: 14 April 2015

It's the day that Australian animal lovers and fans of flatpack furniture have been waiting for. On April 27th, the Swedish homewares phenomenon will begin serving their hotly anticipated veggie 'meatballs', or gronsaksbullar.

"The vegetarian meatball will go global in April and have 50% less carbon dioxide than a normal meatball. It's healthier and better for the planet."
&mdash IKEA Chief Executive, Peter Agnefjall

The veggieball launch follows concerns IKEA had about their carbon footprint, as revealed by figures in their recent Sustainability Report.

IKEA decided to look for innovative, eco-friendly solutions, and found a big opportunity to lower their impact on the environment &mdash and heighten their animal welfare credentials.

Recognising that animal agriculture is a major contributor to carbon emissions, and that reducing meat consumption is a simple way to address this issue, IKEA boffins bunkered down to perfect the recipe for a meat-free-ball to serve in their hugely popular restaurants.

Packed full of protein-rich vegetables, the new IKEA veggieballs are better for animals, better for you, and better for the planet. Requiring far fewer resources to produce, essentially eliminating methane emissions, and even needing less energy to cook &mdash gronsaksbullar are the cruelty-free, sustainable menu option most in line with IKEA's dedication to sustainability, the environment, and good health (don't worry though, you can still get them with chips on the side. ).

Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years. More by Maria Chiorando


Due to the industry-wide impacts of COVID-19 on the supply chain, we are currently experiencing significant delays with our kitchen cabinets and fronts. While we continue working closely with our suppliers and partners to replenish stock as quickly as possible, we cannot estimate wait times, nor can we guarantee complete availability if you choose to move forward with your kitchen purchase today.

If we are unable to book all pieces required, we do not recommend installing your kitchen or booking your contractor until you have received all items needed to complete the install.

How many calories are in a Slimming World Syn?

As explained in my calculator, 1 Syns is typically equal to 20 calories. So if a food has 100 calories, there will be approximately 5 Syns. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, and you should consult the official Slimming World app.

A little bit of forward planning here is likely to serve you well. Make a list of your favourites foods that aren’t Free Foods or Healthy Extras, and use the Slimming World Syns calculator to work out how much of your allowance they’ll take up.

From there, you can plan your week in advance, make sure that you’ve accounted for any treats you might want, and continue with your weight loss success!

Remember too that there are of plenty of satisfying meals that you can make on Slimming World that are entirely Syn free.

Here are a few of my favourites that you might want to try…

This Syn free salt & pepper chicken and chips is one of my favourite fakeaways, and is every bit as tasty as your usual order from your local Chinese restaurant.

Fancy Mexican food, but with a bit of a twist? My Syn free chicken fajita pasta is quick and easy, and perfect for a midweek meal for the whole family.

And last but not least, be sure to check out these Syn free steak bakes. They’re one of the most popular recipes here on the blog, and are perfect served with chips and peas.

Watch the video: Taste Testing IKEA Veggie Balls (June 2022).


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