IKEA has committed to new food commitments at its restaurants, which will see 50 per cent of main meals offered become plant-based, and 80 per cent non-red meat-based.
As one of the world’s largest food providers, IKEA last week announced the commitments in connection to a pre-event for the UN Food Systems Summit 2021.
On top of promising to include a greater number of plant-based options at its restaurants, IKEA also said that 80 per cent of all packaged food offered would become plant-based by 2025.
In addition, 80 per cent of all main meals offered in the multinational retail company’s restaurants would fulfil IKEA’s ‘Balanced Meal’ norm for healthier food.
The percentages, IKEA said, are not sales targets.
In 2019, over 680 million IKEA customers ate at its restaurants, bistros, and the Swedish Food Markets. As a global business, IKEA said it has a big responsibility—and opportunity—to make a positive difference and inspire a more healthy and sustainable living.
Today, people with thin wallets have the hardest time affording healthy and sustainable products and services.
A recent study of 27,000 people across 27 countries confirmed that three out of four people want to reduce their impact on the environment by a large amount, and a significant number of meat eaters would be willing to switch to plant-based alternatives if they taste equally good, and have the same price and nutritional value.
The survey also showed that companies have an important role to play in turning consumer thoughts and values into action, by making sustainable options more affordable.
“IKEA wants to make healthy and sustainable choices the most desirable option, by for example demonstrating that plant-based food can be really delicious,” Lena Pripp-Kovac, chief sustainability officer at Inter IKEA Group, said in a statement.
“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.”
The humble meatball will stay on IKEA’s menus. However, in the last couple of years, IKEA has set out to develop more delicious and affordable plant-based options and to challenge the meat icons, with examples including the veggie ball, a chicken ball, a veggie hot dog and a salmon ball.
The most recent example is the plant ball HUVUDROLL—a more sustainable option for the many meatball lovers that has only 4 per cent of the climate footprint of the traditional meatball, without compromising on taste and texture.
News of IKEA’s moves into the vegan market come after Unilever announced a new annual global sales target of €1 billion ($1.62 billion) from plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, within the next five to seven years.
Featured image source: IKEA
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