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10 Secrets You Didn’t Know About IKEA Food Courts

You already know that IKEA is a great place to find practical furniture for the home, as well as a range of home accessories, from kitchen gear to bedding and beyond. What you may not know is the top 1o secrets of IKEA food courts. If you’ve enjoyed a hot dog or a heartier meal while hanging out in an IKEA food court, you may wonder just how popular these food courts are, and how IKEA manages to offer so many different menu items for relatively low prices. No matter which questions you have, you’ll find that we have most of the answers. This in-depth look at the untold truths of IKEA food courts is fascinating, factual and fun. Read on to get the inside scoop on food offered by the mammoth Scandinavian furniture company, plus tons of other interesting facts. From Swedish meatballs with Lingonberry jam to salmon prepared the traditional Swedish way to basic franks on buns, this food court caters to the needs of hungry shoppers, before or after they pick out Billy bookcases or other popular IKEA furnishings.

10. Prices Are Low To Keep Customers In The Store

IKEA is a home goods emporium with plenty of money to play with. This mega-company uses some of it to keep the menu items at its food courts affordable. The rationale behind the low prices is that offering affordable food and drink keeps customers hanging around IKEA stores. When they do hang around, they may chat about, or just think about, what they want to buy, if they haven’t bought it already. These chats or thoughts may lead to purchases. A little break at an IKEA food court will give a customer a “second wind” that may lead to another stroll through the store. By creating a pleasant hangout with a lot of reasonably-priced menu items, IKEA makes it so easy for customers to take a break, enjoy some nourishment and hydration and regroup. While every customer who sits down to enjoy a snack or meal in an IKEA food court may not decide to buy IKEA merchandise after they eat, it’s safe to say that many do go back into the stores after their food is finished…and then plunk down cash for furniture or home accessories. IKEA’s food courts are a clever way of keeping customers happy…and keeping them right where they are. Without the food courts, IKEA customers might get tired and leave the huge stores empty-handed, or buy less than they would if they didn’t have a rest and a bite to eat. Aside from affordable prices, these food courts offer a bit of Scandinavian charm that may be a bit of a novelty to customers in America. While some menu items, such as hot dogs, do have an American vibe, other menu items are traditionally Swedish or, at the least, influenced by Sweden.

9. There’s Much To Learn About The Swedish Meatballs

Did you know that three out of ten people who visit IKEA locations are coming in just to get their hands on IKEA food? It’s true. One of the most popular dishes on the IKEA food court menu is Swedish meatballs. These meatballs are quintessential IKEA fare and they’re fun to eat. The classic Swedish meatballs are known as KÖTTBULLAR and they are made of salt, pepper, water, egg, onion, bread crumbs, pork and beef. Provided you’re comfortable with eating meat, you may find the ingredient list for these meatballs reassuring. It’s filled with ingredients that most people use in their home kitchens. It isn’t filled with chemicals and additives. The classic KÖTTBULLAR meatballs have been around since the 80s. They meet the needs of customers, so they’re still being offered. You can gorge on a dozen meatballs and take in just under seven hundred calories, which isn’t too bad, especially when compared to most fast food meals. There was a pretty significant IKEA Swedish Meatball scandal back in 2013. Horse meat was suspected of being present in meatballs sold by IKEA, in European IKEA food courts. Canadian and American IKEA food courts weren’t involved in this scandal. Due to the controversy, IKEA had to remove meatballs from retail locations all over Europe. Despite the scandal, the meatballs are still beloved. They are typically served with steamed veggies, a Lingonberry jam with a sweet taste, a creamy sauce that’s delightfully rich and mashed potatoes. Since the meatballs aren’t made with meat that contains hormones, and ingredients for these yummy spheres are sourced out sustainably, there’s no reason not to indulge. If you’re not a carnivore, don’t worry. This eatery now has some exciting and tasty, meat-free menu item options, which we’ll talk about a little later on in this list.

8. Lingonberry Jam Isn’t Just For Meatballs

Lingonberry jam is available with IKEA food court Swedish Meatballs meals and it’s also available in jars at IKEA locations, to take home. If you decide to buy your own jar of Lingonberry jam, you should know that it’s a versatile condiment. It’s not just for meatballs. You might want to try out your new jam with potato pancakes, or cabbage rolls, or other traditional savory recipes from Sweden. If you want to buy Lingonberries fresh, you should know that they aren’t easy to find in countries other than Sweden. Sometimes, it’s possible to purchase them frozen. These berries grow in the wild in Sweden and they are picked just two months out of the year, during August and September. They taste bitter raw, so most people don’t eat them in berry form. Once the berries are made into jam, with sugar added, they offer a perfect, “sweet, but not too sweet” flavor profile.

