Ikea made meatballs for insects

An environmental campaign in Denmark turns the iconic item into bug food called Swedish Seedballs

Published On
May 01, 2022

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Ikea’s meatballs can be a welcome end to an often daylong trip to one of the brand’s superstores. But the company announced that its newest version of its meatballs aren’t for its human consumer–they’re for the bugs.

The retailer’s new meatball, launched in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature, or WWF, is made of wildflower seeds, clay and soil. The “Swedish seedball” is intended to help protect endangered insects in Denmark that are hurt by lawns and their lack of biodiversity. 

The balls are limited-edition and only available to Ikea members, who can purchase and plant the balls in pots or in their lawns to grow flowers and plants, including chamomile and poppies. After sales end, the brand will release a guide on its Denmark website to make the balls at home. 

The campaign, launched in Denmark, is part of the broader “Denmark’s wild gardens” initiative created as a collaboration between the retailer’s and WWF’s Danish arms. The company announced a renewal of its then-20 year old partnership with WWF in 2021, to go until 2025.

Robert/Boisen & Like-minded of Denmark is the agency behind the effort.

“From nature’s perspective lawns are like deserts,” wrote Heinrich Vejlgaard, creative director at the agency, in a statement. “We wanted to challenge the Danes’ love of lawns, and provide them with a fun way to start rewilding their gardens.”

This isn’t the first campaign featuring Ikea’s well-known meatballs: the brand launched a recruitment spot showing a 3-D printed meatball in February to appeal to applicants with data and science backgrounds. 

The company has also placed emphasis on its environmental actions. After a campaign in the early 2000s encouraging people to buy and replace products more frequently, the company has since released more environmentally-friendly ads that include a Canadian campaign in April 2021 focusing on how individual actions can make a broader environmental difference.  The company also launched a buyback program in October 2020, although the U.S. was not included. The brand cited a “country decision” as a reason for the lack of participation.

Also, Ikea announced its intention to go carbon positive by 2030, but according to a report by the New Climate Institute, the brand–along with other companies such as Amazon and Unilever–is not on track to live up to these claims.