I wasn’t planning on writing a post about Sainsbury’s but after seeing two amazing articles on the store today, I just had to!
The first article highlighted the immense popularity of their newly launched vegan cheese range. https://www.plantbasednews.org/post/vegan-cheese-surpasses-expected-sales-by-300-percent I remember hearing the news of such a mainstream supermarket offering a vegan alternative to my favourite food item and was over the moon! I’m a part of several vegan communities on Facebook and this big news circulated for week with nothing but excitement.
Despite the news pleasing many of us, a rather comical thing happened. For some reason non vegans seem to get very annoyed at vegans using traditional terminology for things that aren’t the real deal. The fact that Sainsbury’s had DARED to call vegan cheese, cheese really got the backs up on a lot of meat eaters!
Facebook is an amazing place for vegan discussion, but this was an A class rant that and I had to include below…
This post instantly went viral. “Call it Gary or something” is exactly what vegans decided to do. I’m not sure how this lady got so offended by using the word cheese, but Gary has a certain catch to it, so thank you! A rare inside joke for vegans now who can all snigger when they say the word Gary.
Cleverly Sainsbury’s saw this post went viral and took full advantage of the comical post. They started to promote the new range as Gary.
Many other big vegan cheese companies jumped on the band wagon and adapted their marketing to promote their own Gary. Naturally, as with all things that go viral on Facebook the memes soon appeared. I’ve included a few of my personal favourites below…
There is a Facebook page dedicated to the memes “It’s not vegan cheese, it’s Gary” that has over 10,000 likes and you can now even buy T-shirts with the slogan. The name changing is not just a UK thing either as it has become a world wide phenomenon.
This was a perfect example of a company using a social media drama to promote their new range, and it worked. An article published today tells of how the vegan cheese sales surpassed expected sales by 300%. No doubt some of this success came down to the online attention achieved by the Gary gate. This goes to show the power social media and the internet can have on the launching of new vegan products, even if it was not the intended plan!
The second article published today shows Sainsbury’s plans to helming customers cut down on their meat consumption. By rearranging their aisles, offering vouchers to those who buy vegetables and putting non meat items next to the real meat.
“Marco Springmann, who leads the Oxford scientists who will work with Sainsbury’s, said: ‘Imbalanced diets, such as diets low in fruits and vegetables, and high in red and processed meat, are responsible for the greatest health burden globally and in most regions.”
Veganism is no longer an issue of ethics but of health, and more people and companies seem to be picking up on this. Along with health it is essential to look at the environmental effects of farming animals. The dramatic increase in vegetarians and vegans in the country has led to a wider range of alternatives in superstores. It is no longer dedicated vegans cutting out meat put online trends such as #meatfreemonday and going dairy free are meaning meat eaters are cutting down on their consumption.
The success of Sainsbury’s vegan range and potential changes just goes to show the advances that are being made for the lifestyle change. It also shows the power that social media can have on promoting new ranges as well as veganism in general.