Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

IKEA finally debuts plant-based Swedish meatballs

A plate of IKEA’s classic Swedish meatballs, served with mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce. The new plant-based version will be served the same way.
A plate of IKEA’s classic Swedish meatballs, served with mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce. The new plant-based version will be served the same way.
Photo: Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star (Getty Images)

Around a year ago we wrote about how IKEA was developing a vegan-friendly köttbullar (Swedish meatball) for the not insignificant number of people who enjoy simply designed Scandinavian furniture but don’t eat meat. That fateful day has finally arrived, and you can now officially buy its meat-free orbs both for in-store consumption and in take-home bags.

Advertisement

IKEA says its new product, which it is simply calling “plant balls”, is “a plant-based meat substitute is [sic] made with yellow pea protein, oats, potatoes, onion and apple, but looks and tastes like meat.” IKEA also touts the fact that, because the balls are meat-free, the production process results in only 4% of the “climate footprint” needed to make its classic Swedish meatballs. Given that IKEA sells over a billion meatballs a year (!), that’s not an insignificant change.

For all you vegans out there who might want to eat the balls in-store, IKEA notes in the fine print of the announcement, “Served in the traditional way, with mashed potato and lingonberry jam, the dish includes dairy products and is not suitable for a vegan diet.” So, you know, plan accordingly.

Advertisement

But also, what exactly does one call a meatless meatball? Surely we do better than “plant balls”? Pehraps....deceitballs? Or maybe there’s a way to replace the word “ball” altogether. We’ll need your ideas on our (IDÅSEN) desk by the end of the day.

Jacob Dean is a food and travel writer and psychologist based in New York. He likes beer, less traveled airports, and is allergic to grasshoppers (the insect, not the mixed drink.)

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

curioussquid
Curious Squid

I could swear these have been a thing for a while now. I think I had some last time I went to IKEA, about a year ago? They’re good, like little balls of stuffing! :)