Global retailer Ikea has introduced new Aquaculture Stewardship Council-certified salmon meatballs to its U.S.-based stores, with plans to expand the offerings to other international markets soon.
Sweden-based Ikea, which operates restaurants in its home furnishings stores, first tested the “salmon balls” in Portugal, and then added them to its U.S. stores’ restaurants this fall.
Ikea stores also offer responsibly-sourced salmon fillets, cured salmon, cold smoked salmon, and hot smoked salmon.
In its U.S. salmon ball rollout, announced via YouTube, Ikea said that its unnamed, “carefully selected” suppliers provide ASC-certified salmon “from the icy fjords of northern Norway.”
“Sustainability is as important to them as it is to us. We want to provide our customers healthier and responsibly-sourced food,” the retailer said.
To minimize waste, Ikea worked closely with its suppliers.
“For the product development of the salmon balls, we looked at processing of salmon and realized that there is a lot of potential in other parts of this fantastic fish, the smaller pieces that cannot be used as fillets,” said Sabrina Anania-Stepanian, product developer for Ikea Food Services AB, in a press release. “We worked closely with our suppliers, optimized the process and together created this tasty source of protein with a lower carbon footprint.”
Seasoned with seaweed and lemongrass, the product “captures the fresh taste of cold Nordic sea in a tasty ball,” the company said in a statement earlier this year.
During the test of the salmon balls in Portugal, more than 80 percent of restaurant guests who tried them said they liked them and almost 90 percent of customers appreciated the salmon balls as a more sustainable option, according to Ikea.
“The longer-term ambition is to introduce the salmon balls in more markets and also in the Swedish Food Market to give customers the opportunity to enjoy them at home,” Ikea said in the release.