Ikea is swapping Swedish meatballs for samosas in its India stores

By Melissa Locker

June 12, 2018

Ikea is bringing its big blue box stores to India, but it’s not packing any of its Swedish meatballs.

According to Reuters, as Ikea prepares to open its first store in the city of Hyderabad next month, it’s revamping its menu for local tastes. In India, that means leaving its beef meatballs off the menu in recognition of Hindi beliefs. Instead, it will serve chicken and veggie balls, and offer biryani, samosas, and veggie hotdogs—making all the other Ikeas jealous.

It’s not just the food menu that Ikea needs to adapt to local taste. Ikea visited over 800 homes to see how Indians live and will reflect that in their store offerings, targeting apartment dwellers in Mumbai and homeowners in Hyderabad. It’s also developing a firmer mattress that has “a coconut layer” in it to make it cooler in the heat.

Ikea has reportedly bought land in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Gurugram, and is looking to expand into five other markets: Surat, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, and Pune.