IKEA is widely known for two main things: inexpensive, functional design and meatballs. And while those meatballs are pretty good, we think there’s something else in the store’s grocery section that people should be talking about. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that there’s something you should never leave the store without. Any guesses?
The answer: IKEA chocolate!
IKEA’s chocolate selection is a serious treasure trove of cheap, Scandi-inspired treats. The retailer carries a mix of classic bars and creative flavors, but at a fraction of high-end chocolate prices. And chefs approve, too: “I used to get the cheap chocolate bars at IKEA, mostly because my kids couldn’t tell the difference between those and higher-end chocolate,” says Einat Admonay, chef and owner of Balaboosta. IKEA chocolate might not be in the same camp as the single-origin, hand-ground, artisanal stuff, but the company does ensure sustainable farming practices for their cacao farmers.
And, hey, having a little chocolate on hand while you’re waiting in line to pay for your new BILLY bookcase can’t hurt. Which ones should you try? These are the top five chocolate treats to grab.
1. BELÖNING Milk Chocolate with Lingonberries Bar, $1.79
What are lingonberries, anyway? They look similar to a cranberry and have an interesting sweet-sour-tart flavor. It’s not a berry you’ll see often in the States, but lingonberry-infused and -flavored products are popular all over Scandinavia. Chef Silvia Barban of LaRina Pastificio & Vino says she seeks out the lingonberry bars at IKEA, explaining that, “You can’t find it anywhere else.” It’s an IKEA-fan favorite, with one online reviewer praising its ability to take “taste buds on a nonstop first class flight to Sweden.”
2. Marabou Daim Chocolate Roll, $3.49
3. BELÖNING Dark Chocolate with Coffee Crunch Bar, $1.79
With 60% cacao, these hit the spot between bitter and sweet. They’re studded with cracked roasted coffee beans for a bit of crunch and just the right amount of buzz. This bar is very highly rated online, with one customer stating simply, “This is my favorite product in the Swedish Food Market. It’s organic, it’s affordable, it’s dark chocolate and it has coffee bits in it. Perfect combo of price and quality.”
4. BELÖNING White Chocolate with Raspberries Bar, $1.79
Okay, chocolate purists, you’re right: White chocolate isn’t technically chocolate. (It’s the fat that’s been separated from the cacao.) But it is delicious, so we’re not going to hear any further arguments about this bar’s presence here. White chocolate is creamy and super sweet — a perfect complement to tart dried raspberries.
5. BELÖNING Milk Chocolate Moose, $4.99
If you’re going to IKEA and not buying a 3-D moose made out of chocolate, honestly what is the point? Like most IKEA products, this one requires assembly when you take it out of the box. But don’t worry: It’s just three pieces and very, very cute.
Have you tried any of the chocolate at IKEA? Tell us about your favorites in the comments below!