Vegan Mayo Goes Mainstream with Hellman's
The vegan mayo market has grown from an obscurity, to a pricey niche, to a legal controversy (Unilever vs Hampton Creek), to the mainstream. During my teens, my mother and I would pick up a rare jar of Vegenaise from the Loblaws 50 minutes away. It cost around $7 and didn't last long. At the time, I was a mayo-loving vegan who could talk her mom into anything. By my early-twenties, I was an omnivore discovering my several food allergies—including eggs. I've been eating Vegenaise for around ten years now. I love that hard-to-find, expensive, and somewhat too runny and buttery spread, but I've betrayed it. Last night at the first grocery stop, I was admiring the many options for eggy mayos: olive oil, half fat, free range, garlic, on and on...and then my eyes found this:
I grabbed it immediately. $3.47. A tinge of guilt. Vegenaise has been good to me over the years when other options didn't exist. It's been the base behind every eggless dip, salad dressing, and tuna sandwich. But this is a vegan option from an OG mayo maker. This is affordable and accessible and...I have to try it. Just once, I told myself. I know where my loyalties lie. Hellman's has the capital to charge less and get their product in the mainstream aisles at eye level. They also have the resources to disrupt a market that has been monopolized by a few smaller companies.
They also make one hell of a good vegan mayo.
It's challenging to see competitive giants weed out the wee competitors that vegans and allergy-conscious people have been relying on for years for a sense of food normalcy. There's a sense of shame in switching brands even when the alternative is better tasting and more affordable. But as the market shifts, so too do our product expectations and desires. It's exciting to see what'll be next.