Sometimes a company can find its next growth engine in surprising places, if it just looks at its business creatively enough.
Over the past several years, Ikea’s food division—which also includes the Swedish Food Market (where you can buy everything from jars of herring to make-at-home versions of the restaurant menu)—has proved to be much more than just a tool to move more Vittsjö TV stands.
By focusing on this formerly unloved division, and locking into prevailing trends around ethically sourced ingredients and healthier options, Ikea has turned food into one of its fastest-growing segments. The company is now considering the next phase of this unexpected revenue generator, and it might even expand into stand-alone cafés in city centers.
Ikea Food had annual sales of about $1.5 billion in 2013.
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