People who have followed the upstart plant-based food company Hampton Creek know that recent Hampton Creek News has been a bit of a mixed bag. There’s a great deal of good in it, as well as an interesting twist on events of the past. Some of the good news is their products are expanding to offer more than their popular Just Mayo product. However, a recent legal battle has developed into a rather interesting story as well.
When Hampton Creek released its most well-known product, Just Mayo, it was followed by a lawsuit brought on by food giant Unilever. The lawsuit claimed that Hampton Creek couldn’t use the term “mayo” as their product contained none of the ingredients the FDA considered to be necessary in mayonnaise. Eventually, Unilever dropped to this lawsuit.
However, the FDA continued to look closely at the Just Mayo product. This raised concerns that the FDA would rule that Hampton Creek couldn’t use the mayonnaise term because it was missing key ingredients. In the end, the FDA did allow Hampton Creek continue using the mayonnaise moniker.
What is most interesting about this story is that in recent weeks, Unilever introduced a plant-based mayonnaise condiment of their own. This was seen as an attempt to take away Hampton Creek’s market share.
Fortunately, these concerns were somewhat dispelled by a closer look into Hampton Creek’s long-term plans. While Hampton Creek is known best for its Just Mayo product, this company never intended to know for one product only. This is easy to see in the types of products that they have released, and the lineup of roughly 43 new products that have nothing to do with sandwich condiments. With cake mixes, pancake mixes, brownie mixes as well as salad dressings, the fear of Unilever taking away their mayonnaise market share isn’t something that is too concerning.
Companies that battle one another, whether it’s in the food, automotive or the technological industry, is nothing new. There’s always competition, and when a company sees a particular market that they’re not involved in, they typically take steps to be involved in one way or another. Such is the case with a company like Unilever. However, with the vision that Hampton Creek has for a wide variety of plant-based food products, competition or not, it’s not likely to slow down this company one bit.