By Lizzy Buczak

IKEA is famous for two things – furniture and Swedish meatballs.

Those Swedish meatballs are so popular, the retailer is actually considering opening a few standalone cafes.

“We’ve always called the meatballs ‘the best sofa-seller,'” Gerd Diewald told Fast Company. “Because it’s hard to do business with hungry customers. When you feed them, they stay longer, they can talk about their [potential] purchases and they make a decision without leaving the store. That was the thinking right at the beginning.”

At first, IKEA’s managers didn’t realize the food was such a selling point until they crunched the numbers and realized that they were making more money than other food companies on something as basic as meatballs.

According to Fast Company, in 2013 IKEA Food made about $1.5 billion is annual sales.

The eateries have been recently redesigned to offer healthier options including chicken and vegan Swedish meatballs.

At this time, no plans for standalone cafe’s have been made.

“IKEA Food is continuously thinking of how to meet the growing interest in food among consumers and find ways to meet them where they are. While we have experimented with new ways of enjoying IKEA food – including through pick-up points and pop up restaurant events in London, Paris and Toronto – no decisions on standalone restaurants have been made at this time,” IKEA said in a statement.

Would you eat at a standalone cafe? Or are the meatballs only good when you’re taking a break from furniture shopping?



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