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Vegan Meatballs Pave the Way for Standalone IKEA Café

IKEA's newest food offerings—such as the vegan version of its Swedish meatballs—have helped to increased sales at the furniture company to $1.8 billion last year.

International furniture company IKEA is looking to further capitalize on the popularity of its food offerings. According to media outlet Curbed, the introduction of new food items—including a vegan version of its famed Swedish meatballs—has driven the company’s sales up from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $1.8 billion in 2016, with 30 percent of customers currently visiting IKEA for the in-store restaurant alone. As such, IKEA is considering launching more food-focused ventures such as a standalone café and has recently tested several food pop-up shops in Europe. “I hope in a few years our customers will be saying, ‘IKEA is a great place to eat—and, by the way, they also sell some furniture,” IKEA’s Managing Director Michael La Cour said. Last summer, IKEA launched its #TogetherWeEat campaign in which a food truck traveled across country to promote the furniture giant’s food offerings (including vegan meatballs). IKEA began offering vegan meatballs, with a vegan sweet potato-based sauce, in early 2015 after coalescing to pressure from animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to expand its plant-based food options.

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