Mayo Is Finally a Member of the Restaurant Table Top Condiment Clique -- New Packaging and Debunking the “Refrigerate After Opening” Myth Gives Mayo a New Reputation

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Ketchup and mustard, along with other assorted seasonings, have historically been the condiment grouping on restaurant tables, but mayonnaise, a condiment mainstay for oh-so-many years, was never part of the table top clique until now, according to The NPD Group.

This all-purpose staple now has its rightful place on the restaurant table, and restaurant customers can literally ‘hold the mayo,’ ” says Annie Roberts, vice president, SupplyTrack, NPD Group.

Ketchup and mustard, along with other assorted seasonings, have historically been the condiment grouping on restaurant tables, but mayonnaise, a condiment mainstay for oh-so-many years, was never part of the table top clique until now. New packaging and debunking the myth that commercially-produced mayo needs to be refrigerated have helped to push it to the top…of the table that is, according to The NPD Group, a leading global information company. 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, reports NPD Group.

Case shipments of table top mayonnaise from broadline distributors to commercial and non-commercial foodservice outlets increased by 3 percent in the year ending April 2016, over an 18 percent gain over the same period year ago, according to NPD Group’s SupplyTrack®, a monthly tracking service that tracks every product shipped from major foodservice broadline distributors to over 500,000 commercial and non-commercial operators. Table top mayo case shipments to non-commercial foodservice outlets increased by 12 percent 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 percent 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. 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.

“Mayonnaise manufacturers innovated by taking a classic product and repackaging it for a new purpose,” says 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.’ ”

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group provides market information and analytic solutions that drive better decision-making and better results. The world’s leading brands rely on us to help them get the right products in the right places for the right people. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, diamonds, e-commerce, entertainment, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, technology, toys, video games, and watches / jewelry. For more information, visit npd.com and npdgroupblog.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.

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Kim McLynn
The NPD Group
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