One unexpected affordable and surprisingly vegan place to grab a bite to eat is Swedish furniture retailer IKEA. Although the home giant stocks meat and dairy favorites like Swedish meatballs and lingonberry soft serve, the brand launched a plant-based veggie hot dog last summer, which quickly took off, and became many customer's favorite ways to eat their veggies for under a dollar a dog.

Now, IKEA is back with more options for veggie customers, with "Plant Balls," or plant-based meatballs to rival the traditional Swedish meatballs, launching in Europe, U.S, Australia, Singapore and Dubai this yeari. These plant-based meatballs are made from ingredients like yellow pea protein, potatoes, oats, and apple.

This dish, which will be served alongside mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam, will launch stateside in late September, and in Singapore, and Australia in early October, and in Dubai the following month. The Plant Balls had an early launch in Europe in August of 2020.

“At IKEA we sell more than one billion meatballs every year. Imagine if we could get some of our many meatball lovers to choose the plant ball instead, ” said Sharla Halvorson, Health and Sustainability Manager for the global IKEA food business, in a statement.

Besides an additional option for plant-based eaters, the meatball also offers a significant opportunity for IKEA's green initiative. The "Plant Ball" has a climate footprint of only four percent of the classic IKEA meatball, and contributes to the IKEA ambition to become climate positive by 2030.  "If we were to convert about 20 percent of our meatball sales to plant balls that would mean around eight percent reduction of our climate footprint for the food business at IKEA," said Halvorson.

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