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May 21, 2007 12:58 PM

New Best Foods Mayonnaise - is it my imagination?

So I'm sitting here, eating my turkey sandwich at lunch, and I notice - the Best Foods doesn't taste quite right. Then I remember - I used the new squeeze bottle my sister just got at the store to make my sandwich last night. I don't know - it's just not as thick and/or tangy -
Does anyone else notice this?

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  1. I don't think Best Foods is as good as it used to be -- I have noticed that is it not as tangy. I don't like to buy condiments in plastic bottles or jars. I don't think it keeps the food as well as glass. And I think that when mayo or mustard it put is squeeze bottles, they reformulate the product to make it thinner. Just my two cents worth . . . .

    1 Reply
    1. re: Seattle Rose

      That's what I think, too!! : ( The original Best Foods would never be able to squeeze through the slit that easily -- makes for a yucky sandwich..

    2. I bought some Hellman's in a squeeze bottle for a picnic and there's something weird about it. It's not the same as the Hellman's in the jar right next to it in the fridge. Different texture and mouth feel. Maybe something to make it slide down and out of the different packaging? I've asked friends and they think it's different too.
      Aren't Hellman's and Best Foods the same?

      33 Replies
        1. re: aurora50

          No they are not.

          However, they are moving closer which might explain the change in taste.

          Originally Best Food and Hellman's were two different recipes ... a few years ago the website even admitted as much. However, IMO, they are tweaking both recipes over time so that they will be identical. Best Food won't answer questions about this but there are a few web reports that the recipe has recently changed.

          1. re: rworange

            That is very disturbing. In fact, if I remember correctly, right on the jar it used to say, "Known as Hellman's East of the Rockies".

            1. re: rworange

              This topic has come up many times on this board. Perhaps at some point in the distant past the recipes were different (the companies merged in 1932), but they have said right on the label for at *least* 20 years that Best Foods is "known as Hellman's East of the Rockies," and that Hellmans is "known as Best Foods west of the Rockies." The Best Foods/Hellman's websites claims they are identical, and the ingredient lists are identical. Either the company is lying in print and subjecting itself to myriad and sundry fraud lawsuits, or the stuff you've seen on the web to the contrary is urban myth and speculation.

              From the websites:

              I can not find Bestfoods' products East of the Rocky Mountains. Why?

              In 1932 Best Foods and Hellmann's merged into the same family. They're manufactured in the same plant, but Best Foods mayonnaise has been sold west of the Rockies, while Hellmann's mayonnaise has been sold east of the Rockies. Even though Best Foods and Hellmann's have different names, it's the same great product, quality, and great taste.


              "I can not find Hellmann's products West of the Rocky Mountains. Why?

              In 1932 Best Foods and Hellmann's merged into the same family. They're manufactured in the same plant, but Best Foods mayonnaise has been sold west of the Rockies, while Hellmann's mayonnaise has been sold east of the Rockies. Even though Best Foods and Hellmann's have different names, it's the same great product, quality, and great taste."


              1. re: DanaB

                Yes, I can read the site but they were definately different products taste-wise for a long time. When I moved to SF about 20 years ago from Boston, it was VERY different. Best Foods was bland and I hated it. That first jar was a shocker.

                The were definately two different recipes in 1932 ... I wasn't born yet so no first hand experience, but I would have a hard time believing both companies had the exact same recipe.

                If they are identical, when did they change? Hellman's doesn't mention this. Which recipe did they use?

                Sure they are both great products in their category and I'm sure the same quaility of ingrediants goes into them. And they both have great taste to their fans.

                However, unless Hellman's says that the recipe is exactly the same on their site, it doesn't confirm they are identical.

                When I moved to SF, on my first trip back home ... somewhere in the 80's, I stocked up on Hellman's and the order of the ingrediants was different.

                Their website a few years ago said so. The internet is like Orwell's 1984 ... info that was there once gets changed to suit the people distributing that info.

                Today they might very well be the same. It is cost-effective for Hellman's to be making the same product. I'm sure they don't want to advertise the changes to keep customers placated.

                My recent jar of Hellman's tasted different. People in this topic have noted a change in Best Foods. Hard to believe a large corporation would be evasive.

                Email them and they will cut and paste that same paragraph. But a simple yes or no on whether the recipe has recenlty changed or when orginally the recipe became identical ... goes unanswered.

                It seems simple enough to me for them to respond ... when both companies merged in 1932 the Hellman's recipe was used for both products ... or whenever that happened. Or why not just a "No, the recipe has not recently changed".

                They just give out that evasive blanket statement.

                1. re: rworange

                  Not to beat a dead horse, but I am speaking from experience, too. I grew up in California on Best Foods, and moved to NYC in 1985. In 1985, Hellmann's and Best Foods tasted the same, and the labels at that point in time used the language, "known as Best Foods west of the Rockies," and "known as Hellmann's east of the Rockies." So, at least to my mind, unless the companies have been lying for more than 20 years, the products have been the same for at least that long.

                  Clearly, you have a different perception, but to me, a company going on record in writing saying that although Best Foods and Hellmann's "have different names, it's the SAME great product, quality, and great taste," is a pretty clear statement that the products are identical. If you see a conspiracy, maybe you should be the one to file the lawsuit.

                  1. re: DanaB

                    People have different tastes. IMO, you upgraded going from Best Foods to Hellman's.

                    As to Hellman's being straightfoward has anyone noticed the 32 oz jar has quieltly changed to a 30 oz 'quart'? Interesting math.

                    Love one of the comments in that link ...
                    ”Bring out the Hellmans and bring out LESS!”

                    I'm not suggesting a great mayo conspiracy, just convenient wording. Don't need to sue. I have taken my business elsewhere and rarely buy Hellman's or Best Foods anymore.

                    My SO bought a small jar of Best Foods and a local store was selling Hellmans recently. I found the tastes similar and Helmman's blander. IMO, they should just end this and kill one of the product names. Still won't buy it. Don't like it anymore.

                    1. re: rworange

                      what brand do you use? or so you make your own?

                      1. re: toodie jane

                        Smirk ... I purposely left that out ... ok ... Miracle Whip .. I miss the tang of the old Hellmans though it was never as pronounced as MW. So much for my high horse and the sensitivity of my mayo palate.

                        1. re: rworange

                          What exactly is Miracle Whip? My sister has this instead of mayo, and I'll never eat a sandwich at her house because of it.

                          1. re: mojoeater

                            It's something that can be either used as "dressing" or "sandwich spread" - that alone makes me suspicious of it!! LOL
                            Maybe also spackle???

                            1. re: mojoeater

                              Miracle Whip is salad dressing. It was named for inventor Charles Chapman's patented "emulsifying machine" that was originally used to blend the ingredients in the mayonnaise-like product

                              It does use HFCS but pretty much is the same as mayo ... with extra spices like garlic and more vinegar to give it a little more tang. Because of the emulsifying process there can be more water in it.

                              Miracle Whip Ingrediants:

                              Nothing outrageously scary. If you are buying bread from the supermarket the ingrediants of the bread you are spreading MW on are three times as long and much scarier ... even Orowheat. And a bologna sandwich on Wonder Bread with MW ... come on ... there's nothing natural going on there ... leave MW alone. The Miracle Wonder sandwich, so to speak.

                              Hellman's / Best Food ingrediants

                              At one time, the order of the last three ingrediants was different for Hellman's and Best Food.

                            2. re: rworange

                              Have always liked MW more than mayo.

                              1. re: hannaone

                                mustard is the key distinguishing ingredient in miracle whip compared with mayo....

                              2. re: rworange

                                Have you tried the Best Foods with "Lime" in it?
                                I think it might be tangier!?
                                Some supermarkets carry itand definitely those that serve a Latino population...

                                1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                  I've been looking for a small jar if I don't like it. However, since Raley's has it on sale this week ($2.50) , I might just take the splurge and give it a try. I'm sure if I don't like it Roberto might.

                                  1. re: rworange

                                    Hey, if either of you guys tries it, please let us know how you liked it?

                                    1. re: aurora50

                                      Ok, I caved to a sale. And while I didn't get the lime-based Best Foods mayo, I did try the Canola Oil version. Tastes just like the regular soybean oil Best Food mayo in the small jar my SO bought.

                                      So ... why would canola oil mayo be preferable to soybean oil mayo.

                                      1. re: rworange

                                        From a health standpoint, canola oil is richer in the heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and lower in heart-unhealthy saturated fat:


                                        1. re: rworange

                                          "But evidence is mounting that canola oil actually promotes heart disease and is a hoax on the public rivaling the promotion of margarine."

