Hellmann’s Sues Start-Up Mayo Company for False Advertising
Did you know that it’s against the law to sell mayonnaise that’s not made with egg? Neither did Just Mayo. The Bill Gates-backed mayonnaise start-up company is being sued by the granddaddy of mayonnaise, Hellmann’s, for false advertising. Apparently, according to the FDA, mayonnaise by definition must contain egg yolk, and Just Mayo is a vegan product made with yellow peas instead of eggs. As a result of this condiment conundrum, Unilever is demanding that Just Mayo change their product name, and also is demanding compensation for causing “consumer deception and serious, irreparable harm to Unilever.”
The somewhat-strict definition of mayonnaise is also the reason why Kraft calls their product Miracle Whip, because it does not contain the requisite 65 percent vegetable oil. In case you’re wondering, “real” mayonnaise must also contain vinegar diluted with water, and lemon or lime juice.
But Hellmann’s may not have a leg to stand on, because technically, Just Mayo just calls itself “mayo,” and never once, in all of its packaging and advertising, mentions the full word “mayonnaise.”
In response to this lawsuit, Andrew Zimmern and a host of other Just Mayo supporters have started an online petition on Change.org to “Stop Bullying Sustainable Food Companies.”
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi