In the next two years IKEA restaurant menus could see big changes as the company aims to ensure customers have access to plant-based foods.

In 2020, IKEA announced that 50% of main meals offered in its restaurants would be plant-based, 80% to be non-red meat, and 80% of all packaged food offered to be plant-based by 2025. With this date fast approaching, and in the wake of the newly launched PLANT HOTDOG, we spoke with IKEA’s Tanja Schramm to gain some insights into these targets.

The Swedish retail giant says it has seen an increase in the popularity of plant-based options, with the veggie ball in particular accounting for a significant portion of sales. IKEA is also exploring ways to remove or replace dairy in its range to further reduce the climate impact of its food ingredients.

IKEA has undertaken an initiative to promote the accessibility and affordability of plant-based food in recent years and has taken various steps to make plant-based food options more appealing and accessible to its customers. To achieve this goal, starting from October 1, 2022, the company made the decision to offer its most popular plant-based food products at prices that are equal to or even lower than comparable animal protein-based alternatives in all its locations worldwide.

“We have set ourselves the goal of making plant-based food more affordable, accessible, and attractive. That’s why, since October 1, 2022, the most popular products from our plant-based food range will be offered at the same or even lower price than the comparable animal protein-based alternative at all IKEA locations worldwide. And in Germany, we’re going even further: here, our plant-based food range is always the more affordable choice,” explains Schramm.

“In our communication, we always aim to inspire and support our customers to live a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. Our aim is neither to lecture them nor to limit our food offer. Rather, we want to permanently add healthier and more environmentally conscious options to it. Plant-based dishes are a natural part of our range. In our restaurant, our classic is particularly popular: the Köttbullar are already chosen by one in four in the plant-based version. A well-known product that also tastes delicious in its plant-based form.”

50 / 80 by 25

IKEA has famously stated its goals to increase the proportion of plant-based meals in its restaurants and plant-based packaged food in its stores: “Our goal is that by 2025, 50 percent of the meals offered in the Restaurant and 80 percent of all packaged foods offered in the Food Market will be plant-based. In doing so, we are trying to add plant-based alternatives to already familiar products. What is beneficial here is that the development of meat alternatives is constantly growing, and new technologies are continuously producing excellent results,” she explains.

Speaking on how the company keeps up with emerging trends and the process used to expand and diversify its plant-based food offerings, Schramm said IKEA is “enthusiastically following how the range of plant-based alternatives is developing in all areas. Whether in food retail or in the catering industry, new products are making their way everywhere.”

“The continuous increase in volumes sold shows that consumers and diners are ready to embrace something new. We see this not only with us, but also with our competitors,” she says, encouragingly.

“Trends and feedback from our customers also play an important role in our product development. For many of our customers, the hot dog in our Swedish Bistros is still an integral part of shopping in one of our IKEA stores. When it comes to food, many people today are making conscious choices and are concerned about how food affects health and the environment. That’s why we set ourselves the challenge of creating a plant-based hot dog as an alternative to the original – the PLANT-HOTDOG.”

Original source: https://vegconomist.com