A millennial colleague of mine sent me an article on mayo trends among his generation because he knows I eat this stuff up (both mayo and food culture pieces).
Ok. So I liked the food history and food culture parts. But–and this is maybe because I’m Gen-X-er and we are too small to count as a meaningful demographic–I’m not really fond of writing that pivots on generational terms. And, yes, I see the irony in that previous sentence. Also, the main premise–that an entire generation does not like or eat mayonnaise–is false. While it is true that health consciousness has increased and mayo sales have been flat or slightly declining mayo “revenue is forecast to rise at an annualized rate of 1.1% to reach $2.0 billion over the five years to 2022.” So the premise is based on anecdotal evidence and is highly exaggerated. What does ring true is the very last few lines: “Besides, I’ve got news: That aioli you’re all so fond of? I hate to break it to you, but that’s just mayonnaise.” Ok. so aioli is garlic mayo usually made with olive oil. And the mayo industry is responding to the aioli trend–which has been going on since the ’90s–with a shift toward olive-oil-based mayos (instead of the more traditional canola) and flavored mayos. But there are a few trends on the mayo front that seem very millennial AND account for a slight dip in sales: the eschewing of big mayo–Unilever, Kraft, etc–in favor of regional varieties like Duke’s; the DIY trend where people are learning how to make their own aioli at home; the decline of chain restaurants (like Applebee’s that are likely to buy Hellmann’s and Kraft in bulk; the proliferation of other condiments crowding out stomach-share. Also, I’m having potato salad for lunch today and chicken salad for lunch tomorrow. Both with Duke’s. I make my own often, but when I buy it, and I usually do, it is Duke’s. (<< Not an ad.)