IKEA has launched a new plant-based soft-serve at its in-store restaurants. The strawberry soft-serve, which is made with a fruit purée base, is currently only available in Europe but will be coming to the States this summer.
IKEA first tested the new product at the Haven festival in Copenhagen last year.
“In the past month we have been working closely with our supplier to find both the right taste and the perfect texture for this new soft ice," Sandra Lindh, Commercial Manager IKEA Food Services AB, said in a statement. "Our ambition was to create a plant-based treat that is as soft, airy and delicious as our popular dairy-based soft ice. It's an easy, affordable and delicious treat for customers that either need or want to skip dairy products and prefer plant-based food options."
"It’s a taste that is appreciated by many people globally," Mertes Banchereau tells Forbes. "Berries, in general, are very Swedish and strawberries are a real taste of Swedish summer."
Stores will be encouraged to sell the soft-serve in vegan cones, but some may opt instead for a paper cup.
This is not the first plant-based item to join IKEA’s menu. IKEA launched a vegan hot dog last year, and it transitioned all of its vanilla ice cream at IKEA Malaysia to a soy-based vegan version last summer.
IKEA also plans to continue to expand its vegan product lines, with other plant-based soft serve options in the works, including flavors made with soy or oats, according to Plant-Based News.
Plant-based foods have been shown to drastically reduce the risk of certain health problems including heart disease and diabetes, while also contributing far less to climate change than their meat- and dairy-based counterparts. One report published last year in Our World in Data indicated that a widespread transition to a plant-based diet would feed the world’s growing population more effectively.
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