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September 10, 2015
What's Going On in the Mayo Industry?
 
Who would have thought that the mayo industry would one day be so hectic and exciting?

Yes, the mayonnaise industry is facing some turbulent times, mostly due to the shift in consumer opinion that mayo is not the healthiest of choices. As the "health-craze" fad continues to go over the United States, mayo has been feverishly trying not only to maintain its ground, but to minimize losses.

We have seen in the media several cases about mayo, but we're just going to highlight two.

The first comes from the more popular issue: American Egg Board vs. Just Mayo.

The American Egg Board, a federally supported organization designed to supervise and advocate the use of eggs in products, got a really bad taste in its mouth when a company that uses an eggless condiment calls itself "Just Mayo." The American Egg Board is naturally disgusted by this, for with egg being a major ingredient in traditional mayonnaise, calling an eggless product "mayo" could possibly be seen as misleading. Though the FDA agrees, instead of fining or forcing the Just Mayo folks to change their name, the company was simply sent a harshly worded letter saying to be careful in its advertising, since the FDA's definition of mayo mandates the use of eggs.

And, of course, the issue got sensationalized when emails were released (FOIA was in force since the Egg Board is federally funded) and those emails showed the executives of the egg board saying crazy things, like giving orders to "take out" the company's CEO in order to get Just Mayo out the game.

Talk about interesting.

The second issue in mayo we'd like to cover is Hellmann's attempt to rebrand and cut costs.

Hellmann's has been around for just over a hundred years, with the original factory opening in NYC around 1912. Since then, Hellmann's has consistently been in the forefront of influencing the opinion people have of mayo. Now, Hellmann's is launching a #SqueezeMoreOut campaign, which features the new squeezable bottle the company introduced earlier this year.

This is no simple redesign or rebranding. According to the source article, the previous bottle included a huge waste of product, with over 1,000 pounds of mayo being wasted and thrown away in 2014.

A "mayonnaise crisis," the Hellmann's folks declared.

The new bottle uses gravity, sides lined with vegetable oil, and a silicone top that manages the pouring of the mayo in order to reduce waste and create a better experience. The marketing executives think that the new design could reduce mayo waste by 60%.

Below is one of the ads in the Hellmann's campaign.

The mayo industry continues to struggle as people try to consider healthier options, but it doesn't look like mayo companies will be going away anytime soon.

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Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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