Think of Ikea and Swedish meatballs might come to mind along with ready-to-assemble furniture.
Now, you can also think of the sea.
The Swedish retailer has added another ball to its popular "(m)eatball" lineup – salmon balls.
The new menu item joins the signature Swedish meatballs and plant-based veggie balls in the Swedish retailer's U.S. store restaurants. Chicken meatballs are sold as a take home pack.
Made from certified salmon with the addition of certified cod, the salmon balls are seasoned with seaweed and lemongrass. They are sold as part of a meal for $5.99 and come with two sides, fennel and cabbage with buckwheat sprinkles and mashed potatoes.
Ikea officials say the addition is part of the company’s “ongoing effort to provide a larger variety of healthy and more sustainable food options.”
Stores already sell other salmon products, including salmon fillets, cured salmon, cold smoked and hot smoked salmon.
The company saw potential for the salmon balls in the small pieces of fish that couldn't be used as fillets, said Sabrina Anania-Stepanian, a product developer with Ikea food services in a statement.
“We worked closely with our suppliers, optimized the process and together created a new, tasty (m)eatball that also has a lower carbon footprint,” she said.
Before launching in the U.S. this week, the salmon balls were tested in Ikea restaurants in Portugal this spring and "got fantastic feedback," Anania-Stepanian said, adding 80 percent of guests who tried them liked them and almost 90 percent of customers "appreciated the salmon balls as a more sustainable option."
Ikea introduced the veggie balls and chicken meatballs in 2015, and officials say the new option helps meet the “food and taste preferences of the many people – vegetarians, flexitarians, seafood lovers and classic meatball fans.”
And fish fans, don't worry. Ikea says these balls aren't a limited-time item and plans to offer them in stores' Swedish Food Market so customers can take them home.
Kelly Tyko is a consumer columnist and retail reporter for Treasure Coast Newspapers and TCPalm.com, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK. Read her Bargainista tips at TCPalm.com/Bargainista, follow her on Twitter @KellyTyko and email her email@example.com.
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