Hellmann's and Best Foods

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Best Foods
Hellmann's Logo
Best Foods Logo
Product type Mayonnaise, condiments
Owner Unilever
Country U.S.
Introduced 1913
Markets Worldwide
Previous owners Richard Hellmann, Inc.
Best Foods
CPC International
Bestfoods Corporation
Tagline "Bring Out the Best"
Website www.hellmanns.com

Hellmann's and Best Foods are brand names that are used for the same line of mayonnaise and other food products. The Hellmann's brand is sold in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, and also in Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Canada. The Best Foods brand is sold in the United States west of the Rocky Mountains, and also in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Hellmann's and Best Foods are marketed in a similar way. Their logos and web sites resemble one another, and they have the same English slogan: "Bring out the best".

Both brands were previously sold by the U.S.-based Bestfoods Corporation, which also sold several other food products in addition to Hellmann's and Best Foods mayonnaise. Bestfoods, known as CPC international before 1997, was acquired by Unilever in 2000.


In 1905, Richard Hellmann from Vetschau, Germany, opened a delicatessen on Columbus Avenue in New York City, where he developed the first ready-made mayonnaise. It became so popular that he began selling it in bulk to other stores. He got his recipe from his beloved Belgian grandmother. In 1912 he built a factory to produce his mayonnaise in even greater quantities. It was mass marketed and called Hellmann's Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise. It was so successful, Hellmann closed his delicatessen by 1917 to devote full-time to his mayonnaise business.

Hellmann's Blue Ribbon ad from 1922.

While Hellmann's Mayonnaise thrived on the U.S. East Coast, the California company Best Foods introduced their own mayonnaise. Best Foods Mayonnaise became popular on the West Coast, and was operating a major plant in San Francisco in the first half of the twentieth century. In 1932, Best Foods bought the Hellmann's brand. By then both mayonnaises had such commanding market shares in their respective halves of the country that the company decided that both brands and recipes be preserved. To this day:

In 1955, Best Foods acquired Rosefield Packing Co., makers of Skippy peanut butter. Best Foods was bought by Corn Products Refining Company in 1958 to form Corn Products Company, which in 1969 became CPC International Inc. Hellmann's mayonnaise arrived in the United Kingdom in 1961 and, by the late 1980s, had over 50% market share.[3]

Prior to 1960, Hellmann's and Best Foods were advertised both in the same advertisements. The ads pointed out that it is known as Hellmann's in the East, and Best Foods in the West. Around 1968 the Best Foods brand added the Blue Ribbon from the Hellmann's brand, making them more sister products. Since 2007, both brands have exactly the same design.

In 1997, CPC International split into two companies: Bestfoods, becoming its own company once more (and also including the Hellmann's brand), and Corn Product International. [4] Bestfoods was acquired by Unilever in 2000.

Recipe and marketing issues[edit]

Hellmann's / Best Foods
Real Mayonnaise
Nutritional value per 1 Tbsp (13 g)
Energy 90 kcal (380 kJ)
0 g
10 g (15%)
Saturated 1.5 g (8%)
Trans 0 g
0 g
90 mg
Other constituents
Cholesterol 5 mg (2%)

Note: Both brands have the same nutritional values
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

When Best Foods acquired the Hellmann's brand, it decided to preserve the respective recipes for both mayonnaises. Today, the two products are made in the same plant. However, at least as recently as June 2003, the recipes were almost identical. From the company's FAQs at the time:

The products are basically the same. Both trademarks evolved simultaneously – Hellmann's in the East and Best Foods in the West. Taste preferences vary; some people find that Best Foods mayonnaise is slightly more tangy.[5]

Both labels contain the same ingredients in the same 'relative quantity' order: soybean oil, water, whole eggs & egg yolks, vinegar, salt, sugar, lemon juice, calcium disodium EDTA, and natural flavors. Best Foods' may contain more lemon juice, though the ingredients rank ordered by volume are the same as Hellmann's.[6] Still, the fine print in the company's marketing and web sites state that "Hellmann's is known as Best Foods west of the Rockies"[7] and "Best Foods is known as Hellmann's east of the Rockies"[8]

Maintaining the separate identities of both brands in the USA poses some unique challenges. Marketing campaigns for both products are identical; however, Hellmann's and Best Foods must make separate television commercials for each product and cannot utilize nationwide media to market their product.[9]

The Spanish slogan is "Haz una cara...Hellmann's!" (roughly translated to "Make a Hellman's face!"). In Brazil, it is "Hellmann's, a verdadeira maionese" (Hellmann's, the true mayonnaise).

