Occasionally, I’ll head to the edge of Brooklyn and wander through the DIY furniture maze at IKEA just eat lunch at their cafeteria. It’s inconvenient to get to (there are no subways, so you have to pony up for an Uber) and always crowded, but the good food makes the trip worth all the extra hassle.
But at some point in the (probably not) near future, myself and others could have the ability to get IKEA’s version of comfort food delivered straight to our doors. Today IKEA confirmed to Fast Company that it is testing out a food delivery business, not, sadly, in Brooklyn, but in Paris, France.
Spanish publication El Confidencial first got ahold of news that the company was considering an expansion of its food business into homes. According to the Fast Company article, the Paris delivery trial includes IKEA’s so-called Swedish foods, including beets, salmon, cabbage, and salads. Food will be delivered from IKEA’s city center location in Paris.
What’s unclear is if the food will be delivered hot and ready to eat or if it will be a part of IKEA’s frozen food product line, much of which can be delivered just like any other IKEA product. In fact, details about the delivery service are scant all-around. An IKEA spokesperson told Fast Company, “We do not have any further details to share at this point, as we are very early in the process.”
So no, scooters won’t be trolling about the streets of Paris delivering hot plates of Swedish meatball to your doorstep. Not yet, anyway.
This isn’t IKEA’s first foray into same-day food delivery. There’s the aforementioned frozen product line, which you can order like you would a piece of furniture from the company’s website. And at the end of 2018, the company partnered with Uber in the U.K. to deliver for a limited time Swedish meatballs in celebration of an end-of-the-workweek Swedish tradition called Fredagsmys (“cozy Friday”).
IKEA’s food-focused initiatives in general make it clear that the company wants to become more than just a giant blue box of a store that sells DIY furniture. IKEA announced a vegan version of its iconic meatball last month, which it will be trialing in early 2020. The company also has a number of goals in place around reducing food waste, including its Food is Precious initiative, which aims to cut waste in the company’s food operations by 50 percent by the end of the fiscal year 2020.
Supporting all that is IKEA’s ongoing accelerator program, which has had a number of food-related companies participate, in addition to startups doing retail innovation and those trying to create more sustainable containers like coffee cups.
Whether any of these food-related initiatives will tie into a food-delivery business remains to be seen. How the Paris pilot fares should tell us more, and Fast Company reported that if it’s successful IKEA may expand the program to Spain as well as other parts of Europe. That’s a long way off from Brooklyn, but occasionally I can be optimistic, so here’s hoping.