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Class Action Claims ‘Just Mayo’ Just Isn’t

(CN) - Hampton Creek Inc. deceptively advertised and sold its "Just Mayo" sandwich spread products as containing mayonnaise when in reality they do not contain any mayonnaise at all, a class action filed in Miami-Dade County claims.

Hampton Creek is nationally known for its variety of sandwich spreads that it packages under the name of "Just Mayo." It promotes, markets distributes and sells them throughout the United States, including the State of Florida, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, "Mayo" is defined and commonly referred to as "mayonnaise." It is a product known by consumers and under federal regulations as containing eggs.

Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration describes mayonnaise as an "acidifying ingredient of either vinegar or lemon juice or lime juice, or both, and an egg yolk-containing ingredient."

Plaintiff Leah Davis claims that there are no eggs in Just Mayo products.

Davis says that Hampton Creek uses the image of a giant egg in the products' advertising campaigns and in their labels as well. In spite of the egg image on the label, none of the unflavored or flavored mayo spreads contain any egg-related ingredients, the lawsuit says.

"By calling its sandwich spread Just Mayo, Hampton Creek falsely communicates to consumers, including plaintiff, that Just Mayo is mayonnaise, when, in fact, it is not," the complaint says.

Since the product lacks the same emulsifying ingredients as real mayonnaise, Davis says that Just Mayo does not taste or perform like it because when heated its oils divide, and do not bind the ingredients together as authentic mayo does.

She claims that defendant notably displayed and advertised its products to the public as mayo with the purpose of inducing consumers to purchase them. As a result of its deception, Davis says, Hampton Creek has sold thousands of jars of its products to unsuspecting consumers.

On August 2014, plaintiff says that she bought Just Mayo for about $4.69 at a Whole Foods super market in North Miami, and at the Epicure Market in Sunny Isles Beach. She purchased the product thinking that she could use it for cooking purposes, as well as a sandwich spread.

"Had plaintiff and the Class been aware that Just Mayo was, in fact, not mayonnaise, they would not have purchased Just Mayo, or would have paid less for the Product," the complaint says.

Davis seeks unspecified damages on claims of violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and unjust enrichment.

She is represented by Nathan Zipperian and Scott Shepherd from Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah LLP, and Jeffrey Goldenberg from Goldenberg Schneider PA.

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