Hampton Creek: FDA Grants Condiment Dispensation, Eggless “Just Mayo” Can Keep Its Name

justmayoAn ongoing battle about the nature of mayonnaise that began in November 2014 seems to have finally reached a peaceful resolution: the Food and Drug Administration has decided to allow Just Mayo, sold by Hampton Creek, call itself “mayo,” even though the vegan, eggless product technically isn’t mayonnaise, according to the government’s definition.

Hampton Creek says it worked out an agreement with the FDA that will allow Just Mayo to keep its name, as long as it makes a few tweaks to the label. The two sides are finally coming to terms after the FDA sent a warning letter to the company in August, saying Just Mayo was misbranded because mayonnaise must contain eggs.

The FDA hasn’t confirmed or denied the news, but Hampton Creek is sharing its triumph with the world/anyone who cares about mayonnaise and mayonnaise-like spreads.

“This isn’t a story about winning or losing. It’s a story about creating a just food system. A food system that is healthier and stronger and more aligned with our values,” said Hampton Creek CEO and founder Josh Tetrick in a statement to Consumerist. “It’s a story about a group of professionals and a young company thoughtfully engaged in that mission.”

Here’s how the label will change: Hampton Creek is defining the word “just” on the central panel of the label, and will explain what that means, in its own terms, on the left panel.


It’s been a long road for Just Mayo: the brouhaha over its name originally started when Unilever, maker of Hellmann’s mayonnaise, sued Hampton Creek in November 2014 over claims of false advertising.

Though Hellmann’s later backed off and dropped its suit, the FDA picked up the scent and ran with it, issuing a warning latter in August that Just Mayo was not, in fact, mayonnaise.

Since then, news surfaced that the American Egg Board was on an anti-Just Mayo mission, a crusade, which when revealed, prompted the group’s head to step down.

In October, Hampton Creek explained to the FDA that just because its name includes the word “mayo” right there on the label, Just Mayo isn’t necessarily mayonnaise. Because “mayo” isn’t a regulated term, calling the eggless product as such shouldn’t be an issue, Hampton Creek had argued.

“The term ‘mayo’ should not now be held to the regulatory standard for ‘mayonnaise,’” wrote the company’s lawyer, Josh Schiller.

It appears the FDA was okay with that explanation, which brings us to today, when mayo can be eggless, but mayonnaise, ostensibly, must still contain eggs. We’ve reached out to the FDA on that point, and will update this post if and when we hear back.

We also reached out to Zack Mayo (link has video with curse words)– he IS an officer and a gentleman, after all — and hope he’ll weigh in.

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