After much controversy surrounding traces of horse meat that had been found in a batch of their famous Swedish meatballs, IKEA has announced that they’ve changed their renowned recipe, and it happens to be vegan-friendly. What had caused the furniture giant to alter their signature dish and add a “veggie ball” to the menu?
The decision to make the switch over to plant-based could be due to the many online petitions requesting for the meatballs to be made in a manner that is suitable for vegetarians. IKEA states that the new recipe contains no animal products whatsoever and that the meatballs are now even appropriate for those who consume a vegan diet.
An IKEA spokesperson, who is calling the new product “exciting,” says that the “veggie ball which will be launched in our stores from April and onwards… does not have any animal content and is therefore also suitable for vegans.”
Last year, when IKEA announced their plans to switch to an all vegetarian, but not vegan, meatball, the reason was to reduce their carbon footprint. By offering a meatball that is primarily sourced from plants, IKEA is definitely making a positive impact, as we know that vegetarian diets are easier on the environment than any other. Furthermore, this recent determination to make the Swedish delicacy vegan is not only a huge victory for animals and the planet, but let’s not forget that it is a healthier and more sustainable choice for the people eating them.
Since IKEA’s 1987 opening in the UK, they have sold an estimated 11.6 billion of these Swedish meatballs. With tremendous popularity circling around the illustrious IKEA meatball, there is no doubt that the numbers would have continued to rise in the years ahead.
Following the accidental horse meat inclusion in some of their meatballs, IKEA took stricter quality control measures to ensure that what was labeled was what consumers were actually getting once they decided that their Swedish meatballs would go back into production and sale. People were still skeptical, though, and perhaps that is another reason why they chose to go the alternative plant-based route.
We do know that with such an enormous amount of a particular food being produced, having it now be vegan is such a score for animals, the environment and the vegetarian community. Now, any housewares-shopping person can enjoy the savory treat that this chain has become known for. But will IKEA still have the same sales success that it once had with these meatballs now that the recipe is different? Only time will tell, but many of us are certainly interested in knowing.
Just like the previous animal-made IKEA meatballs, these plant-based ones will eventually become available in frozen bags, for purchase in the food section of the store. Until then, the new vegan version of their well-known Swedish meatballs will be available in IKEA’s cafes beginning this April.