Unilever drops mayonnaise suit against Just Mayo maker

Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:36pm EST
 
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By Kanika Sikka

(Reuters) - Unilever Plc's (ULVR.L: Quote) (UNc.AS: Quote) U.S. division said it has withdrawn its lawsuit against food startup Hampton Creek over false advertising and unfair competition related to its Just Mayo product.

Unilever, famous for its mayonnaise brand Hellmann's, had filed a suit against Hampton Creek earlier this year accusing the company of advertising Just Mayo, an eggless spread, as mayonnaise.

Unilever alleged that the spread could not be defined as mayonnaise under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's definition as it did not contain eggs.

Common dictionary definitions of mayonnaise similarly define mayonnaise as "a dressing made chiefly of egg yolks, vegetable oils, and vinegar or lemon juice," the company had said in its lawsuit.

The case gained national attention when a petition on Change.org gathered 112,000 supporters asking Unilever to "stop bullying sustainable food companies."

Neither company was immediately available for comment outside normal business hours.

 
Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company Unilever Chief Executive Paul Polman addresses the Climate Summit at the U.N. headquarters in New York September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid