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Mayo Wars: Mayo Brands Evolve To Stand Out

June 26, 2020 Daniella Retzkin

Shutterstock_1295440933  Columbus, Mississippi - January 26, 2019; Mayonnaise, Hellmann's Brand. Made with cage free eggs. A store product on sale in a general store.

With nearly 300 years of history, mayonnaise remains one of the oldest and most beloved condiments in the United States. Mayonnaise, known for it’s perfectly blended flavor, has been used to enhance the taste of foods for centuries. Much has changed over the years, and consumers are now interested in new, healthier varieties of the familiar pantry staple. To keep up with changing taste preferences, mayonnaise brands are innovating and using social media to increase brand awareness.

Despite its success with loyalists, younger consumers seem to love to hate on mayonnaise and have a particular distaste for the “boring white food.” As a result of changing taste preferences, mayonnaise brands are seeking ways to reinvent themselves and evolve to appeal to younger audiences.

Hellmann’s Mayonnaise Launched Mayo-Themed Cooking Videos During COVID-19

Offering more than 13 types of mayonnaise, including organic and vegan options, Hellmann’s, known as Best Foods in the West, reigns as America’s number one mayonnaise brand. On their website and in a January 2020 commercial, Hellmann’s proudly launched their purpose-driven campaign and announced their bottles are now made from 100% recycled plastic. The site notes, “Put simply, we believe in Real Taste and Less Waste, that’s why we’re committed to tackling the packaging waste of our products.” 

Hellmann’s use of eco-friendly packaging and commitment to sustainability in their products will likely appeal to Millenials and Gen Z. In fact, more than 42% of Millennials say they would start or deepen relationships with brands offering products or services that positively impact the environment or society. 70% of Gen Z consumers try to buy from companies they consider ethical, and 65% try to ascertain the origins of products they are buying. A purpose-driven campaign, like Hellmann’s 100% recycled plastic initiative, can help brands attract a new audience of consumers who may not have considered them before.

In order to keep consumers engaged with the brand during COVID-19, Hellmann’s also launched a Stay-In(Spired) campaign. Using the hashtags #stayinspired and #stayhome, the campaign came as a result of consumers’ increased time spent cooking at home. In a video posted to Facebook and Twitter, Hellmann’s compiled video submissions from consumers cooking meals using the fan-favorite mayo brand. On their Instagram platform, Hellmann’s posts recipe ideas to encourage consumers to use mayo in their meals. Across their social efforts, Hellmann’s messaging resonated with consumers stuck at home, while keeping consumers engaged. 

Kraft Heinz Real Mayonnaise Relied On Fan Engagement To Grow Brand Awareness 

Coming in close behind Hellmann’s is Heinz Real Mayonnaise. And while this classic brand is best known for its ketchup, Heinz tapped into its long-standing brand loyalty in order to shine a light on its mayo offering and separate itself from the rest of the pack. Heinz differentiated itself in April 2018 by creating flavor mashup Mayochup, a combination of mayonnaise and ketchup. Heinz launched the new product via a Twitter poll, asking its audience, “Want #mayochup in stores? 500,000 votes for ‘yes’ and we'll release it to you saucy Americans.” With 54.8% of people voting for them to release Mayochup, Heinz released the product in stores. To garner even more engagement, the brand asked consumers to share their own product name suggestions via social media.

Heinz used the power of social media and Twitter polls to increase consumer engagement, shine a light on its new Mayochup product and find out what their customers want. The results of the polls gave Heinz insight into the minds of their consumers and what they’re looking to buy. The user-generated content (UGC) approach employed by Heinz enabled consumers to feel more connected to the new product and the brand overall. By using social media to communicate with their target audiences, Heinz effectively increased engagement and established better brand recognition among consumers. 

Specialty & Regional Mayonnaise Brands Connect With Niche Audiences

Duke’s Mayonnaise Expanded Their Region With Social Promotions

duke;s mayo bowl

For people that know their mayo, it is not surprising that most southern cooks and eaters are fiercely loyal to regional Duke’s Mayonnaise. To increase their brand awareness, Duke’s became the proud sponsor of Duke’s Mayo Classic Game, now named Duke’s Mayo Bowl. Duke’s announced this year’s game on Twitter in a campaign starring professional football legend Luke Kuechly. In the ad, Kuechly slowly prepared a sandwich on the field using Duke’s Mayo Bowl Mayonnaise. 

By using social media to promote Duke’s Mayo Bowl, Duke’s increased brand awareness and connected with consumers outside their historical region. Duke’s partnership with Charlotte Sports Foundation offers a unique opportunity for people who normally wouldn’t interact with the brand to learn more about the company and try the product for themselves.

Sir Kensington’s Mayonnaise Launched Taste Buds Community

With a cult following, Sir Kensington’s is known for its specialty flavors of mayonnaise including avocado oil mayo, chipotle mayo, sriracha mayo and organic mayonnaise. Targeting health-conscious consumers, Sir Kensington’s took to Twitter last month to announce the launch of their new Taste Buds Community, a gathering place for health food junkies. Known as #TasteBuds, members are encouraged to share their go-to culinary creations and seek inspiration from other members. 

Creating the Taste Buds Community is Sir Kensington’s latest attempt to connect consumers with the brand. The incentive to join? The chance to win free merch, sample new products and connect with other food enthusiasts. With people stuck at home due to social distancing, consumers are likely more inclined to join online communities where they can interact with others. The move to create the Taste Buds Community may be a response to the positive engagement the brand is having on Instagram. Their ongoing UGC campaign #BetterEveryBite encourages users to share their Sir Kensington creations for the chance to be featured on the brand’s Instagram page. 

Follow Your Heart Vegenaise Created A Masterclass Following

Known as the original egg-free mayo, Follow Your Heart’s vegenaise appeals to the health conscious and/or vegan consumer. Offering 13 types of vegenaise, Follow Your Heart has something for everyone. To increase engagement with Follow Your Heart, the brand started an IGTV series called #MeatlessMay Masterclass featuring four different chefs. The videos were created to encourage people eating at home to incorporate Vegenaise and other Follow Your Heart products into their quarantine meals. 

For Mayo Companies, Standing Out From The Crowd Is Crucial

With no shortage of condiments to choose from, mayo brands need to differentiate themselves in order to stay relevant and maintain market share. In the new environment created by coronavirus, brands like Hellmann’s, Heinz, Sir Kensigntons, Duke’s and Follow Your Heart have shown the potential that comes from innovating their products and appealing to younger, social media savvy audiences. These mayo brands are effectively leveraging their digital presences and engaging innovative marketing tactics to reach consumers and increase brand awareness in hopes consumers will pick their mayo brand from the rest. 

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About the Author

Daniella Retzkin

Daniella Retzkin is a Marketing Coordinator at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. DMS helps its clients accelerate growth by deploying diversified and data-driven customer acquisition solutions that deliver scalable, sustainable and measurable marketing results. DMS performance marketing solutions connect the right consumers with the right offers at the right time to achieve the marketing objectives of our clients. DMS is continually innovating to provide new and emerging media and technology solutions that minimize waste and maximize results across the most competitive industries. Since its inception, DMS has demonstrated incredible year-over-year growth which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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