sainsbury's gary

Sainsbury’s is expanding its famed range of ‘Gary’ vegan cheeses following an explosion in sales.

The supermarket has unveiled three Deliciously Free From own-label cheese alternatives - blue cheese-style, cheddar-style slices and cheddar-style with chives - and two branded products, Violife Mediterranean Style Block and Violife Prosociano.

The expansion of Sainsbury’s dairy-free cheese section comes after its own-label product, better known as ‘Gary’, went viral last October.

A cheese connoisseur expressed outrage on Facebook over the product having the same name as its dairy counterparts. “Call it Gary or something, don’t call it cheese because it’s not cheese!” the post read.

The Sainsbury’s Twitter account said it had listened to customer feedback and posted a mocked-up picture of its free-from range branded as ‘Gary’.

The response was retweeted 1,500 times and liked 2,500 times in the space of two days.

Sainsbury’s revealed sales had exceeded expectations by 300% since the social media attention.

“When ‘Gary’ went viral last year, the positive response from customers was fantastic,” said Alexa Masterson, Sainsbury’s product developer for Deliciously FreeFrom.

“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!”