More on Hellmann’s

Hellmann'sTo get to the bottom of this terrible Hellmann's mayonnaise rumor, I called Hellmann's Consumer Services this morning. (The number's on the side of the mayo, how handy!) I spoke with a very nice woman who told me there was a "slight modification in the formula in March." But she stressed that it wasn't a significant change and that it shouldn't be noticeable. I asked how often such modifications are done, and she said not too often, about every couple of years, they'll make a minor change. So faithful readers and Hellmann's eaters, it's time for a taste test. Can you tell the difference? I don't want to call for a boycott yet, or start a movement to get the anything changed back, if it's only a minor flavor tweak. But my husband swears he can taste the difference. Can you?

9 thoughts on “More on Hellmann’s

  1. call me crazy, but their mayo tastes “eggier” now. maybe they’ve just added more oil to the base, i’m not sure. but it tastes fuller and i wouldn’t call that a compliment. it stands out more in salads than it did before.

  2. Funny, my husband thinks it tastes like it has more mustard (which I told the woman at Consumer Services and she said they don’t even add spices) but I think it’s got a bit more zing. I really wish I had an older jar to compare with.

  3. Eww, I think I might just have an older jar (or squeeze bottle as the case may be). That’s what happens when you live alone, you wind up with 8 month old bottles of mayo. I bought a new one the other day because I thought I might not have enough for the appetizer I was making. So if I still have the older bottle, I will do a taste test tonight and report back tomorrow…

  4. I have noticed a couple of differences, and I noticed them six months ago, or more. First, the texture is more oily than before and sometimes there is “free” oil floating on top, that is to say oil that didn’t quite emulsify. Secondly, I’ve noticed that it tastes a little tiny bit sweeter and perhaps a little saltier, as well.
    But even so, it’s still the best nationally distributed commercial mayo.
    BTW, does anyone have any opinions about the new canola version? Personally, I think the differences are negligable, at least with the new formula.
    Oh and Zach, you might think that your comment above was clever, but really it just comes off as snotty.

  5. Funny this should come up. I don’t use mayo too frequently but I made an egg salad sandwich with Hellman’s last week and I thought it tasted saltier. However, I had added salt to the recipe so when I made it again a few days later, I didn’t add salt and I still thought it tasted very salty compared to the past.

  6. This discussion makes me realise that I haven’t bought Hellman’s for ages. I switched to Spectrum or Hains a couple of years as they are available in the local co-op food store and they taste just as good. Not that I ever did a blinded taste test to check.
    As for glass vs. plastic – the pressure to switch is actually from the supermarkets. The stores don’t like glass as it breaks easily and weighs a lot more. Big glass bottles have to kept on the lowest shelf. Unfortunately, glass is the best storage material as it is impermeable to oxygen and water and it is recyclable.

  7. My guess is that they are slowly bringing the Hellman’s and Best Foods recipes closer and closer to each other so that eventually they will be able to use the same recipe for both. If this is true then, based on the descriptions I’ve read, the Hellman’s will be getting slightly tangier. This would certainly make sense for Unilever from a financial perspective, but it will certainly take some time for consumers to get used to.
    Love this blog.

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