Marking the anniversary of the famous #Gary launch, shoppers rejoice as Sainsbury’s expands FreeFrom ‘cheese alternatives’ offering. New products launching in the Deliciously Freefrom range ahead of Christmas
A year on since the launch of ‘Gary’, a range of milk-free coconut-based alternatives to cheese, the Sainsbury’s Deliciously FreeFrom range has seen significant growth, leading to a Freefrom sales increase of 19%. Achieving overnight internet fame when they launched last year, sales of the cheese alternatives – nicknamed ‘Gary’ – exceeded expectations by 300%.
This autumn, Sainsbury’s is in the process of extending the current range of Deliciously FreeFrom alternatives to cheese. ‘Gary’, who became a social media phenomenon this time last year, will be joined by some brand new products over the next few months. Notably, a festive Deliciously FreeFrom Blue Cheese Style (for those who want to dig into the cheese board on Christmas day) which will be joining Cheddar-style Slices, Cheddar-style with Chives, and branded products Violife Mediterranean Style Block and Violife Prosociano which are now in store. The range already includes Cheddar-style with Caramelised Onion, Greek-style and Wensleydale-style with Cranberries.
Alexa Masterson, Sainsbury’s Product Developer for Deliciously FreeFrom comments: “When ‘Gary’ went viral last year, the positive response from customers was fantastic. It became very clear that the Deliciously FreeFrom range, as well as being a great option for customers with allergies or intolerances, is also increasingly popular with those who choose to avoid certain foods – vegans were among the earliest adopters of our coconut-based alternatives to cheese!”
With one in five Brits now believed to suffer from a food intolerance, Sainsburys aims to offer customers the best range of alternative products through its FreeFrom range. In addition to the milk-free cheese alternatives – Sainsbury’s will also be launching a Deliciously FreeFrom Fruit & Nut choc bar. Beyond own label product development, the team have also worked with exclusive brand White Rabbit, to launch two new pizzas; Wild Babe; and Smokin’ Vegan.
Following an overhaul of the FreeFrom range last year, the Sainsbury’s Deliciously FreeFrom range was expanded to include over 100 products in total across the whole store – including a range of chilled desserts, cheese-alternative products and ready meal options, with the Deliciously FreeFrom Macaroni Cheese-Style becoming an instant hit on social media.
Alexa continues, “Freefrom is a rapidly growing category and we have to be planning for what our customers want now, as well as thinking ahead to what they may want in the next few years. Much of my knowledge of food trends and customer needs is built up through continually listening to what our customers have to say, including social media.