Gerd Diewald, who was responsible for the development of the Swedish chain in the United States in 2017, said, “Nothing sells more meatballs than wardrobes.”
There is a lot of truth in this, because fashion is changing, trends in interior design are changing, and meatballs are something that many customers can not imagine visiting Ikea. Just as the most popular piece of furniture that customers collect in the car is the Billy bookcase, meatballs are the most common item in the buffet. In 2019, the Swedish company sold more than a billion meatballs around the world, both fresh and frozen, for home cooking. The results were similar in the remaining years (2020-2021 was an exception, as customers were unable to order them due to the closure of stores due to locking).
Coffee and biscuits did not attract customers
They got acquainted with the buffet menu in 1985. Previously, after shopping, customers could only sit with coffee and cookies. Today, it is a hit, but according to CNN Business, which describes the history of meatballs, network officials were initially skeptical of the idea of selling the meat dish. After shopping, people will not have dinner, it will not be necessary to mix furniture with mashed meatballs, and it will be unnecessary to build a kitchen – after all, it is more convenient to present a cake. However, the network had very little to lose. In the mid-1980s, food sales in canteens declined and a new formula had to be found.
Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad was very interested in increasing food sales. He feared that customers would finish their purchases sooner because they were hungry, and it was not convenient for them to decide whether to buy dishes or measure a cupboard. He commissioned Stockholm-based store manager Soren Hullberg to create a completely new kitchen concept: from the decor and the way you eat to the menu. The team knew that it should take into account not only the tastes of Swedish customers, but also the preferences of foreign buyers, because at that time Ikea had more than 50 stores around the world.
Fight for meatball recipe
Meatballs, which are popular in Sweden, seemed to be a good choice, especially since they are known in other parts of the world. Another advantage was that they were easy to prepare and convenient for freezing and transporting.
In an interview with CNN, Hullberg said that the recipe for meatballs – 2/3 beef and 1/3 pork – was not approved by Ingvar Kamprad, who preferred pork. “We won this battle because we proved that it’s easier to export beef with more beef than pork,” Hullberg said.
In addition to meatballs, the new menu includes salmon, beef, salads and sandwiches.
Hullberg left his job at Ikea in 1992, but people still thanked him when they found out he was responsible for serving meatballs on the menu. She also likes to visit the Ikea buffet to remember the taste of her famous “baby”.
Here comes a new one: Ikea announced the recipe and presented meatless meatballs
Another thing is that he – like each of us – can cook meatballs in his kitchen. In 2020, when the coronavirus stopped halfway around the world at home, a recipe was unexpectedly kept secret on the Ikea website. It should have caused a small smile and made people talk only about new infections and limitations in their minds.
Ikea shared her recipe for the famous Cottball meatballs. At home, you can do them yourself
The meatballs themselves, of course, are sales hits all over the world, but they are subject to change. Two years ago, Ikea introduced a meatless version. Ikea has already begun experimenting with vegetarian and vegan alternatives to animal products from its menu.
“By using our vegetarian and plant-based foods, you can start a healthier lifestyle and improve your eating habits. Take nutritious and tasty vegetable meatballs as an example. They are rich in protein and look and taste exactly like meat analogues. And best of all, their climate footprint is 96 percent. smaller “- argues on the website.
Will IKEA return to Russia? There is a comment from the concern