Vegan, ethical and sustainable products do not appeal to multinationals at all, especially when they erode a portion of their profits. So the big agri-food companies try to boycott them. That's what's happening to Just Mayo mayonnaise without eggs Hampton Creek, accused by Unilever of not being "mayonnaise".
MAYONNAISE WITHOUT EGGS - Unilever, which has the largest share of the mayonnaise market in the United States, valued with a value of $ 2 billion a year, little Hampton Creek has sued for misleading advertising and unfair business practices. The reason? Just Mayo does not contain eggs. This is the point on which the whole story is based.
HAMPTON CREEK - Hampton Creek, a San Francisco based vegan food start up in 2011, has achieved great popularity (also in financial terms) for its scientific approach to offering plant-based products that do not contain eggs, at the heart of an industry that is cruel to animals. Just Mayo, in particular, has literally been booming, and not just among vegetarians or vegans. The product, in fact, in the US is now found everywhere, even at Walmart, Costco, Target and Dollar Tree.
THE REACTION OF UNILEVER - But Just Mayo is not a mayonnaise, they said from the big company, why the dictionary and the Food and Drug Administration define mayonnaise a product that contains eggs. Unilever, therefore, tries to boycott and block it, noting that "Hampton Creek is seizing market share from Unilever’s Best Foods and Hellmann’s brands of mayonnaise products”(Hampton Creek is taking away a slice of the market).
The legal complaint, therefore, is simply there reaction to the loss of its undisputed dominance in the lucrative mayonnaise sector. All the more so as in the US is approaching Thanksgiving, the day with the second highest peak in consumption of mayonnaise throughout the year, after the Fourth of July, the Day of Independence.
THE PETITION - But consumers and enthusiasts of plant alternatives do not like it. The chef Andrew Zimmer, for example, define this action as Unilever's "bullying" on the small company in the petition he launched about your country, in which he pleads for the multinational "to focus more on creating a better world, rather than preventing others from trying to do so".
MAYONNAISE VS SEASONING - However, how explains the New York Times, Unilever also has its mayonnaise problems. Last week, the company appears to have started tweaking its website and social media messages, adding the wording "Seasoning" in various references to mayonnaise when the specific product did not meet FDA standards for mayonnaise (the same ones cited against Just Mayo). In addition, the company also allegedly edited comments from a customer who praised a product using the words "mayonnaise" and "mayo".
The fact remains, in any case, that perhaps it is not the consumer who cares about the definitions. And that the market is winning those who manage to change the old paradigms, intercepting the desires and needs of those who today want to eat in a more ethical and responsible way. What do you think?
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