Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, owned by food giant Unilever, has traditionally been the most popular mayonnaise by a large margin. However, when vegan mayo arrived on the scene, their share started slipping; first slightly to 46.6 percent, from 46.9 percent in 2014, then steadily more as veganism exploded. Overall sales declined to $1.8 billion, from $1.83 billion the previous year.
At the same time, Just Mayo was emerging as the cool new kid on the block and their widespread popularity and levels of sales were unprecedented. In response, Unilever decided to sue Just Mayo for false advertising, stating that the use of the word “mayonnaise” was erroneous since the federal standard for identity of mayonnaise stipulates the use of eggs.
In 2016, A year after unsuccessfully suing their rivals, Hellmann’s decided to release their own egg-free mayo, naming it Carefully Crafted Dressing and Sandwich Spread. Carefully Crafted uses modified food starch to bind the soybean oil, used in contrast to the canola oil used by Just Mayonnaise. Hellmann’s Jon Walbancke said: “To continue to appeal to new shoppers, we are actively investing in key consumer triggers, which is why we are introducing a mayonnaise that taps into the vegan dietary trend.”
Hellmann’s vegan mayo has been available in North America since 2016 and now will be available in supermarkets in the UK, competing against other popular egg-free spreads such as Follow Your Heart.