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OFF BEAT: Mayonnaise giant cracks, drops suit against eggless rival


You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

But you can, it seems, make mayonnaise.

If, like legendary film director Alfred Hitchcock, you suffer from ovaphobia — fear of eggs — you will be relieved to learn that mayonnaise giant Hellmann’s has dropped a lawsuit against a rival California firm that manufactures egg-free mayonnaise.

It was an intellectual property dispute that could have ended up with one side or the other having egg on their face.

Hellmann’s, a unit of Anglo-Dutch Unilever Group, had filed suit against San Francisco-based Hampton Creek which makes Just Mayo — an egg-free version of the condiment.

Hellmann’s claimed that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration defines mayonnaise as containing “one or more egg yolks” and accused Hampton Creek of false advertising and of stealing its market share.

But last week Hellmann’s dropped the suit and urged Hampton Creek to take steps to change its labelling, according to news reports.

So lovers of egg-free mayonnaise can rest assured that they will still be able to find their favorite sandwich filler.

Whatever could be next — eggless eggnog?