Just Ridiculous: Big Mayo Bullies Humane, Eco-friendly “Just Mayo”

Posted by Jennifer Molidor, ALDF Staff Writer on November 24, 2014

Like a school bully taking away your lunch, Unilever, the corporation dominating the mayonnaise market (it owns Best Foods and Hellmann’s), is suing the celebrated company Hampton Creek over their cruelty-free alternative, “Just Mayo.” This highly successful plant-based product is animal and eco-friendly, healthy, delicious, convenient, and cheap—it’s even sold at the Dollar Tree (and is widely available in grocery stores). That’s great news for people, animals, and the planet.


But it’s a threat to corporations who profit from animal abuse. Unilever says since Just Mayo doesn’t contain eggs, consumers are deceived by the label “Just Mayo,” and that hurts Unilever’s sales. But with more than a little egg on its face, Hellmann’s recently tweaked product descriptions on its website—because some of its own mayonnaise didn’t qualify as mayonnaise. That’s just awkward.

Real false-advertising lawsuits hold powerful corporations accountable to the law. That’s why groups like the Animal Legal Defense Fund file false-advertising lawsuits against animal-abusing corporations. For example, Tyson Foods, the largest producer of chicken and second-largest producer of beef and pork products in the nation, uses cruel “broiler-houses” for chickens and “gestation crates” for pregnant pigs, yet called themselves a leader in animal welfare. California egg producers used misleading packaging that falsely implied their eggs came from hens who roamed free outdoors. The nation’s largest force-fed foie gras producer called themselves “humane,” while force-feeding young ducks, until we stopped them. That’s what we do.

Because pretending to be eco-friendly and humane—while destroying the planet and harming animals—is “greenwashing.” It’s deceptive, but effective. Studies show that 85% of consumers will spend more on products they think are safer for animals and the environment. That’s why courts should intervene when consumers are unfairly deceived; that’s false-advertising, and that’s illegal.

But that’s not even close to what’s happening in Unilever’s lawsuit. The Wall Street Journal called this lawsuit “the latest battle between established food companies and the emerging natural and organic-food producers that are luring skeptical consumers away from traditional packaged foods.” Public health attorney Michele Simon writes in her food policy blog that the lawsuit is “just a desperate attempt to get the courts to intervene in marketplace competition.” Not only is Unilever clogging people’s arteries with egg-laden products, now they are clogging the courts with frivolous lawsuits too.

Conscientious consumers are not colorblind; they can tell eco-green from the brown of baloney. If it looks like mayo and tastes like mayo, but lacks cholesterol and cruelty, it’s Just Mayo. If it’s harming sales, tastes better, costs less, and is cruelty-free, that’s just smart.

With products like Just Mayo, Hampton Creek is doing the right thing. Their products–the company also makes cookie dough you can eat without the risk of Salmonella—are legitimately cruelty-free and better for the environment. So this lawsuit against innovative makers of a truly “green” product may be the worst greenwashing of all. Companies like Hampton Creek are shaping the future of food, according to Bill Gates, one of their investors. One day, plant-based products may sustain our planet, and that’s just amazing.

9 thoughts on “Just Ridiculous: Big Mayo Bullies Humane, Eco-friendly “Just Mayo”

  1. Paula Schneider says:

    You continue to validate why I have been boycotting ALL Unilever products for years. And I will continue to do so as you continue to show your self absorbed greed.

  2. Deb says:

    If it is healthier and “kinder” the competition should have thought if it first

  3. Ladies and Gentlemen, Please be advised that the numerous laws on the books forbidding cruelty to animals, imply, if you simply add the “a fortiori” (standard form of legal reasoning) ends in “You shall not commit the ultimate abuse against animals” (killing them.)

    Killing animals is strictly forbidden under current law by the straightforward implicate a fortiori. Simply press this case in the courts as far as it can go, and you will win. Please stop the killing. It is immoral as hell.

  4. Barb Casciani says:

    I’m done with all Unilever products.

  5. Kate Gualtieri says:

    Hellmans was the last Unilever product my family
    Still purchased…no more…we are now a Unilever Free
    Family!!! Going to try the Cruelty Free Mao!

  6. sharon chang says:

    Unilever and Proctor and Gamble are both on my s**t list!they have been for years!

  7. Emily Nice says:

    Please drop the lawsuit and realize that there are people who care about the quality of food that we put into our bodies as well as a humane existence for the animal who produces food, by either giving up its life or living a life of confinement and drugs. I will boycott Hellman’s mayonnaise due to this disturbing information. Have a heart and do the right thing!

  8. markgil says:

    apparently this insane lawsuit is not too horrible of a thing to happen as it has resulted in approximately 21 million dollars of free advertising for Hampton Creek so far.

  9. These products are OFF my list and everyone else I can inform.
    How horrible that you lie and torture like this!
    What are you thinking??


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