A vegan cheesemaker has gone into triple overtime to meet demand for its product, Plant Based News can reveal.
Applewood Vegan - created by Applewood in collaboration with VBites, the vegan food company run by Heather Mills, launched in Asda in September 2019 and instantly smashed sales targets, even overtaking sales of its traditional dairy counterpart at one point.
Almost half (40 percent) of Asda stores stocking the cheese sold out on day one of the launch. Since then, Applewood Vegan has won multiple awards, gone viral on social media, and seen an 87 percent increase in distribution.
"We developed a social media pre-launch campaign to ignite interest from former Applewood consumers who were now trying to follow a vegan diet," Norseland Senior Brand Manager, Lisa Harrison, told PBN.
"We gave samples to key influencers and vegan publications, including Plant Based News, Veganuary and the Vegan Society, to create interest before the product hit shelves.
"And therefore, the best possible of all publicity happened – word of mouth among consumers. And the word in the mouths of those consumers was 'delicious'."
Demand for the product was so beyond expectations after the launch, Applewood emailed Heather Mills saying 'please, we will take as much product as you can make as soon as you can make it'. Mills' VBites factory went on triple-shift overtime to cope.
Mills herself has praised the cheese, saying: "It's dairy-free, but it's packed with the taste that vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians want in their sandwiches and lunch boxes.
"And because it melts wonderfully but still keeps its flavor, it's perfect for all sorts of dishes from toasties, pizzas, and pasta to baked potatoes and cheesy nachos and even fondue.
"At last, for those thinking of changing their diet because of environmental, health, and ethical concerns, there's no need to worry any longer that you'll miss the taste of cheese."