List of products[edit]

Hellman's Real Mayonnaise

The following is a list of products that are sold under the Hellmann's and Best Foods brands in the United States and Canada. In other regions, especially Europe, Hellmann's is a major player in the dressings market too, with a wide range of flavors and formats:

  • Real Mayonnaise – the original mayonnaise product
  • Light Mayonnaise – mayonnaise with half the calories and fat of the Real version
  • Mayonnaise with a Twist (Lemon, Garlic or Chili), sold in Ireland
  • Extra Light Mayonnaise (UK)
  • Garlic Mayonnaise (UK)
  • English Mustard Mayonnaise (UK)
  • Canola Real Mayonnaise – mayonnaise made with canola oil.
  • Reduced Fat Mayonnaise Dressing – mayonnaise with only 2 grams of fat per serving and no cholesterol.
  • Mayonnaise with Lime Juice
  • Mayonnaise Dressing with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Dijonnaise – mayonnaise blended with Dijon mustard.
  • Honey Mustard – mustard blended with honey.
  • Tartar sauce
  • Sandwich Spread – a blend of mayonnaise and relish.
  • Limited Edition: Mediterranean Garlic. (2011)
  • Limited Edition: Spicy Buffalo; Hellmann's® light mayonnaise and Frank's® RedHot® sauce (2012)

In Mexico:

  • Best Foods Real Mayonnaise (the only product sold under the "Best Foods" brand)
  • Hellmann's Mayonesa Real – the original mayonnaise product
  • Hellmann's Delicia – mayonnaise made of milk
  • Hellmann's Mayonesa Espesa – thick mayonnaise, for salads
  • Hellmann's Mayonesa sin Colesterol – Reduced fat mayonnaise without cholesterol

In Brazil:

  • Maionese Hellmann's – the original mayonnaise product.
  • Maionese Hellmann's Mais Limão – mayonnaise with lime juice.
  • Maionese Hellmann's 0% Colesterol – mayonnaise without cholesterol.
  • Hellmann's Alho – mayonnaise with garlic.
  • Hellmann's Atum – mayonnaise with tuna.
  • Hellmann's Azeite – mayonnaise with olive oil.
  • Hellmann's Azeitona – mayonnaise with olives.
  • Hellmann's Hot – mayonnaise with red pepper
  • Hellmann's Fresh – mayonnaise with herbs, garlic and lemon juice
  • Hellmann's Tártaro – mayonnaise with carrots, cucumbers and onions
  • Hellmann's Deleite – milk-based mayonnaise

In Peru:

  • Hellmann's Peruvian Flavor – mayonnaise with Peruvian lime juice
  • Hellmann's Ketchup
  • Hellmann's Mustard

In Argentina:

  • Hellmann's Mayonesa – the original mayonnaise product.
  • Hellmann's Mayonesa Doblemente Batida (Twice whipped)
  • Hellmann's Mayonesa Light
  • Hellmann's Mayonesa Oliva
  • Hellmann's Mayonesa Libre de Colesterol
  • Hellmann's Salsa Golf – mayonnaise with tomato paste.
  • Hellmann's Hot Ketchup
  • Hellmann's Salsa Barbacoa
  • Hellmann's Chimi (chimichurri sauce)
  • Hellmann's Ají Picante
  • Savora – a mustard brand introduced to Argentina in 1938 by J. & J. Colman

In Hong Kong:

  • Best Foods Mayonnaise Series
  • Best Foods Salad Dressing Series
  • Best Foods Flavored Salad Dressing Series

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Best Foods". Best Foods. Retrieved 2013-04-02. 
  2. ^ "Hellmann's". Hellmanns.com. Retrieved 2013-04-02. 
  3. ^ "Brands in action | UK & Ireland". Unilever.co.uk. 2010-02-18. Retrieved 2013-04-02. 
  4. ^ "Bestfood – CPI company history". Fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved 2013-04-02. 
  5. ^ "Hellmann's Products FAQ". Archived from the original on 2003-04-16. Retrieved 2003-04-16. 
  6. ^ O'Connell, Joe. "Hellmann's and Best Foods Mayonnaise – overview and history". California BBQ Association. Archived from the original on 2008-01-28. Retrieved 2008-01-28. 
  7. ^ "Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise". Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  8. ^ ."Best Foods Real Mayonnaise". Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  9. ^ Feldman, David (November 2, 2004). Why Don't Cats Like to Swim?. New York: HarperCollins. pp. 212–213. ISBN 978-0060751487. 

External links[edit]