What happens when you mix the world’s best-known spicy sauce with the UK’s favourite mayonnaise? You get Hellman’s Chilli Mayonnaise “fired by Tabasco Pepper Sauce”.
The new product has just hit supermarket shelves in the UK as Hellman’s parent, consumer-goods giant Unilever, looks to take advantage of the growing hot-sauce market in the region.
It also represents a step towards more product and brand connections across the Atlantic, with Unilever saying it plans to launch its first ketchup in the US market later this year.
“With the trend for flavoured mayonnaise continuing to grow, plus hot sauces also rising in popularity, it made perfect sense for us, as the UK’s number one mayonnaise brand, to create the ultimate fiery chilli mayonnaise,” said Jon Walbancke, brand building director at Unilever UK and Ireland.
The phrase “iconic” is bandied around way too often these days, but when it comes to Tabasco, it’s a fair call. The “official” McIlhenny Company history dates Tabasco sauce back to 1868 when it was created by Edmund McIlhenny, a Maryland banker who moved to Louisiana, where hot sauces are pretty much part of the staple diet. But much of the company’s history has been discredited as fictitious. One historian has dated the sauce back even further to the pre-Civil War era and a New Orleans plantation.
Whatever its true origins, Tabasco sauce has been making eyes water all over the world for many generations. Even a decade ago, it was estimated the company was churning out as many as 720,000 57ml bottles of Tabasco daily from its Avery Island factory. It is sold in 185 countries, labelled in 22 languages and dialects, served on Air Force One and even included in US, British, Australian and Canadian army rations.
“Our partnership with the iconic Tabasco brand pepper sauce is a match made in mayonnaise heaven as we help fans spice things up this summer. With sales of mayonnaise overtaking ketchup for the first-time last year, ketchup is now feeling the heat, making it the perfect time to launch this sizzling new combination,” said Walbancke.
In the UK it will be priced the same as the rest of the Hellman’s cream sauce range, selling for a recommended retail price of £1.99 in a 250ml squeezy plastic bottle.