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Consumer Reports brings out the best mayonnaise

Hellmann's has its share of tasty competitors

Published: November 14, 2014 02:30 PM

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Mayonnaise is in the news after Unilever, maker of Hellmann's, filed suit against Hampton Creek, accusing the San Francisco startup of false advertising on the grounds that its Just Mayo sandwich spread isn't actually mayonnaise. According to the Food & Drug Administration, any product that calls itself mayo must include at least one egg-yolk containing ingredient. Just Mayo is made with pressed Canola oil, water, lemon juice, vinegar, and several other non-dairy ingredients. Consumer Reports hasn't tested Just Mayo, but we have evaluated several egg-based mayos. Turns out, Hellmann's is right to be concerned about the competition.      

In blind taste tests, our sensory panelists found Target's Market Pantry mayonnaise to be just as creamy and well-balanced as Hellmann's. For Costco members, the Kirkland Signature real mayonnaise was judged to be about as good as Hellmann's. The same goes for Walmart's Great Value real mayonnaise, with its Hellmann's-like taste and texture. Store brands typically sell for about 20 percent less than name brands, so you could save a few bucks each month, depending on your household's mayo consumption.  

We also tested mayo products from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. The Trader Joe's mayonnaise was more sour than Hellmann's and not as tasty. Whole Foods' 365 Everyday Value mayonnaise was similar to Hellmann's though a bit saltier. However, this product has been reformulated since our last taste test.  

Vitamix Professional Series 750

Or make your own. If you really want to save on mayonnaise, and have total control over the ingredients, consider making your own. A blender or food processor can both do the job. In our blender tests we found that blenders with variable-speed settings, like Vitamix Professional Series 750, $650, and the Waring Xtreme MX1000R, $350, are particularly good at emulsifying ingredients on their lower settings. The advantage with food processors is they often have feed tubes with a small hole in the bottom, which allows you to add in the oil slowly and consistently. In our food processor Ratings, the Cuisinart DLC-2011CHB Prep 11 Plus, $180, is one highly-rated food processor with this feature.

More condiment comparisons. To see how Heinz ketchup and other foods fared in our national vs. store brand match-ups read, "Store brands to savor."

—Daniel DiClerico (@dandiclerico on Twitter)    

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