If you can’t beat them, join them. At least, that is what Unilever—parent company of Hellman’s mayonnaise—hopes to accomplish with the launch of its new eggless, vegan sandwich spread.
Unilever sued Hampton Creek over the labeling of its vegan spread “Just Mayo” in November of 2014 claiming unfair competition, arguing the Hampton Creek product was misleading to consumers since it didn’t meet the definition of mayonnaise. The lawsuit was later dropped after backlash.
But Hellman’s now seems ready to give eggless a try, releasing what it calls Carefully Crafted Dressing and Sandwich Spread” to stores later this month. The product is made with non-GMO sourced ingredients and is free from cholesterol, eggs and artificial flavors. Hellman’s is also releasing a line of organic mayonnaise products.
“At Hellmann’s, we’re committed to bringing out the best by providing delicious choices that fit the needs and changing preferences of families, without sacrificing the taste and blue ribbon quality they’ve come to count on from America's favorite mayonnaise brand,” says Russel Lilly, marketing director at Hellmann’s. “Our fans have been asking us for organic and eggless options with the creamy taste of Hellmann’s for years. We listened and responded by giving them choices that are priced competitively and available nationwide.”
While Unilever dropped its lawsuit, the name controversy extended. Last year FDA sent a warning letter to Hampton Creek alerting the company its product fails to meet the definition of mayonnaise and could be misleading. The company eventually worked out a deal with FDA allowing it to keep the Just Mayo name as long as the company followed through on agreed upon labeling changes that made it clear the product does not contain eggs.