If you can’t beat ‘em…
If you can’t beat ‘em…Unilever vs Hampton Creek
A couple of years ago, Unilever (owners of Hellmans) declared legal war on a small San Francisco outfit called Hampton Creek, a company set up specifically to develop innovative new plant foods. Its crime was to introduce a product called Just Mayo which, Unilever argued, was unfairly stealing Hellmans’ market share because it did not contain eggs and could not therefore be called mayo.
Their action outraged the public and generated millions of dollars of free publicity for Hampton Creek and Just Mayo. Unilever then dropped the action and issued a cringe-making testimony which began:
“We applaud Hampton Creek’s commitment to innovation and its inspired corporate purpose...”
Unilever then, of course, launched its own egg-free mayo to try and smash the upstarts into the ground but having made such a fuss over eggs, it was hoist by its own petard and so contorted itself into knots to name the product.
Carefully Crafted Dressing and Sandwich Spread was the clunker it came up with. By the time it’s launched in the UK I can guarantee it will be called mayo. Don’t you just love big business?