Vegan foods have long been more than niche products which are banished to the darkest corners of the shelves. One could even say that veganism is becoming mainstream. This is also reflected in the fact that more and more companies are expanding their existing range with vegan products and “veganising” classic products. This is how the international furniture store IKEA does it. Beside vegan versions of popular classics, vegan furnishings and a vegan caviar substitute are also now available. We asked IKEA about the current status of vegan developments in the company.
How vegan-friendly is your company at the moment?
Currently, our food range includes our traditional meatballs and the classic hotdog, but also healthier and more sustainable alternatives, such as the veggie hotdog and our vegetable balls (Grönsaksbullar). We want to offer our customers a wide range of dishes and food, and meet the very different preferences of many people. That is why our range consists of products containing meat, meatless options and increasingly also of plant-based foods.
But we also offer vegan products outside the food range – for example, the “Hirasund” mattress and the corresponding mattress topper “Tistedal”.
In your opinion, how rapidly is the topic of animal-free furnishing and “green living” developing – nationally and internationally?
We are observing that alternative lifestyles and diets are becoming more and more popular, and the demand continues to rise. We are eager to follow trends and are happy to meet the challenges that this presents for us as a company.
Recently, you have introduced a caviar substitute called “sjörapport” in your store. How did this come to be developed and introduced?
At IKEA, we want to help people lead healthier and more sustainable lives, and eat accordingly. Our current food range makes this possible; it is delicious, uncomplicated and inexpensive. Plant-based ingredients are essential for a balanced diet, and at the same time produce significantly lower CO2 emissions than red meat and pork. In addition to the vegetable balls and other plant-based products that are already part of our range, we are working on new products such as a veggie hot dog. We are curious, wanting to constantly develop our product range and open up new possibilities to offer many people a varied, balanced and more sustainable range of food. This is how “sjörapport” came about.
As you say, there is now a vegan version of the classic “Köttbullar”, the party pack with vegetarian sausages, and a vegan hot dog will also follow. Are vegans a serious target group for you?
In general, IKEA follows the principles of our Democratic Design. We offer a range that is affordable but at the same time characterised by functionality, design and quality. At IKEA, we want to be there for the many and meet people’s different needs and desires. Vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are exciting topics with great potential and development opportunities. We are noticing an increasing demand and are happy to meet the challenges of alternative lifestyles and diets.
At this year’s Democratic Design Days, a vegan plant-based hot dog and a vegan fruit ice cream without added sugar were also presented. Both will be added to our product range at IKEA Germany next year.
How have the sales figures of the caviar, vegan Köttbullar and the meat-free party pack been since their introduction?
We regret that we are unable to communicate any sales figures. We can say this much: our vegetarian and vegan products are being greatly enjoyed and are steadily growing in popularity.