Hellmann’s producer Unilever has filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in a case alleging that Hampton Creek’s plant-based mayonnaise substitute, “Just Mayo,” could not call itself mayo because it contains no eggs as required by U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards for the product. Conopco Inc. v. Hampton Creek Inc., No. 14-6856 (U.S. Dist. Ct., D.N.J., notice filed December 18, 2014).
Unilever filed the complaint in October 2014, arguing that Just Mayo is a misleading brand name because the substance behaves differently than real mayonnaise when used in recipes; the plant-based product can apparently separate into parts rather than binding ingredients together. “Unilever has decided to withdraw its lawsuit against Hampton Creek so that Hampton Creek can address its label directly with industry groups and appropriate regulatory authorities,” said Mike Faherty, Vice President for Foods, Unilever North America, in a statement. “We applaud Hampton Creek’s commitment to innovation and its inspired corporate purpose. We share a vision with Hampton Creek of a more sustainable world. It is for these reasons that we believe Hampton Creek will take the appropriate steps in labelling its products going forward.”