The food and Drug Administration gave us a rather interesting piece of information: Mayo isn’t exactly mayo. A little bit redundant, true, but apparently the company known as Hampton Creek has received warnings from the FDA concerning their “misbranding”.
Hampton Creek does not seem to be selling what they are telling us they are selling, so the eggless spread, vegan friendly mayonnaise which has taken its tool over the market has been deemed as a law violator.
The FDA told the company that the combination of terms “Just Mayo” accompanied by the egg image can be ambiguous for clients since it they can trick them into believing that the product is actual mayonnaise . Moreover, the term combination can indicate that there is only mayonnaise that people are buying when, in fact, there are other things they are buying as well.
In the end, the FDA claimed that “Just Mayo” and “Just Mayo Sariracha” “do not meet the definition of the standard for mayonnaise” because, according to the labels, none of these products contain eggs, which is not the truth.
The products encompass other different ingredients which are not part of the mayonnaise’s identity, thus should not be sold by the producer.
In short, the problem is that Hampton Creek is not offering an alternative mayonnaise, but another product which has vague marketing and is not as easy to spot as the others. We are being sold something “special” which should not be there for selling in the first place. It’s like beating around the bush with food.
Parke Wilde, a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition, declared that what Hampton Creek is doing is unethical, also mentioning that branding the mayonnaise in a different way is something understandable, but exploiting customers is something else entirely.
While the world was spinning around Hampton Creek, its executive, Josh Tetrick could not be contacted for additional comments. Tetrick, who is well known in the investor world, has mentioned numerous times before that Hampton Creek’s goal is to always make food that is healthy and accessible to the wider public.
It remains to be seen how the company will react to the FDA’s complaints, but more importantly, to its regular buyers. The terms “Just Mayo” do tend to be rather misleading, so we shall see if the company will change their marketing technique, or will come with a better response as to why they chose to promote it in this manner.
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