Hellmann's vs. Best Foods Mayonnaise: Is There A Difference?

Hellmann's vs. Best Foods Mayonnaise: Is There A Difference?

You don't have to tell us at Kitchen Daily that Hellmann's Mayonnaise and Best Foods Mayonnaise are one and the same -- we already know. A while back, when we were conducting a whole-wheat sandwich bread taste test, we became aware of the fact that the same brand will go by different names, depending on which part of the country you're in.

The same is true with these two brands of mayonnaise -- Best Foods bought Hellmann's in 1932 and didn't want to lose customers by changing brand names. Rather, they kept the independent names and just made both logos look the same. They also have the same advertisements and slogans. The company claims that the two mayonnaise products are identical, and the ingredients lists are exactly the same. A Best Foods representative did state that Best Foods mayonnaise and Hellman's mayonnaise are "the same great product" with ingredients sourced from the same location.

But consumers claim that's not true. Just check out the discussion on our Facebook page and you'll see that several of our fans think there's a distinct difference. A few quotes from our followers: "Hellmann's is better ... there is a difference in the amount of sodium used in each brand, that's why they taste different." "Hellmann's is way better than Best." "Moving to California from the East Coast, Hellmann's was the first food that I truly missed. Best is not the same."

So, is the only difference between these two jars of mayonnaise the name on the label? We at Kitchen Daily weren't so sure. And when in doubt, we like to conduct a taste test to get to the bottom of things.

Before we get to the results, here is a bit of history:

Hellmann's was started by a German immigrant, Richard Hellmann, who owned a Deli in New York. It was at this deli that he began to sell ready-made mayonnaise that eventually became the jarred product we know today. Hellmann's is sold in the U.S. -- east of the Rocky Mountains -- and in Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Canada.

Best Foods
Best Foods is sold west of the Rocky Mountains. At the same time that Hellmann's was gaining popularity on the East Coast, Best Foods mayonnaise was booming in California. According to the company website, it was only a matter of time that the two brands joined forces.

The Verdict
Nineteen of our editors blind-tasted the two jars of mayonnaise, side by side, and ...

  • 16 percent of our editors didn't taste a difference between the two jars of mayonnaise.
  • 62.5 percent of the editors that did taste a difference preferred Hellman's over Best Foods.
  • Here's what our tasters thought:

    Hellmann's: "Sweeter -- overwhelmingly so." "Much brighter in flavor, but richer in texture." "Lighter." "A little too salty." "Thicker, creamier and has a milder flavor." "Isn't remarkable, but a good standard." "Too bland, boring." "Tangy and tart."

    Best Foods: "Has a tangy, almost sour note to it.""Tastes more of vinegar." "Too punchy." "Has a citrusy, acidic flavor." "Sweeter." "Has more flavor." "Hit me like a bucket of lard, although it mellowed out pretty quickly." "Good if you like 'tang.'" "Creamier, more whipped."

    IN SUMMARY: It appears that there may be a small difference between the two brands. This difference could result from a variation in the ratio of the ingredients the recipe calls for -- but the difference in taste is slight. Few tasters were not able to distinguish between the two brands at all, and others felt that Best Foods was a bit tangier than Hellman's.

    What do you think of Hellmann's vs. Best Foods? Leave us a comment below.

    WATCH: As Hellman's explains what they mean by real mayonnaise.

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