Come for the flat-pack furniture, leave after eating a plateful of meatballs.

Yes IKEA’s Swedish cuisine – and especially its meatballs – have become a culinary legend at its in-store cafés and in the process have accrued something of a cult following as a result.

But Ingka Centres, part of the Ingka Group – which includes IKEA Retail and Ingka Investments – has unveiled a new global food and beverage concept, Saluhall, where meat barely gets a mention.

Named after the Scandinavian-style market hall, Saluhall will offer F&B “with a Nordic twist”, and be predominantly plant-based, according to Stéphane Keulian, F&B concept development leader at Ingka Centres.

Last week’s launch of the Saluhall concept builds on Ingka Centres’ recent track record of innovative investments in new space uses, including the Circuit sustainability concept and Hej!Workshop co-working space in Sweden, and Light by Livat work-and-live units in China.

Saluhall will require all its vendors to subscribe to a manifesto and guiding principles that favour plant-based options, regenerative agriculture, seasonal and local ingredients.

Ingka Applies 80, 60, 40, Zero Rule

The menu will be 80% plant-based at launch, 60% of the participants will be local operators, 40% of what’s on offer will be Nordic inspired cuisine and with zero waste to landfill and zero single-plastic usage.

With a nod to its plans for developments in India, Saluhall will also be Ingka Centres’ first food hall concept that will not sell beef.


Keulian says: “Saluhall is inspired by the New Nordic Food Manifesto movement that began nearly 20 years ago but rather than fine dining, we want this to be accessible to all. We are looking to add the concept to our growing number of urban centres and the format is flexible and can operate from spaces of 800 sq ft to 2,500 sq ft.”

And that’s the key. These are not – as yet anyway – intended for the large out-of-town stores for which IKEA became synonymous, but rather its growing portfolio of city center stores and malls, of which the Livat centre in Hammersmith, west London, was the first earlier this year.

As the company opens more IKEA-anchored malls and standalone IKEA stores, so the new food concept will roll out.

Given the current build program, that must make the San Francisco 6X6 building in California a likely candidate to see the debut of the food hall concept, as the mixed use urban project moves towards completion.

Each Saluhall will reflect the four cornerstones of Nordic street food – bakery, beer, burgers and ice-cream (what’s not to like?), adapted to match local tastes and locations. An on-site cookery school will be open to all, and at the end of every day surplus food will be delivered to local people in need.

“We want to bring a little bit of Nordic cuisine and culture to everywhere,” says Keulian. “We believe the concept will help attract new customers and reflects our ambition to do things a little differently and bring something new and vibrant to customers.”


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