At Least It’s Not Miracle Whip – The Coming Mayonnaise Wars

In full disclosure, we here at Abnormal Use have never tried Hampton Creek’s vegan mayo-like product, Just Mayo.  However, we can almost assuredly tell you that it, like many other vegan substitutes, doesn’t taste as good as the real thing.  Traditional mayonnaise is supposedly a rather simple condiment to make: oil, egg yolks, and vinegar or lemon juice.  However, the vegan wizards over at Hampton Creek have managed to remove eggs from the process by adding other ingredients including the delicious “pea protein” and ever vague “spices.”

Last month, Hellman’s owner, Unilever, brought suit against Hampton Creek for false advertising.  According to Hellman’s Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo is not mayonnaise at all because it doesn’t have eggs.  The FDA’s really specific and not that interesting definition of mayonnaise  requires “one or more of the egg yolk-containing ingredients.”  Further down, the regulation provides that the name of the food is “Mayonnaise.”  According to Unilever, Just Mayo does not taste or perform like real mayonnaise. (link)  Therefore, according to Unilever, Just Mayo is damaging the entire mayonnaise product category, has already caused consumer deception and serious irreparable harm, and is stealing market share from Hellman’s.

While the packaging does feature a picture of an egg on the bottle, it also provides that the product is egg free.  Just Mayo is not the only vegan spread to include the mayo name, and Hampton Creek’s CEO has stated that the name just rolls off the tongue.

While this lawsuit rages on, Unilever is apparently strengthening the egg-less mayo’s brand.  Hampton Creek claims that the lawsuit has given Just Mayo nearly $21 million dollars of free advertising in the first week alone.  We will openly admit that Hampton Creek’s product is not for us, but we can’t say that we are not curious.

For a more detailed review of the lawsuit and Unilever’s claims, check out One Green Planet’s article.  Given the name of the website, we would take the article with an organic grain of salt.

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