“Mayochup” is Kraft Heinz’s new weapon in the condiment wars

Ketchup, meet mayo.
Ketchup, meet mayo.
Image: AP/Elise Amendola
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Kraft Heinz is developing a ketchup mayo hybrid—”mayochup”— in order to compete for dominance (paywall) amid consumers’ changing tastes.

Competition is fierce in the condiment business. While Kraft Heinz and Unilever’s Hellmann’s together account for more than 80% of the US mayo market, sales are falling and niche mayo-makers are growing—from 3.2% in 2012, to 6.1% of the market in 2017, according to Euromonitor. It’s not that Americans don’t love mayo—it’s still more popular than ketchup by volume and sales value—but rather that big brands have been slower to catch up with the healthier times.

Consumers are increasingly shying away from ingredients like canola oil and high fructose corn syrup, and moving towards more adventurous flavors (such as sriracha mayo) and specialist brands, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). In addition to developing mayochup, Heinz recently made a version of its regular mayo that’s more, well, mayonnaise-y by using cage free eggs and “simple ingredients.”  They also revamped Miracle Whip—which isn’t actually mayo, thanks to its lower oil content—so that it doesn’t include high fructose corn syrup, a pariah with many modern consumers.

Mayochup sounds strikingly familiar to In-N-Out Burger’s famous (but secret) “spread” recipe. The cult burger joint, which has locations across the American southwest, keeps the exact sauce formulation under wraps, but the internet’s best guess is that it’s made from 62% mayo mixed with 38% blend of ketchup and relish.

The surge in condiment innovation is a sign of the times. A decade ago, condiments weren’t that competitive, Jennifer Healy, head of marketing for the Heinz brand, told the Journal. The simple ingredients of something like mayonnaise—eggs, water, vinegar, oil—meant there were huge profit margins to be had.