IKEA Working On Meatless Swedish Meatball

Besides the inexpensive houseplants and free kid-sitting, one of IKEA's greatest charms is its food. Behind its low prices and Nordic-minimalist aesthetics, there's quite a bit of research that goes into IKEA's food court. The company has been right on trend with the meat-alternatives, introducing vegan hot dogs, vegan caviar, and creating a non-meat food incubator called Space10. The final frontier is, naturally, meatless meatballs.

CNN Business reports IKEA is at work on that very task, attempting to create a meatball that "looks and tastes like meat but is made from plant-based alternative proteins." The goal is to one day roll those meatless balls out to IKEAs worldwide. As characters Tom Collins and Roger Davis say of meatless balls in Rent's "La Vie Boheme," they taste the same—if you close your eyes.

IKEA is currently evaluating various non-meat protein sources—likely including Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods—to determine which supplier will provide its meatless ball protein. Meatless meatballs should debut in select locations by February 2020. The company does already sell a veggie ball, but this meatless meatball would be the first to use a meat-replicating alternative protein. Can someone reach Swedish chef for comment?