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3 February 2020

Plenty of food for thought at IKEA

IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad once famously said – “it’s difficult to do business with someone on an empty stomachs.” Today, many years later, the quote continues to hold as strongly as ever. It’s not surprising then that 680 million guests enjoyed the food offerings at IKEA in FY2019*.  

One billion meatballs are sold and served in IKEA stores globally every year – in the past decades the meatball has become an IKEA icon. But that’s not the only popular food product. In only one year after its launch, IKEA sold 10 million veggie hot dogs, which if lined up could cover 1,500 km – almost equivalent to the distance between Älmhult and Moscow! 
When it comes to countries, Germany is the top market, followed by China, U.S., UK, and Sweden. Ingka Group, a strategic partner in the IKEA franchise system, operates 374 IKEA stores in 30 countries including these five. 
The food business saw a turnover of 2.15 billion euros from all IKEA markets, with 93 percent of customers saying they would recommend IKEA food products to their friends**.
Next to the already popular veggie hot dog, a few other tasty products joined the IKEA food range in FY19, such as the salmon and cod ball, a new member to the meatball family, FESTLIGT potato crisps, BÄSTISAR organic pasta, BELÖNING chocolate tablets, and vegan strawberry soft ice, a refreshing, plant-based treat.
For the food business, IKEA has developed a set of seven principles to describe its food philosophy for people and planet: The seven food principles are:
1): LAGOM^: Not too much, not too little, but just right 
Inspire people to eat well with a balance of all nutrients and responsible portion sizes. It’s fine to indulge once in a while. 

2): SUSTAINABLE: Good for both people and the planet 
Sourced from farms and fisheries that strive to protect the environment, public health, people and communities.

3): PLANT BASED: More plants for the many people 
Less meat and more plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Celebrating the use of seasonal and diverse ingredients. 

4): ANIMAL WELFARE: Fewer animals, and from better sources 
Animals should live decent lives, where their physical health, mental health, and the expression of natural behaviour is prioritized. 

5): NATURAL: Simple and wholesome 
Use good quality whole, natural ingredients and reduce additives as far as possible, while still ensuring food is safe. 

6): FOOD IS PRECIOUS: Food is simply too precious to be wasted 
Food loss and waste should be kept to a minimum from farm to fork. 

7): FOOD IS PLEASURE: Together we eat better 
Food should be enjoyed through all senses, celebrating togetherness and cultural differences. Flavour is key for enabling better choices. 
Committed to the goal of phasing out single-use plastic items, IKEA is introducing a new range of disposables for IKEA restaurants, bistros, and cafés. Existing cups, cutlery, bowls, plates and straws will be replaced with more sustainable items that are made with material from renewable sources.
*September 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019
**According to IKEA Ratings & Reviews, only available for consumer packaged goods (Swedish Food Market)
^LAGOM is the Swedish word for not too much, not too little but just right. 

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