“Just Mayo” made its debut in 2004. Produced by a San Francisco-based startup, the vegan spread emerged as a primary rival to its competitors in the market. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that “Just Mayo” does not meet the legal requirements to be regarded as a mayonnaise since it contains no eggs.

Mayonnaise is one of the most famous condiments in the U.S. Because of the business growth and opportunities, the mayo manufacturers have been continuously trying to make innovations in the mayo sub-industry, and to expand differently within the market. However, FDA has a different plan for them.

FDA recently issued a warning letter to Hampton Creek, the manufacturer of “Just Mayo,” stating that it cannot be marketed as a mayo since it does not meet the legal requirement. The company markets the product as an eggless and healthy alternative to the conventional mayo. Soon after its launch in 2014, the product gained the attention of the investors, media partners and distribution dealers.

“According to the standard of identity for mayonnaise, egg is a required ingredient,” said a letter signed by William A. Cornell from the FDA's office of compliance.

“However, based on the ingredient information on the labels, these products do not contain eggs. We also note that these products contain additional ingredients that are not permitted by the standard, such as modified food starch, pea protein, and beta-carotene, which may be used to impart color simulating egg yolk. Therefore, these products do not conform to the standard for mayonnaise.”

The legal requirement prescribed by the FDA states that the spread must contain a minimum of 65 percent vegetable oil and one or more egg yolk-containing material to be qualified as a mayo. The FDA further said that so-called egg in the “Just Mayo” is a byproduct of Canadian yellow pea, and not the actual egg yolk.

Hampton Creek was asked to respond to the FDA's letter by the end of 15 business days.

The CEO of the company, Josh, has responded to the FDA's letter by stating, "We had a good call with the FDA yesterday. They get the import of what we're doing -- and why it matters to our food system. This is larger than a conversation about mayo, as innovation -- especially when it has a positive impact -- is important to them. We'll sit down with the FDA shortly, and are excited to talk with them about our approach. They understand our mission more than folks realize, and want to find a way forward. We're solid on keeping our name."