IKEA is making innovative 3D-printed vegan meatballs as part of a unique recruitment drive

Author: Rachel Smith

Read Time:   |  3rd February 2022

To find candidates with the imagination required to help it meet its sustainability goals, IKEA is serving 3D-printed vegan meatballs in job interviews.

What does a major global company do when it wants to attract top talent to help it reach its sustainability goals? It serves them 3D-printed vegan meatballs of course!

Hoping to fill key data and technology roles in Europe, IKEA has come up with a novel idea to test who has the imagination required to work for the brand.

Candidates will be invited to share their ideas for innovation as they discuss their ideas over a plate of 3D-printed vegan versions of the chain’s iconic meatballs.

According to the company, its “Taste the Future” campaign ‘aims to entice a diverse and extraordinary range of tech talent through a unique, tasty and thought-provoking job interview’.

IKEA’s hiring campaign launches a week after the furniture giant announced that it was on track to become climate positive by 2030.

To test their imagination, candidates will be served IKEA’s 3D-printed vegan meatballs in job interviews. Image credit: IKEA.

To test their imagination, candidates will be served IKEA’s 3D-printed vegan meatballs in job interviews. Image credit: IKEA.

Vegan meatballs

Using the latest innovation in 3D food printing technology, IKEA has been able to ‘recreate the texture, flavour and appearance of the IKEA meatball without the meat.’

However, if you were hoping to try IKEA’s 3D-printed vegan meatballs for yourself, sadly you’ll have to wait for now as currently they are an experiment designed for this recruitment campaign

But worry not because you can find IKEA’s vegan meatballs on the menu at its in-store restaurants where they are served with mashed potatoes, lingonberries, and cream sauce.

The Plant Balls are also available in the store’s Swedish Food Markets in the frozen section where you can grab a bag to enjoy at home.

‘Create a better everyday life’

Explaining why IKEA is serving up prospective employees 3D-printed vegan meatballs, Inter IKEA Group CIO Pascal Pauwels said: “IKEA is at the start of a journey to embrace data and technology to become more affordable, accessible and sustainable in an omnichannel environment.

“Naturally people with imagination will play a big role in that quest. So here we’re looking for people who want to create a better everyday life with us. This campaign is a great way to start the conversation.”

“We’re looking for down-to-earth data scientists, future architects, cyber guardians, unboxed engineers and common sense-makers. People who want to co-create a better everyday life at home for the many with thin wallets,” added Karen Rivoire, IKEA Employer Brand Leader.

IKEA’s plant-based menu pledge

As part of its ambitious sustainability drive, IKEA has pledged to make its in-store menu 50% plant-based by the year 2025.

Already on the menu is a veggie hot dog which is actually cheaper than its meat counterpart, as well as the iconic veggie Swedish meatballs and even dairy-free soft serve.

In addition to this, IKEA will be making 80% of all their packaged food plant-based in a bid to become more climate positive by 2030.

Subsequently, the Swedish chain hopes that this plant-based shift will inspire more people to choose healthier and more sustainable options at IKEA

IKEA has added a number of plant-based dishes to its menu in recent years, including vegan soft-serve ice cream.

IKEA has added a number of plant-based dishes to its menu in recent years, including vegan soft-serve ice cream.

IKEA’s sustainability target

The flat-pack furniture giant has also been focusing on phasing out all single-use plastic products from its stores and restaurants amid growing concern about the effects of plastic on the environment.

In 2018, IKEA announced plans to phase out plastic straws, plates, cups, freezer bags, bin bags, and plastic-coated paper plates and cups.

As of January 2020, the Swedish furniture chain met its goal of phasing out single-use plastics and is aiming to ensure all its plastic products are made using recycled materials.

By 2030, IKEA aims to replace all plastic used in its products with alternatives made from renewable or recycled materials. It has invested in a plastics recycling plant to help push the plan forward.

Got a craving for meatballs now?

Make yourself an epic vegan meatball sub!

Written by

Rachel Smith

Having launched the brand's digital presence in 2015, Rachel shares her love for animals and the planet through her work as Vegan Food & Living’s Digital Editor. As a passionate vegan for over eight years, Rachel loves creating delicious vegan dessert recipes for her award-winning blog, Rawberry Fields. Rachel's recipes and photography have been featured in numerous international print and digital publications including the Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Thrive, and Buzzfeed. You can follow Rachel at @rawberryfields

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