7. Cheap Kid’s Meals Are Offered

IKEA definitely markets to families and caters to families. Every IKEA location offers tons of furniture and home accessories that are perfect for growing families, from bunk beds to plush toys and beyond. So, it’s not surprise that kids get VIP treatment at IKEA food courts. To maximize savings, moms and dads may sign up for IKEA Family cards. IKEA Family is a loyalty program which allows IKEA customers to redeem earned points for special deals. Signing up for the IKEA Family program is as easy as visiting the official IKEA website for your country and entering your email address. Even if you don’t have access to special savings through your IKEA family card, you’ll find that feeding your children at an IKEA food court is pretty wallet-friendly. At USA-based IKEA food court locations, children’s meals are available for $2.99 and up. Kids need to be 12 years of age or younger to get these meals. Some of the kid’s meal options are very interesting. They have ingredients that are different from many fast food kid’s meals. For example, the Grilled Chicken meal for children comes with string cheese, strawberries and carrots. Another option is Vegetable Balls, which are offered with a ragout made from spinach and tomato, as well as seasonal veggies and ancient grains. There’s also a Swedish Meatballs meal, which is served with seasonal veggies and mashed potatoes. If your kids are hard-wired to crave Chicken nuggets from restaurants, don’t despair. You can order your child a Chicken Tenders meal with French Fries. While you might be compelled to go with the Chicken Tenders, it’s nice to know that there are several interesting choices for kids, all of which are really affordable.

6. The Breakfasts Offer Good Value For The Money

If you want a good breakfast at an IKEA food court, which is very similar to what you’d get at a local diner, you can get what you want for a low price. IKEA’s food courts are known for providing great breakfasts that are cheap, quick to access and easy to enjoy. The official IKEA Canada website is currently promoting the breakfast menu, which certainly sounds enticing. Choose from Swedish-style crepes served with a medley of berries, or go for sausage, bacon and eggs. If you want something really light, choose an omelette made from egg whites, which has a tasty spinach and goat cheese filling. You’ll also have the option of building your own morning meal, just how you want it. All IKEA food court eggs are made with cage-free farming processes. The eateries also offer sausages made from chicken, which are completely antibiotic free. Menus may vary a bit from country to country. Check your local IKEA to see what’s on offer for breakfast. It’s usually possible to get a delicious breakfast for three bucks, but some breakfast menu items may cost a bit more. Based on the facts presented here so far, IKEA is a great place to grab healthy food that doesn’t bust your budget. If you want a fast food alternative, that’s still very fast to access, spending more time in the IKEA food court, and less time at big fast food chains, may be a smart idea. You may also prefer the quality and price of IKEA food court menu items over mall food court fare. Facts about the purity and healthfulness of IKEA food definitely make the fact that lots of people visit IKEA just for the grub easy to understand. If you didn’t know that IKEA offers breakfast, now you do. So, why not give it a try?

5. The Swedish Gravad Lax Plate Is Authentically Scandinavian

If you want IKEA fare that’s traditionally Swedish, meatballs aren’t the only choice. You may also order a Gravad Lax Plate, which includes salmon that’s been marinated to perfection. The plate comes with a sweet mustard sauce and lettuce. This light and healthy meal is fairly cheap and it’s packed with nutrition, including protein. Gravad Lax is also known as Gravlax and it’s commonplace as a component of Swedish smorgasbords. According to the official website, this dish is a salmon cured with dill, which is perfect alone or as an appetizer. IKEA food courts do have a lot of interesting menu items, which you probably won’t find at other local restaurants, unless you happen to live in Stockholm or another Swedish city. IKEA is a great place to explore new tastes, without spending a fortune. It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in Swedish culture. While hot dogs and chicken tenders aren’t going to stretch you in a culinary sense, the Gravad Lax Plate might. Even the Swedish Meatballs might seem very exotic the first time that you eat them. Salmon served at IKEA restaurants is farmed the responsible way. Shrimp and herring from IKEA are sources from fisheries with sustainable and well-managed business practices. 

