Ikea is as well known for its Swedish meatballs as it is for its flat pack furniture, selling over 11.6 billion of them since it first opened to British customers in 1987.
Now it seems the company are preparing to take advantage of this market and are considering opening stand-alone restaurants.
Speaking to Fast Company Michael La Cour, managing director of Ikea Food, said the popularity of Ikea's food range was something the company had missed before: "This might sound odd, but it's almost something we didn't notice.
"But when I started putting the numbers into context of other food companies, suddenly I could see, well, it really is not that small." Ikea Food reported annual sales of around $1.5 billion (£1.1 billion) in 2013.
Gerd Diewald, head of Ikea's food operations in America, added: "We've always called the meatballs 'the best sofa-seller' because it's hard to do business with hungry customers.
"When you feed them, they stay longer, they can talk about their [potential] purchases, and they make a decision without leaving the store. That was the thinking right at the beginning."
The Ikea menu has proved so popular over the years, the company has been forced to diversify it to cater to different diets. In 2015 vegetarian meatballs made from chickpeas were added to the menu after petitions from campaigners.
Research has also found that 30 per cent of Ikea Food's customers visit the store with no intention of buying furniture, but just to eat. Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant-industry analyst at NPD Group, told Fast Fortune that this is because "it's an experience just going there, and that's what people are looking for in a restaurant meal these days."
Because of this, the company are now considering opening Ikea restaurants outside of the traditional store.
La Cour said: "The mere fact that we don't need so many square feet to do a café or a restaurant makes it interesting by itself. I firmly believe there is potential. I hope in a few years our customers will be saying, 'Ikea is a great place to eat and, by the way, they also sell some furniture."
This isn't the first time Ikea have considered branching out into the restaurant industry.
Last year Ikea opened a pop-up restaurant in Shoreditch, offering customers the chance to make a meal for up to 20 friends, and a cafe where diners were able to purchase the meatballs.