The first major UK's cheese brand to launch a vegan cheese, Applewood, is celebrating a successful first year with sales of Applewood Vegan soaring
Dairy cheese manufacturer Norseland took the vegan world by storm when it released a vegan version of its iconic smoked Applewood cheese in 2019.
In fact, Applewood Vegan proved so popular that it sold out in a single day when it launched and quickly doubled its supermarket listings to keep up the demand.
A year on from its launch, Norseland, which is the UK’s first major cheese brand to launch a vegan cheese alternative, is delighted to reveal that sales of the smoked vegan cheese are booming, so much so in fact that sales of Applewood Vegan now account for a staggering 20% of the total UK sales of Applewood.
Demand is showing no signs of slowing down either as sales of Applewood Vegan have increased by 16% month on month since July 2020 and recent research from Alertr.co.uk showed that since April, online searches for Applewood Vegan have increased by 150% making it the second most searched for vegan product in the UK.
Reflecting on the success of the vegan cheese on its first anniversary in a statement sent to Vegan Food & Living, Lisa Harrison, senior brand manager for Applewood Vegan, said: “It’s been a great year for Applewood Vegan. We had high hopes for the launch as in blind taste tests with vegans, conducted by Wirral Sensory Services, Applewood Vegan ticked all the boxes and scored significantly higher than other smoky cheese alternatives that are already on the market.
“So we knew that we had got the texture – it melts very well – and taste right, but the demand at the launch was incredible; 40% of the Asda stores that stocked the cheeze sold out on the first day so the factory where the cheeze was being made had to put on extra staff to meet the demand.
“Then other supermarket giants signed up to stock it, including Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, which stocks the newly launched Applewood® Vegan Slices. We are so proud of what has been achieved and to be a dairy company that is not shying away from the increasing demand for plant-based alternatives and making the bold decision to offer a vegan alternative for a well-known established cheese brand such as Applewood.”
‘Opportunities are endless’
Harrison added that the phenomenal success of the dairy-free cheese had inspired the company to examine their existing ranges to see what other products they could offer a vegan alternative too.
“Its success opened our eyes to the alternatives we could offer for our other cheese brands such as Mexicana, which is now available as a vegan product and is stocked by Asda and is doing really well. And then there is our Ilchester Vegan Festive Selection. The opportunities are endless,” she added.
The success of Applewood Vegan has prompted the company to release more vegan cheese alternatives modelled on their most popular cheese brands including the firey Mexicana flavour.
This Christmas, Norseland will also be releasing a festive vegan cheeseboard complete with three brand new cheese flavours including a mature cheddar and a blue-style cheese.
Applewood Vegan is now available in Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Booths and TheVeganKind Supermarket