Tokyo-based food tech Next Meats is collaborating with home furnishing giant IKEA Japan to debut a brand new plant-based dish to customers. The dish, made from IKEA’s plant-based curry and Next Meat’s flagship soy-based beef alternative, will be available in select IKEA stores in the country as part of a Sustainable Food Fair.
Partnering with the Swedish furniture giant, Japanese startup Next Meats’ plant-based beef will now be available in a new curry dish landing in select IKEA Japan stores across the country. The dish features IKEA’s plant-based curry sauce and Next Meats’ vegan gyudon – a version of the Japanese staple beef bowl made from soy protein and without any additives.
Next Meats has described its gyudon as “perfectly replicat[ing] the texture as well as the addictive sweet and savory flavour of the real thing” and “very popular among vegans and meat-eaters alike”.
The collaboration will see the new plant-based beef bowl available for 799 JPY (US$7.34) in nine IKEA Japan stores starting from May 20 and running until July 11, as part of IKEA’s pop-up Sustainable Food Fair. Plant-based dishes are far more environmentally-friendly than animal-based dishes, eliminating the need for resource and carbon-intensive livestock farming.
Given the footprint of animal-based foods, IKEA has placed plant-based products at the centre of its sustainability strategy and recent pledge to “go fully circular” by 2030. It has previously committed to making at least 50% of its in-store restaurant menu plant-based by 2025 and launched a new vegan “plant ball”, which has just 4% of the carbon footprint compared to its traditional animal-based Swedish meatballs.
“The upcoming collaboration at IKEA Japan’s Sustainable Food Fair is one that reflects both IKEA and Next Meats’ strong stance on introducing consumers to a more sustainable lifestyle,” said the firms in a press statement announcing the launch.
Tokyo-based Next Meats added that it hopes to “encourage more people to try plant based products and understand the dire connection between animal agriculture and environmental destruction”.
Since its products first landed on the market in 2020, Next Meats has extended its product range with alternatives for yakiniku-style vegan meats. In November, the company debuted vegan harami and kalbi – two different types of grilled or barbecued beef cuts that are popular in Japanese cuisine – made with a base of soy protein and without additive ingredients.
Having established a foothold within the Japanese market, the startup is now actively pursuing its global ambitions, most recently expanding to Singapore and plans to launch in North America, Southeast Asia and Europe in the future.
“We plan to research various types of alternative proteins in the future and aim to replace all animal meats by 2050,” said Next Meats.
Lead image courtesy of Next Meats / IKEA Japan / designed by Green Queen Media.