Why Does IKEA Sell Food?
IKEA is an unusual company founded by a very thoughtful man. He decided that his customers shouldn’t shop while hungry. For that reason, he started the practice of having a food court in the store. That wasn’t necessarily a new idea; many department stores have tea rooms. However, a food court is less formal.
There is more to this practice than making sure shoppers aren’t hungry. IKEA wants to make sure that all of the customers who want something to eat can get it. That’s not always the case in other restaurants. Vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free items are available. In fact, most dietary needs can be met at the IKEA food court.
The popularity of the foods served has led to more interesting developments. IKEA now sells some of its iconic foods frozen and ready to take home. That way the Swedish meatball fix can be met without having to trek to the store for it.
IKEA bistros are also opening up for those who don’t wish to dine alone. They have the same ambiance as the stores as well as the same foods. These little shops are doing a booming business, in part because they offer better food at better prices than other bistros.
There is always more to why IKEA does something. While having a food court does add more income and prevents shoppers from having to leave due to hunger, it also helps people stay healthy. Both customers and employees eat at these food courts and the offerings are better than most fast food found in the typical food court.
IKEA is committed to sustainable farming and that goes to the food court as well as the rest of the store. All products are sustainably farmed and use products that are free of pesticides, herbicides, and other toxins. Because soy, which is cheap, has some nasty health issues, IKEA does not use it as a filler. Other vegetables cost more but they are healthier choices.
The policy of sustainability is more than just a whim. In order to prevent needless death and increase the warming of the climate, IKEA is committed to reducing its carbon footprint. The vegetable balls offered in the food court are a good example of this.
Beef cattle, which the original Swedish meatballs are made of, have a high carbon footprint. Even though it can be lowered by using grass instead of grain to feed the cattle, it’s still high. Vegetables have a zero carbon footprint and there are no animal products in the veggie balls.
The chicken meatballs are also a part of this commitment. Chickens do still have a carbon footprint but it is lower than that of cattle. Naturally, the company had to make sure there was a market for these products, but they have. These sell wonderfully well and even those who don’t practice a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle enjoy them.