Hellmann's to Launch a Vegan Mayo After Failed Lawsuit Against Hampton Creek
The feud initiated by Hellmann’s against Hampton Creek was nothing short of public and petty. Unilever, the parent company of Hellmann’s, tried to sue Hampton Creek, a San Francisco-based startup for false advertising in 2014 due to their vegan (and therefore eggless) product, Just Mayo.
Unilever received negative press as a result of their actions, and before the end of 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration made the decision that Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo could keep its name, despite an anonymous complaint that claimed it was misleading labeling. A few adjustments were made to make it clear the product was egg-free, but the name remained.
These attempts alone showed that this giant company viewed the vegan product as a threat, and while they failed in their attempt to go forward with the lawsuit, Unilever hasn’t given up trying, and have announced that customers can expect to see a vegan option of their staple Hellmann’s mayonnaise later this month. When asked if this was the company’s new strategy to compete with Just Mayo, Russell Lilly, the marketing director, stated:
“What this is about is providing choices to the millions of Hellmann’s fans.”
The new product will have the lengthy title: “Carefully Crafted Dressing and Sandwich Spread”, clearly making sure the company doesn’t break any of its so-called rules that it tried to fault Just Mayo for. The company also plans to unveil a new organic mayonnaise this month as well.
However, Josh Tetrick, Hampton Creek CEO, is not worried and seems to be focused on the positive this new development will bring in terms of offering more plant-based alternatives to people, since Hellmann’s is still considered the nation’s leading mayonnaise brand. Tetrick told the Associated Press:
“I hope Kraft follows Unilever, then I hope Kraft and Unilever compete.”
For those who kept up with the feud, the intentions behind Unilever’s latest mayonnaise, or “Carefully Crafted Dressing and Sandwich Spread”, is clear, but the results simply prove customer demand is in favor of more vegan options, and companies–no matter how large, need to pay attention in order to remain relevant.
Photo Credit: https://supervalu.ie