With 50 retail locations in the United States and hundreds worldwide, IKEA furniture is found in homes around the globe. In fact, they are the world’s largest furniture producer. What many might not know however is that five percent of IKEA’s sales actually come from food – and a lot of it is vegan. That’s not by accident. In recent years, IKEA has introduced plant-based alternatives to many of its menu items, from vegan hotdogs to dairy-free ice cream, in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint.
So it should go without saying that my favorite place to shop when I go to IKEA is not the showroom, it’s the food market. It is a vegan treasure trove! They sell so many vegan items that are absolutely delicious and only available at IKEA. Don’t worry about pronouncing the names, just enjoy them! Here are my favorites:
1. Vegan Meatballs
I am not joking when I say these are my FAVORITE vegan meatballs on the market! Aside from some pea protein, IKEA’s veggie meatballs are literally just made from vegetables like chickpeas, carrots, and kale. They are seriously packed with flavor. They come frozen and all you have to do to prepare them is heat them up in the oven. They go great in a pasta dish or eat them with gravy and mashed potatoes like we did this week. So good!
2. Kex Cookies
I am obsessed with these! They kind of taste like a cinnamon version of animal crackers. These could also double for graham crackers so I could see using these to make a pie crust or in s’mores.
3. Crispy Bread
IKEA was founded in Sweden and my husband was founded in Finland. As they are neighboring countries, some of the food is very similar. One thing I’ve learned they do really well in the nordic countries is BREAD! Think dark ryes, hearty rolls, and crispy wheat. I love all of it! These crispy rolls are great with hummus or Miyoko’s cheese. They also pair well with jam and nut butters.
Berries are another big thing in Scandinavia. They grow wild almost everywhere. Over the summer, my husband and his siblings used to venture into the woods and go berry picking when they were kids. Hence, jam is super popular. At the IKEA market you can find familiar flavors like strawberry and blueberry, but they also have jams made from Scandinavian fruits like cloudberry and lingonberry. Give them a try!
5. Fried Onions
I’m pretty sure you can find fried onions at a traditional supermarket, but I had to include them here because I practically buy these in bulk. I love sprinkling these on top of salads or in rice/quinoa bowls. They add so much flavor.
6. Vegan Caviar
OK, so I know I said these are “my favorites” at the top but I lied. This product is definitely not my thing. I’m only recommending it because I thought it was so cool that IKEA does vegan caviar. I was never a caviar person (is anybody?) but if you love caviar, these might be for you. My husband grew up eating caviar and said this product mostly just tastes salty to him.
Sadly, a lot of gummy candy in the U.S. is made with gelatin. If you don’t already know, gelatin is actually made from ground up animal bones. Blech. Most of the candy at IKEA is gelatin-free and they’re proud of it! The Sour Viking candy (on the right) even says VEGAN in bold at the top of the package.
8. Ginger Thin Cookies
These are SO good! They remind me a little of the Speculoos cookies from Trader Joe’s or Anna’s ginger cookies (also from Sweden and also vegan). They’re kind of like a thin gingersnap. Delicious!
9. Shortbread Cookies with Raspberry Filling
Another GREAT cookie from IKEA that happens to be vegan. These buttery cookies have raspberry jam in the center. Very good.
10. Organic Oat Smoothies
These oat-based smoothies are tasty, filling, and organic. They are the perfect quick snack for when you’re having a busy day and don’t have time to eat. They’re also great an hour or two before working out.
11. Organic Whole Grain Mustard
I can’t speak for Sweden, but I do know that mustard is a very big deal in Finland. This stuff is good – it kinda reminds me of the stoneground mustard you can buy at the supermarket. I just wish they had more varieties cause the mustards I’ve had in Finland (just next door to Sweden) are INSANE!
12. Müsli Cereal
I really like this stuff. I mean, you can definitely get something similar at the supermarket but I like that IKEA’s musli has berries and pumpkin seeds (pumpkin seeds are actually a great source of omega-3s). Additionally, one serving only has three grams of sugar.
As I was waiting to check out, I noticed they were advertising their restaurant menu items on the monitor above the register. Look at that amazing price for two veggie dogs and a drink! It might be good to plan a lunch before or after you go shopping!