Is Egg-Free Mayonnaise Too Good to Be True?

Vegan sandwich aficionados across the country rejoiced when Hampton Creek unveiled a new eggless mayonnaise spread in 2013. The product, which is cheekily named Just Mayo, has since garnered a steady flow of glowing reviews from professional chefs and home cooks alike. Featuring a flawlessly rich flavor and an accurately unctuous texture, it has quickly gained a reputation as a must-have addition to all kinds of vegan salads and spreads. In many ways, Just Mayo is the kind of break-out product that the vegetarian community has long been waiting for; as ethical as it is delicious, it’s the rare egg-free delicacy that has the ability to appeal to carnivores and conscientious meat-objectors alike. It’s difficult to imagine that a product that’s gotten this much love from the public could also be embroiled in controversy, but Just Mayo has been plagued with public relations issues since its initial release.

It’s not surprising that there’s no love lost between Hampton Creek and the companies that produce and distribute traditional mayonnaise, but the fact that this rivalry would drive certain members of the community to involve themselves in the kind of backstabbing and scheming more commonly associated with Shakespearean plays is considerably less expected. A number of questionable advertising campaigns and suspicious social media activity have made it quite clear that certain parties are interested in seeing Just Mayo fail. In 2015, the head of the American Egg Board stepped down after it was discovered that the marketing association had been funding a political initiative to get Just Mayo banned from supermarkets.

Just Mayo has definitely won the hearts and minds of the vegan community, but it remains to be seen whether this product will be able to make it in the long run. Weathering the storm won’t be easy, but having a group of dedicated fans will certainly help.

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