Guess Who’s Offering a Vegan Option Now? There’s One You Won’t Believe

When does plant-based eating become a real force to be reckoned with? When the food industry big boys stop bullying vegan start-ups and instead join the game, that’s when. Hold on to your hats, because it’s happening. Slowly but surely, it’s happening.

Remember when the folks who make Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Unilever, brought a lawsuit to stop plucky new vegan company Hampton Creek from marketing its “Just Mayo” spread? That was back in the dark ages, otherwise known as October 2014. Back then, Unilever North America’s vice president of foods, Mike Fahery, grumbled to Bloomberg Business that Just Mayo products are “nonmayonnaise and are trying to play in the mayonnaise side.”

Flash forward to January 2015. Hellmann’s just announced it’s coming out with — you guessed it — an eggless mayo-like sandwich spread that’s vegan, non-GMO and cholesterol-free. They’re calling it “Hellmann’s Carefully Crafted Dressing & Sandwich Spread.” Will wonders never cease?

Certainly, Unilever wouldn’t have bothered with legal maneuvering in 2014 if “Just Mayo” wasn’t winning away its customers. After three months of ridiculous public flailing about — and a lot of negative press — Unilever backed off and dropped the suit in December 2014.

mayonnaise

Between then and January 2016, the company must have sent developers scurrying off to create a worthy non-mayo competitor. Looks like Unilever finally figured out that consumers are clamoring for more vegan and organic food choices. It now sees the dollar signs that whisper invitingly, “If you make it animal-free, vegans will buy it.”

“Our fans have been asking us for organic and eggless options with the creamy taste of Hellmann’s for years,” said marketing director Russel Lilly in a press release. For years, he says. What took you so long, Hellmann’s? I guess it took the remarkable success of Hampton Creek’s “Just Mayo” to demonstrate to Hellmann’s that quality vegan products will actually sell.

Hellmann’s mayonnaise isn’t the only Unilever-owned product getting a vegan counterpart. Ben & Jerry’s announced this month that it will soon be stocking shelves nationwide with four certified vegan versions of its popular ice creams.

people with ice cream pints

The good folks at HSUS HQ got a sneak preview of the new Ben & Jerry’s vegan flavors. Thumbs up, they say. Photo credit: Paul Shapiro Facebook page

Could you hear the screams of joy when the news broke? I could — I was one of the screamers. Vegan Ben & Jerry’s is like finding a rainbow unicorn at your front door that wants to live at your house and do all your laundry.

Vegans will soon be able to get Chunky Monkey (the holy grail of flavors, thank you), Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Coffee Caramel Fudge and P.B. and Cookies. The new flavors haven’t made it to stores yet, but Ben & Jerry’s says we can find them in many of their storefront Scoop Shops right now. Grocery stores will have them in four to six weeks.

More vegan options is good news all the way around. Not only do vegans and vegetarians have more choices than ever, but it also means we’re tilting ever closer to a world in which factory farming will cease to exist.

Having more high-profile vegan options means more omnivores will try them. If they’re tasty, we’ve just handed people one less reason to keep eating meat, dairy and eggs. Why eat animal products when they cause so much suffering and harm the planet to such a degree? “It’s vegan” no longer means “It tastes like cardboard.” Really, it never did, but now that truth is even easier to demonstrate. The excuses for not going full-on plant-based just keep dwindling.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

97 comments

Jim Ven
Jim Ven4 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S4 months ago

thanks for sharing.

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Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

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Andi drummond
Andi drummondabout a year ago

I don't care how many vegan alternatives they offer.. I boycott Unilever and other large companies that test on animals and people shouldn't be deceived by clever marketing.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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angela usher
angela u1 years ago

Thanks

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Karen C.
Karen C1 years ago

I don't think factory farms will ever be extinct (unfortunately) due to the high demand for animal products. However, this is a start towards promoting animal rights (and good food).

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Silvia Steinhilber

Wonderful! Can't wait for factory farms to be extinct!

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Muff-Anne York-Haley

Yum and happy for animals too

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Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper1 years ago

Noted!

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