Unilever UK Foods
Hellmann's Mayonnaise was first created in 1905 when Richard Hellmann began selling mayonnaise, made from his wife's own recipe, in their New York delicatessen.
The popular recipe eventually arrived in the UK in 1961. As mayonnaise was a relatively new concept in Britain at that time, the early years were spent educating people and promoting the product as a 'side-of-plate' condiment.
Since its humble beginnings, the original Hellmann's line alone is now worth nearly £40m and the brand overall accounts for more than half of the £97.6m mayonnaise market. Growing ahead of the total mayonnaise market, which grew 3.3%, in the past year, value sales of the original Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise rose 4.1%.
Trial of Hellmann's products is high, with almost 24% of ACNielsen's consumer panel having tried the original line, with 55% of those deeming it delicious enough to return for a second purchase.
Hellmann's Mayonnaise has adapted over the years to consumers' changing needs. It has introduced a squeezy bottle for easy use - the first Unilever UK brand to adopt a squeezy format - as well as light varieties of the original brand.
Hellmann's certainly hit the spot with the introduction of better-for-you Light and Extra Light options, which have proven a big winner among those counting their calories.
Hellmann's Light clocked up sales worth £25.2m in the past year. As with the original version, trial and retrial figures are strong. More than 21% of ACNielsen's consumer panel have had a taste, of whom 53% decided to buy it again.
After 100 years, the Hellmann's brand is now much more than a mayonnaise. Today it covers dressings as well as other condiments. The total range is poised to benefit from a £7m heavyweight marketing campaign this year, including TV, press, direct mail and an on-pack competition to find the perfect sandwich.
Data: ACNielsen 4 w/e or MAT to March 25, 2006.