4. IKEA Food Courts Are Very Popular In America

IKEA food courts get high marks from American consumers. In fact, the popularity of these food courts in the USA has led to talk that IKEA will develop standalone eateries. In other words, you may be able to go to an IKEA restaurant, without needing to visit a big IKEA megastore filled with flat-packed bed frames, dining room tables and patio furniture. While the standalone restaurants aren’t out there yet, they might be someday. According to an article published at the website during spring of 2017, a rep for IKEA confirmed that the company was exploring the concept of standalone IKEA restaurants. The food court’s meatballs are favorites of USA customers. IKEA food is actually a hit all over the world. Every year, a billion meatballs are sold, which equates to 2.9 million meatballs per day. IKEA’s been in business in the USA for 34 years now. If IKEA VIPs decide to take the plunge and open standalone restaurants, will they raise prices? Since food prices are kept low to keep customers in the store, they company might need to jack up prices a bit at standalone restaurants, just to make sure that they are profitable. It’s been two years since talk of the standalone restaurants surfaced, and there’s still no action from IKEA. Time will tell if standalone eateries are part of this Swedish furniture giant’s business plan for the future. 

3. You Can Buy Packaged Foods To Take Home

Eating in at IKEA is fun, but the food courts are occasionally crowded. If you’d prefer to enjoy IKEA food at home…no problem! IKEA offers plenty of tasty sweet or savory foods that may be purchased in packaged form and then enjoyed, right in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Choose from Lingonberry Jam, meatballs, salmon, mashed potatoes, crisp breads and so much more. Some items are available via IKEA websites. In other words, you can order them online. You’ll also find them for sale at IKEA locations. Items offered may vary from location to location. Some food items are not available online. Look around and see what you can get online. Find the rest at a local IKEA. If this list makes you hungry for IKEA food, you may want to visit an American IKEA location and treat yourself to some take-home SJÖRAPPORT. This hot smoked salmon food product is ASC certified and offered frozen. As of February 2019, it retails for $14.99 per pound. It’s made through a process of “hot smoking” which leaves the fish more cooked than salmon prepared the cold-smoked way. It’s meant to be served in pieces, and has a lot of the same pleasant smokiness as cold-smoked salmon.n, meaning best suitable for being served in pieces, but with a similar smokiness. There are lots of great options. Eating the Scandinavian way can be very healthy. It’s a good way to ensure that you get plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals. It’s also a great way to add variety to your daily diet. Prices for IKEA food may vary based on the country you buy it in.

2. Holiday Meals Get Rave Reviews

Eating special meals during the winter holiday season is so much fun. It’s festive. IKEA offers holiday meals and IKEA food courts have also offered holiday buffets from time to time. When the winter holidays roll around later this year, you may want to drop by a local IKEA food court and see what’s on offer. In Sweden, Christmas dinner is a big deal. It’s the most grand meal of the entire year. Typically, meatballs, salmon, cabbage, herring, crisp breads, cheeses and boiled eggs are served. IKEA honors traditional Swedish Christmas dinners by offering holiday meal options and/or buffets, which have lots of traditional Swedish dishes. In 2017, IKEA hosted a bunch of Christmas buffets for its Canadian clientele, according to the website. The feasts offered all of the goodies that we just talked about, plus gingerbread, ham and plenty of other tasty treats. Customers paid $19.99 for their meals. IKEA Family members were able to eat for bit less, and kids under 12 were able to eat for just $7.99 

1. Vegan Menu Items Are Now Available

These days, a lot of consumers are choose to go meatless, at least sometimes. This is why IKEA now offers a great assortment of vegetarian or vegan menu items. One exciting option is a meatless version of Swedish meatballs. This menu item is called Vegetable Balls. They’re served in a sweet potato and cauliflower sauces, alongside a medley of veggies. Vegan hot dogs were introduced during 2018. These plant-based wieners are crafted from a combination of spices, onion, carrots, kale, quinoa and red lentils. Seasoned with turmeric and ginger, they are a great choice for those who prefer not to eat animal products. Now that you know 10 secrets of IKEA food courts, you’ll understand that this furniture manufacturer is serious about food quality and delivers this quality for prices that are more than fair. It’s good news that IKEA food courts have so much to offer.

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