Technology

Inside the marketing madness of Mayo Valley in Silicon Valley


In 2013, San Francisco-based startup Hampton Creek, known today as Eat Just, has launched its first product – vegan mayonnaise without eggs. The press release claimed it was “the world’s first food product to use plant protein that consistently outperforms animal protein.” That’s, even though soybeans have been extracted for their functional abilities in foods — for both animal feed and human nutrition — since the 1940’s. Regardless, journalists wild gold.

It was as if people had never seen a condiment before. Watchman He wrote that founder Josh Tetrick wanted to “disrupt the global food industry by replacing eggs with plants.” CBS News noted that the startup “tried 300 different types of plants” before starting to formulate this egg-free mayonnaise.

Tetrick first introduced the company to investors with what he admitted was a short-term promising group to build the world’s largest vegetarian database in order to bring plant-based foods to market. To get there, Tetrick eventually acquired big data employees from Google and Stanford. TechCrunch announced that the company has analyzed the characteristics of More than 4000 plants In order to find the 13 with “the perfect attributes needed to achieve better consistency, better taste, and lower cost.” This factory database, initially touted as involving licensing deals, has yet to come to fruition, and these big data folks have since left to start other companies.

It was a prime example of a new era of good food missionaries. They promise to reverse climate change and end our dependence on eating animals for protein — and then they race to raise money, hire staff, and, to achieve those goals faster, sell the promise to the consumer.

The thing is, in this case, the egg-free mayonnaise is already there. Vegenaise – a combination of words vegetarian And the mayonnaise—It was first developed in the mid-1970s by Follow Your Heart in California’s San Fernando Valley.

Before the vegan powerhouse it is today — it sells salad dressings, cheese, and yogurt (among other things) made with coconut, potato starch, canola, and more — Follow Your Heart was a natural food market with a cozy vegan café inside. The café was selling fresh fruit juices, vegetable soup, and an avocado, tomato and sprout sandwich featuring a thick dab of rich, refreshing mayonnaise. But instead of Iggy Hellmann’s, the cafe was using fake mayonnaise called lysines, made by a guy named Jack Patton. It’s made with soy lecithin — essentially a lipid emulsifier — and Bob Goldberg, co-founder and CEO of Follow Your Heart, has used it for everything. He called it his “secret ingredient”. The spread of the creamy white was so critical to the café’s success that Goldberg estimates that at one point the café purchased about 40,000 pounds of the stuff.

But Goldberg is beginning to hear a rumor that there are eggs in this supposedly eggless mayonnaise. He reached out to Patton, the owner of Lecinaise, who assured him that it was free of eggs, preservatives, and sugar. Patton even sent a letter to Goldberg to check the accuracy of his label.

Goldberg was reassured. The California Department of Food and Agriculture was not. In the dark of the night, the agency raided the Patton Lysines facilities and found workers who soaked the labels with plain mayonnaise for use and sold them under the Lysines brand name. (Patton was tried and convicted Forgery, to earn a 30-day prison sentence and a fine of $18,500.)

Goldberg was on the floor. Not only did its secret ingredient contain eggs, it was also full of sugar and preservatives. His popular whole-wheat sandwiches will become dry flaky. So Goldberg looked to other manufacturers for help. “They all insisted there was no way to make mayonnaise without eggs,” he says.

Goldberg reluctantly tried Hain Imitation Mayonnaise, but it was a substandard product that lacked emulsification – the key to flavour. “We’ve tried different ways to make it taste more, by adding sweeteners, vinegar or lemon juice, but the results have always been very disappointing,” he says.



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