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Vegan 'meatballs' will soon be on the menu at Ikea

MEATLESS: Furniture store Ikea will be rolling out vegan 'meatballs' in its cafés

FOR MANY, the best part of a trip to Ikea, is gorging on the furniture store's world-famous Swedish meatballs in the café.

But the beef and pork dish doesn't satisfy everyone's dietary needs.

Now, the Swedish flat-pack furniture giant is rolling out a vegetarian version into its European shops, including those in the UK.

The new balls, called grönsaksbullar, are made from chickpeas and a variety of vegetables, including carrots, green peas, red pepper, onion and kale. They will be slightly cheaper than their meaty counterparts, Köttbullar, (currently sold at £3.80 for 10) to encourage people to try them, though Ikea has not yet confirmed the price.

In a statement, Ikea wrote, “One of the exciting new products is a veggie ball which will be launched in our stores from April and onwards. The veggie ball does not have any animal content and is therefore also suitable for vegans.”

The giant sells an estimated 150 million Swedish-style meatballs, made from beef and pork, in its cafes each year.

But the snack is also one of the the least environmentally-friendly items on the menu, because the farming process releases high levels of carbon dioxide while the cattle cause high methane gas emissions.

"The veggie ball... has a lower environmental impact, such as a lower carbon footprint,” the company said in the statement. “This is a natural step for Ikea, building on the vision of creating a better everyday life for the many.”

According to reports, the new product will be available in the UK and other European coutnries from this month, before being rolled out across Asia, Australia and the US.

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