Ikea to roll out plant-based version of famous Swedish meatballs

Ikea shoppers may seek out the Scandinavian furniture store for its inexpensive bookshelves and beds, but the chain has become a cult-favorite dining destination thanks largely to its Swedish meatballs. Unfortunately for vegetarians, the meatballs contain, well, meat. But veggie eaters are in luck; Ikea has announced it’s working on a plant-based version of their signature menu item.

“I am looking forward to serving a delicious plant-based meatball made from alternative protein at IKEA,” Michael LaCour, managing director at Ikea Food Services, said in a press release. “I hope that the many meatball lovers out there will like it as well.”

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Ikea’s Swedish meatballs, served in the store’s cafeteria-style restaurants, have been a favorite for 35 years. But the meatball family has expanded over the years. The plant-based menu item will be the fifth variety. Ikea currently offers veggie balls, chicken meatballs and salmon meatballs alongside the original recipe.

While veggie balls are already available, the new alternative-protein meatball should be notably different. The company notes that the new item will look and taste like real meat. Ikea hopes to serve the new meatball globally in all its restaurants, and plans to test it with customers early in 2020.

Alternative protein is a hot commodity in food news these days. Burger King is testing an Impossible Whopper, White Castle has had an Impossible Slider for a year and even Wrigley Field is serving an Impossible Burger. It’s clear that meat alternatives are one of the biggest food trends of the year.

This story was originally published by the Daily Meal.