IKEA Takes Its Assemble-It-Yourself Approach Into Food Prep

If there’s one thing IKEA has trained its shoppers to do, it’s to obediently follow directions to pull something together. Of course, some of the global furniture chain’s printed directions are easier to follow and than others. And some of them are confusing enough to shake the foundations of even the strongest relationships. (I’m looking at you, Hemnes dresser.)

Now IKEA’s assemble-it-yourself culture has broadened beyond furniture and into the realm of cooking. IKEA Canada recently teamed up with the advertising firm Leo Burnett to introduce a line of “fill-in-the-blank” graphic recipes printed with food-safe ink on poster-sized bakeable parchment paper.

The quasi-DIY, step-by-step, clearly illustrated recipes in the “Cook This Page Parchment Paper Recipe Series” all call for an IKEA ingredient — packaged frozen salmon or Swedish meatballs sold in the stores’ grocery section, for instance. The ingredient images act not only as a visual cue, but as an additional measurement guide, as well. So basically, you lay out each ingredient (fish, lemon, spices) in the appropriate proportion in the designated space, roll it all up in the parchment paper, put it in the oven and — voila! — dinner.

Leo Burnett Toronto creative directors Anthony Chelvanathan and Steve Persico said in an interview printed on Leo Burnett’s website that their goal was to make cooking “better, easier and more creative” and to demystify experimenting with new recipes.

The posters were introduced at in-store events across Canada a few months back. Customers were allowed to take them home and, according to Leo Burnett, “All 12,500 parchment paper recipes available in 18 locations were snatched up within hours.”

Not surprising. There’s something seriously cool about this idea.

Now we just have to wait for people to start sharing their ingenious IKEA printed recipe hacks …

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Photo courtesy of @leoburnett

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