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Mayo gaining ground as restaurant condiment, NPD reports


July 8, 2016
By Canadian Pizza

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Chicago – New packaging and debunking the myth that commercially produced mayonnaise needs to be refrigerated have helped the condiment grow in popularity, according to the NPD Group.

Enterprising manufacturers found a way to package mayonnaise to fit in with the table-top crowd, and as a result, case shipments of table-top mayo from broadline foodservice distributors to commercial and non-commercial foodservice outlets have had year-over-year gains, NPD Group said in a news release.  

Case shipments of table top mayonnaise from broadline distributors to commercial and non-commercial food-service outlets increased by three per cent in the year ending April 2016 over an 18 per cent gain during same period year ago, according to NPD Group’s SupplyTrack tracking service. Table-top mayo case shipments to non-commercial foodservice outlets increased by 12 per cent in the period over year ago. In the commercial segment, the full-service segment had the largest gain in case shipments of table top mayonnaise among restaurant operator segments, with an 11 per cent increase over last year.

The myth that commercially produced mayo needs to be refrigerated for food safety reasons played a role in keeping it behind doors (refrigerator doors) rather than on the top of the restaurant table, NPD Group said in the release. According to food scientists, commercially produced mayonnaise, versus homemade, undergoes strict quality tests and, if anything, because of its acidic nature slows the growth of the bacteria associated with food- borne illnesses. As long as it’s not contaminated with other foods or a dirty utensil, which could happen with any condiment and is one of the reasons protective tops were designed, store-bought mayo does not need to be refrigerated (homemade mayo usually does).  Refrigerating commercial mayonnaise after opening has more to do with quality and extending its shelf life than it does with spoilage.

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“Mayonnaise manufacturers innovated by taking a classic product and repackaging it for a new purpose,” said Annie Roberts, vice-president, SupplyTrack. “This all-purpose staple now has its rightful place on the restaurant table, and restaurant customers can literally ‘hold the mayo.’ ”