United Kingdom-based grocery chain Sainsbury’s reported that sales of its vegan cheeses surpassed the company’s predictions by 300 percent. The market launched its own line of five vegan coconut milk-based cheeses (under the brand FreeFrom) last October, and received widespread media attention due to a Facebook post promoting the new line. During that time, one Facebook commenter wrote a 1000-word response insisting that “cheese cannot be made with coconuts,” and instead suggested it be called “Gary or something,” prompting a viral social media campaign to rename all vegan cheeses “Gary.” Sainsbury got in on the joke and photoshopped their labels to read “Gary by Sainsbury,” which fueled the reported success of their cheeses. In addition to booming vegan cheese sales in 2016, UK residents embraced vegan options at the flagship all-vegetarian location of eatery Pret a Manger, which reported a 70 percent increase in profits since its launch last year.
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