With a few label changes, Just Mayo, the vegan alternative to egg-based mayonnaise, will keep its name after a deal was struck between its owner, Hampton Creek, and the FDA.
Several media on Dec. 17 reported a settlement of the FDA's warning letter from August, which said Hampton Creek cannot use the term mayo because it's too close to "mayonnaise," and a government standard of identity defines mayonnaise as being egg-based. There are no eggs in Just Mayo; it's based on pea protein.
The dispute actually goes back more than a year, when Hellmann’s mayonnaise-maker Unilever Plc filed a lawsuit against Hampton Creek for false advertising, citing not just the name but the image of an egg in Just Mayo’s logo. Following criticism from consumers, Unilever dropped the lawsuit last December.
The Wall Street Journal reported seeing Just Mayo’s new label with the words “egg-free” made larger and adding “Spread & Dressing.” And its old logo — an egg beyond the silhouette of a pea shoot symbolizing its plant-based ingredients — remains but appears smaller.
The Journal quoted an FDA representative saying Hampton Creek “committed to making labeling changes to ensure its products are labeled in a manner that is truthful and not misleading. Therefore, the FDA considers the issues cited in the warning letter to be resolved.”
Hampton Creek and its founder and CEO Josh Tetrick were the subject of our September cover story: Hero or Hustler?