IKEA Unveils ‘Plant Balls,’ Not Sounding Like Something We Want in Our Mouths

Some things just shouldn’t be messed with. Ikea’s Swedish meatballs are among them. Oh, but brands are eager to please people with dietary restrictions, and the furniture behemoth (that somehow became a cultural phenomenon for its café fare) is now catering to the vegan crowd.

That’s a mouthful, we know. You know what’s also a mouthful? Ikea’s new plant-based balls. But this is one edible innovation we can’t wrap our minds – or lips – around. This fall, after spending all day scouting out the perfect bedside table, you’ll be able to refuel with (*suppresses dry heave*) plant balls. (Is that the best they could do for a name?) Made from yellow pea protein, oats, potatoes, onion, apple, mushroom, tomato, and roasted vegetable powder, Ikea hopes the poppable eats will entice carnivores and vegans alike.

Photo: Ikea

“At IKEA, we sell more than one billion meatballs every year,” Sharla Halvorson, health and sustainability manager for IKEA’s food business, said in a press release. “Imagine if we could get some of our many meatball lovers to choose the plant ball instead. If we were to convert about 20% of our meatball sales to plant balls that would mean around 8% reduction of our climate footprint for the food business at IKEA.”

At least one thing won’t change: the plant-based monstrosities will be plated with mashed potatoes, lingonberries, and cream sauce, just like the meat-lovers version. Those who can’t live without their plant balls can take home a frozen bag of ‘em for $5.99 at the Swedish Food Market. We probably won’t be trying this unfortunately named food; if we want to save the Earth, we’ll buy our furniture used instead.

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