Saturday October 31, 2020

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The Big Fuss Behind Unilever-Hampton Creek ‘Mayo Dispute’

Nov 15, 2014 12:12 PM EST | By Staff Reporter
Mayonnaise, Unilever, Hampton Creek
Mayonnaise brands
Mayonnaise brands(Photo : Okra Magazine)

Earlier this week, retail giant Unilever filed a lawsuit against California start-up Hampton Creek over its product "Just Mayo." The question is: why is a large multinational company even suing a start-up over mayonnaise? That's because mayonnaise is the top selling condiment in America.

Tensions have been increasing between big brands and emerging natural and organic food manufacturers that is said to have been attracting health-conscious consumers away from traditional packaged foods.

Hampton Creek's "Just Mayo" uses yellow peas instead of egg. The product is available nationwide in Walmart, Whole Foods and Dollar Tree

Unilever is trying to protect its grip in the market. In 2013, mayonnaise contributed to a whopping $2 billion in sales, according to a study by market research group Euromonitor.

"A mayonnaise is not a mayonnaise without eggs."-that's what retail giant Unilever said as it filed a lawsuit against a California startup for calling its egg-less, plant-based spread as "Just Mayo."

Unilever, maker of Hellman's and Best Foods mayonnaise, is accusing Hampton Creek Inc. of misleading the public calling its eggless spread "mayo."

The multinational consumer goods behemoth filed a complaint in the U.S District Court in New Jersey against California startup Hampton Creek-calling for it to change its label of "Just Mayo" product and seeking compensation for damages thereof.

Meanwhile, according to Unilever, "Just Mayo" isn't mayonnaise because it doesn't have eggs, and based on the description of the Food and Drug Administration of mayonnaise, it contains vegetable oil plus egg yolk.

Who will eventually triumph over this epic "mayo saga" still remain unanswered. But one thing's for sure-Americans love mayonnaise.

As Elizabeth Valleau, co-founder of Empire Mayo, a Brooklyn store dedicated solely to selling gourmet mayonnaise said: "Mayonnaise is a simple, yet elegant way to add tang, richness, and a creamy mouthfeel to almost any savory food."


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