Yum?! IKEA’s Now Making 3D-Printed Vegan Meatballs

When one thinks of IKEA, one of two things generally comes to mind: furniture and meatballs. Almost as much as their Billy bookcases and unreasonably complicated assembly manuals, IKEA is synonymous with Swedish meatballs. But while their classic meatball has fans spanning the globe, the Swedish furniture store is giving its meatball a little sibling. A 3D-printed vegan sibling, that is. And the furniture company plans to unveil these hybrid meatballs at job interviews for employee candidates.

You see, this particular meatball demonstrates where the classic IKEA snack meets innovative greatness. (We first saw this at DesignTAXI.) Or so I imagine is the general conceit. The 3D-printed meatball comes as part of its new recruitment endeavor, cleverly called Taste the Future. So how does this relate to the company’s actual bread and butter? (Furniture, not tasty albeit sometimes divisive snacks.)

You see, IKEA sums up its global mission through the lens of its iconic treat.  “Everything starts out small,” the IKEA recruitment site says. “Like the iconic IKEA meatball.” From a simple Swedish meatball, the furniture store’s staple snack has ballooned globally, with stores all over the world offering their own takes on the sequel. Even the meatless option which, per IKEA features “great small price tag and a smaller climate footprint.” That’s certainly forward-thinking, both stylistically and environmentally.

IKEA's 3D-printed vegan Swedish meatballs

Admittedly, the above image of the vegan meatball mid-3D-printing doesn’t look the most appetizing. But can your 3D-printer make meatballs? Ours can’t either.

Here’s what IKEA’s Taste the Future endeavor calls for:

At IKEA, we aim to make healthy and sustainable choices affordable and accessible for all. To make that happen, we need people with imagination. People who know that everyone has a right to feel at home. People who share our vision of a better everyday life. Together we’ll innovate the future of life at home through data, technology, retail and home furnishing know-how. We need future architects, down-to-earth data scientists, unboxed engineers, cyber guardians, common sense makers and more!

Sounds like the Swedish furniture maker has some exciting plans on the horizon. That’s one small step for Swedish meatballs, one giant leap for sustainable furniture. We love to see IKEA bringing this kind of innovation to the forefront. Although, I must say, to anyone who tries a 3D-printed vegan meatball, please reach out to let us know how it tastes.

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