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Chicken and veg offerings to replace IKEA’s trademark beef and pork meatballs in India


NEW DELHI: The world’s biggest furniture retailer IKEA is also a top restaurateur, and its characteristically Swedish menu helps sustain the stamina of shoppers at the giant DIY stores.

The retailing format and the famed food mart will also come to India, but the bill of fare will have a pronounced desi flavour — chicken and veg replacing IKEA’s trademark beef and pork meatballs.

IKEA is preparing to open its first store in Hyderabad next spring with a shopping area spread over 400,000 sq ft. The facility will house the largest restaurant for IKEA anywhere, with seating capacity running into four figures.

“Hyderabad is a foodie city and we will absolutely have biryanis — both vegetarian and non-vegetarian,” said John Achillea, the IKEA veteran appointed as store manager for the first outlet in India. “We respect the faiths in India and our meatballs have pork and beef, so we won’t bring that to India.”

IKEA said half its menu at the restaurant will comprise vegetarian options, including idli, sambar, samosa and vegetable biryani. Needless to say, for IKEA’s fastexpanding foods division, the India store will offer the most extensive vegetarian menu.

Food is a substantial chunk of business for IKEA globally. The company sold food worth $1.8 billion out of its total revenue of $36.5 billion in 2016.


We have hired an Indian chef and he is helping us with the right blend. The outcome is Swedish in style, with an Indian taste,” IKEA India CEO Juvencio Maeztu said in an interview in New Delhi on Monday. He added that more than 80% of the food products would be sourced locally.

IKEA received government approval in 2013 to invest Rs 10,500 crore — the most in retail in the country — for 25 hyper stores that will sell everything from home items to furniture. The Hyderabad store will have 800 employees against the IKEA global average of about 500 people per store, as the outlet will also employ delivery and installation staff.

“We want to own some services internally in our stores such as delivery, assembly and installation. We will do that solely internally. That is why we are hiring 150 more to begin with,” said Achillea.

Source: Economic Times

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