                                          Learn more:

                                          I, too, thought canola was healthier but NOT after reading this article!

                                    2. re: ChowFun_derek

                                      One word: "Dukes". I'm a Southron who grew up on Hellman's and have recently seen the light.

                                      My property was designated a no Manure-ical Whip zone ages ago.

                                2. re: rworange

                                  i haven't worked in the business in a while but there used to be the gallon foodservice hellman's that was heavier and thicker than the retail.
                                  don't know if that holds true today.

                                  1. re: byrd

                                    Yes, you are correct indeed! I purchased the "thicker, heavier style" gallon of hellman's at Costco, I was making potato salad for a large group.

                                3. re: DanaB

                                  I agree with you. Growing up, I bounced back and forth between both coasts. Mom always bought Hellman's/Best Foods and none of us eve detected a difference. We were pretty picky, too: When we moved to England, someone tried to make us believe that "Salad Cream" was the exact same product -- shudder!

                            3. re: rworange

                              From 1995 to 2002, I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the only city I know of where you can buy both Hellmanns and Best Foods. (Not in the same store, but you could find, say, Hellmanns at Raleys and Albertsons, and Best Foods at Smiths and Jewel-Osco.) As a result, I more than once had small jars of both in my fridge at the same time. My memory is that there was absolutely no flavor or textural difference between them.

                              1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                But have you tried the new Squeeze bottle kind? I think there is definitely a difference.

                                1. re: aurora50

                                  I would think they would increase the amount of oil in order to make it squeezable.

                                  1. re: mojoeater

                                    Yes, I think that's probably at least part of it. I wonder if we can find out from the Best Foods/Hellmanns' people? Would they cop to that?

                                    1. re: aurora50

                                      I don't think it's a "Cop to it" situation. It's the same ingredients, just slightly different proportions. And getting a corporate entity to give up their exact proportions will be tough. Secret Recipe and all that.

                                      1. re: mojoeater

                                        Well, I'm tellin' ya, I'm giving up my jars(!) (sis got 2) to my mother (or anyone else who will take them). Those "slightly different" proportions are enough to make it unpalatable for me - back to the original!

                                        1. re: aurora50

                                          If they are unpoened, your grocery store will give you your money back.

                                          1. re: mojoeater

                                            I can take one back to the store, anyhow!! : ) Thanks for reminding me.

                                      2. re: aurora50

                                        all you would have to do is weigh equal volumes, chances are the squeeze would weigh less because there's more oil than eggs.

                          2. Funny you should say this, I often use Hellman's Light, and they have these new wide mouth plastic jars. But I've been avoiding them, as I feel the product tastes different this way than it does in the traditional glass jar.

                            4 Replies
                              1. re: MsDiPesto

                                I agree about plastic versus glass jars.

                                1. re: MsDiPesto

                                  I don't know about a taste difference, but the allegedly convenient squeezable plastic container seems to hold on to half of the contents. I wrote a complaint e-mail (something I've never done before) and got a coupon for a free old-fashioned jar.

                                2. I sent Hellmans/Best Foods an e-mail asking about the squeeze bottle, here is their reply:

                                  Thanks for writing!

                                  Our mayonnaise is the same formulation in the jars as it is in the squeeze bottles.

                                  Thanks for your interest!

                                  Your friends at Hellmann's

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                    Hmmm, do you really believe that??? ; )
                                    I believe my own taster!!!

                                  2. I agree, the stuff they put in the plastic squeeze bottle definitely tastes different than what's in the glass jars. It's also thicker and is more of a flat white color. The glass version has more of a glossy white color.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: aynrandgirl

                                      I didn't expect anyone else to agree with what the people who make it say about it, just reporting back. But yes, personally, I do believe it.

                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                        KaimukiMan, yes, thanks for "doing the research". But, I'm not clear - do you mean you believe them, or us???

                                        1. re: aurora50

                                          Oh, sorry I wasn't clear.

                                          I do believe that when they put it in the bottle it is the same stuff. I suspect that any differences you detect are a result of being put into plastic or into glass (glass being just about the most non-reactive material known to man). I would be interestd to know if anyone has tried any sort of a "blind taste test" Thanks for asking Aurora.