The new ‘meatball’ consists of only vegetables, to avoid the vast carbon footprint associated with rearing cattle for beef.

Ikea food managing director Michael La Cour said: “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.”

“We have high ambitions, and our journey in this direction has just begun. I am proud that we have now taken the first step and started serving veggie balls.”

The GRÖNSAKSBULLAR is the first in a range of new sustainable options on the Ikea menu, as part of its People and Planet Positive strategy.

Leading the way

While a vegetable-only meatball might seem counterintuitive, Ikea has made it clear it is willing to step out on a limb when it comes to sustainability. 

“If you asked people what they wanted, they’d have said faster horses,” Joanna Yarrow, head of sustainability at Ikea UK said recently. “You need to have that confidence to innovate and perhaps to demonstrate a need or appetite for something that no one knew was there.”

Ikea’s 2014 sustainability report, released in January, revealed the company installed 150,000 solar panels in the last year – taking its total to 700,000.

It also committed to owning and operating a further 87 wind turbines on top of the 224 it already has.

These additions mean that Ikea produced 1,810GWh of renewable energy in the 2014 fiscal year – a 27% increase on the amount produced in 2013. And the company has committed to investing a further €1.5bn in renewable generation by the end of 2015. 

Brad Allen

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie