“NOPE.”- A Carefully Crafted Response to Hellmann’s.

I was catching up on emails this morning, and noticed that earlier on this month, I received an email from a representative of Hellmann’s. They have recently come out with an eggless “mayonnaise” type spread, and I believe the intention of the email was to see if I would be interested in creating a recipe using Hellmann’s, or to gather good press from vegan bloggers. Which-let’s be honest…they need all the good press they can get after that disaster where they attempted to take down Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo, then a year later, announce that they will be copy-catting their product. Just look at what come’s up when one Google’s “Hellmann’s eggless mayo”.  Embarassssssing riiiiight?!

Anyways, I just wanted to share the email I received, as well as my response. The initial email that started things was a pretty generic PR release about the product, included an EVER ORIGINAL attachment with a quinoa salad recipe (because vegans have never heard of quinoa salad, right?), etc. I have omitted the person’s name as it isn’t their fault that their PR firm chooses to represent such a garbage company, is it?

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Below, is my (carefully crafted, heh) response, the following:

Good afternoon (name removed), 
Thank you for the interest in my blog, and for taking the time to contact me re: Hellmann’s Carefully Crafted. 
I appreciate whenever a company adds another vegan product to the shelves. It is important to make vegan alternatives readily accessible to everyone who may be interested in them for whatever reasons; whether taste, health, allergies, ethics, etc. 
Which is why I am not interested in collaborating with Hellmann’s, as I am aware they aggressively attempted to take a very accessible, affordable, and ethically made, almost identical product off the shelves in late 2014.  Yes, I am speaking of Unilever’s pathetic attempt at taking legal action against Hampton Creek for using the word “Mayo” in their very popular Just Mayo spread, as well as how they conspired with the American Egg Board in hopes of taking this smaller company down.
I understand what it’s like to feel scared when someone else  is doing something better than you, but that is not how an ethical company conducts itself. Luckily, that was a complete corporate media disaster for Hellmann’s, and only seemed to bring more interest to Just Mayo, causing Hellmann’s to look even worse to the vegan community.  
“Unlike other spreads on the market Hellmann’s Carefully Crafted is made with non-GMO sourced ingredients and is free from cholesterol, eggs, gluten, and artificial colours and flavours.” Really? Unlike other spreads on the market? Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo, Follow Your Heart’s Vegenaise, and Nasoya’s Nayonaise have offered an alternative to egg-filled mayonnaise long before it was ever on Unilever’s agenda to cater to the vegan community, which is why I will choose to stick by these brands. 
In fact, I think the only thing unique about Hellmann’s Carefully Crafted, is that the ironically vegan friendly spread is owned by Unilever, an animal testing giant. I am not sure what makes Hellmann’s at all comfortable approaching vegans to assist with promoting their product based on this fact alone. 
So no, I am sorry, but I am not “working on any projects (I) think would be a good fit for this new spread,” and while I am sure you won’t, you are welcome to pass this email along to anyone you find appropriate. I know I don’t speak for everyone, but my opinion about Hellmann’s is certainly shared among many other vegan folks in my network who also will not be supporting this brand. In fact, the only thing I plan to share with my readers, is this exchange. 
Thank you, 
Sarah Louise

 

 

So, that is kind of how I feel about Hellmann’s Carefully Crafted. Some may argue that Hellmann’s offering an egg free alternative is sort of an “if you can’t beat em, join em” move and that we should support the demand for a vegan product. However, I would just like to suggest that if you have access to ANY other mayonnaise alternative, vote with your dollar. I find Unilever’s actions towards Hampton’s Creek so gross, on so many levels. One of Just Mayo’s top selling points has been that, it is an affordable, heart-healthy alternative available in US locations such as Walmart, and The Dollar Tree. As someone who understands financial struggle, I really appreciate their dedication to making sure their product is available to EVERYONE. To try and take that away from people because someone is making a product better than yours, is truly gross and selfish and tells me that Hellmann’s does not have the consumer’s best interest in mind. I would challenge THEM to offer up their product nationally for a dollar or two, but Just Mayo has already stepped up to the plate, so…there’s that.

Brands like Follow Your Heart, Nasoya, Just Mayo have had the interests of vegans, folks with allergies, the health conscious, etc at heart from the start, and we should really make every attempt to show them our support. If you are more of a DIY person, I will likely be posting a mayo recipe soon on the blog, and will link up here when I do so! I also want to note that for anyone looking to avoid other Unilever products, Logical Harmony has a really fantastic piece specifically about the cosmetic end of things, offering cruelty free alternatives for each brand. Food wise, I have a TON of suggestions of alternatives for you pals, and would be happy to share if you have any specific products you are looking to replace.

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Feel like expressing your own views about their actions to Hellmann’s themselves? I advise you to fill out a “Product Concern” on their website just for fun. 😉

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. ModVegan says:

    Okay, so confession: I bought some, knowing full well about the Hampton Creek issue. My husband and I took photos of the label to point out the hypocrisy of it all.

    As soon as Just Mayo comes to Canada, that’s what I’ll be buying, but the Hellman’s product is very, very good (sorry to say!), and definitely better than the alternatives. I love supporting smaller, vegan friendly companies, but since I have a family of vegans-in-the-making, I was happy when my daughter told me yesterday that she didn’t ever want to eat regular mayo again (she was not a fan of the Veganaise). Hellman’s pulled a really rotten, underhanded move against Hampton Creek, to be sure. But I’d rather have my whole family eating vegan mayo than eat Veganaise while the rest of them are supporting Best Foods. I take a Utilitarian approach to helping my family go vegan, and I think the Hellman’s product makes a good stop-gap for mixed-eating families until better products are available here.

    I love your letter to Hellman’s, though!

    1. thecozyvegan says:

      Thanks for the honest response! I am not sure about the Costco’s near you, but we have had Just Mayo readily available at ours in Alberta for awhile now! It was pulled temporarily but it’s now back. At I believe $7 for two huge jars it is a steal. One of our specialty vegan friendly shops also carries it. I believe Vegan Supply (BC)and V Word Market(Ontario) will also be restocking it! Hope you can get your hands on some soon if you’re wanting to try it, but also A++ job helping your fam enjoy an alternative!

      https://vegansupply.ca
      https://www.vwordmarket.com/search?type=product&q=Just+mayo

      1. ModVegan says:

        I’m also in Calgary, so that’s awesome news (esp. if that’s the price in CDN!). I’ll call Community too – I had no idea they were selling Hampton Creek products in AB yet. I will be buying some for sure!

  2. lysette says:

    This rules, thanks for holding fast to your ethics and sharing. Hadn’t seen the Logical Harmony article so I really appreciate that! We use veganaise in our house or I make my own soy based one.

    1. thecozyvegan says:

      Thanks Lysette, you rule too! Would love to hear more about your soy based mayo. I think I am going to come up with an aquafaba one- my only hesitation is how it will hold up over time when refrigerated! Will post results soon 🙂

  3. twisteronomy says:

    Yes! I agreed with everything you said. The gall of them to reach out to vegan bloggers… it’s astonishing. But goes to show the difference between an ethically-minded company and an international conglomerate focused on the bottom line.

  4. Love your email response. I should try to find some Just Mayo here in Toronto if possible. Even my (non-vegan) boyfriend mentioned he would be interested in trying it on some kale-slaw! 🙂

  5. Thank you for the lovely read. I enjoyed that!

  6. I am so proud of the vegan community sticking to their values when there’s options out there!

  7. Suzanne Eddy says:

    I am new to the vegetarian lifestyle . I’m also very concerned about gmo foods as well. I am a hellmans fan so I bought the carefully crafted mayonnaise yesterday because it had everything I was looking for in a mayonnaise. I had no idea about the kind of company it is. I certainly have been learning a lot on this path every day about our food and the companies that supply it. I will be looking for Just Mayo and won’t be buying Hellmans again. Thank you.

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