/ Food & Drink

Flavoured, plain, full-fat or light? How do you like your mayo?

Do flavoured mayonnaises appeal to you? When the waiter delivers my pub lunch and asks if I’d like any sauces, I know I’d be sending the mayonnaise back if it tasted of bacon, mustard or pesto.

And if you’re anything like Which? Convo editor Patrick Steen, you might even hate mayo whatever the flavour.

Yet, despite my not liking it, flavoured mayos are on the rise; Hellmann’s sells four flavoured varieties and Branston sells five. And there are plenty more to choose from if you like your mayo a little out of the ordinary.

A quick look at Tesco’s site shows that you can buy mayo flavoured with aioli, chilli, dijon mustard, garlic, lemon and garlic, mustard and onion, pesto, piri piri, roast garlic and black pepper and sweet chilli.

Hellmann’s is mayo-market leader

Despite the emergence of exotically flavoured mayos, traditional full-fat and light varieties still dominate the market with Hellmann’s real and light varieties accounting for more than 60% of all mayo sold in the UK.

There’s a big difference in fat content between the two types, but is there a difference in taste between the two?

To find out, we asked 36 staff from our Customer Service Centre to taste Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise and Hellmann’s Light Mayonnaise to tell us which one they liked the taste of best.

Full-fat mayo versus light

Each mayo was tested blind and 26 of our tasters told us that they preferred Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise’s ‘richer taste and thicker consistency’ to Hellmann’s Light, which one tester told us was ‘nice but a bit bland’.

So despite the popularity of light mayo (more than a third of Hellmann’s sales are Hellmann’s Light), it seems that real, full-fat mayo is still the people’s favourite.

But where do your preferences lie? Are you a full-fat fan or a lover of light? Have you been adventurous enough to dip into any flavoured mayo varieties?


Hellmann’s brought out a (mildly) garlic-flavoured version some years ago as it did
a more expensive version with premium olive oil much further back, both
got withdrawn, guess they didn’t sell well. So-called Mediterranean version I cd
live with, better than ‘Light’ to me.

Someone once said Waitrose’ organic is a close second to
Hellmann’s Real…. anyone tried it?


You shd never have to pay the full price as all of
the supermarkets stock Hellmann’s Real that if you time yr
purchases carefully between various outlets, shd pay no more than
50-66.66% of full price or RRP.

Better still, make it yourself as Delia and Keith Floyd have
shown how in cookery books of theirs, no doubt instructions
on the web and/or YT too.


Mayonnaise. Processed ‘food’ at its worst. Ghastly grease that should not be fed to dogs.

NO MAYO the first thing I look for when buying a sandwich.


We agree again – Can’t stand the stuff – Interesting mayo is the only thing my dogs won’t eat – and they’ll eat meat buried for months!


Me three! I like my mayo in the bin. Mayo should taste like egg, oil and seasoning. Make fresh? Yum! Get it in a jar, yuk!

Still, the results of our full taste test into mayos are interesting – Aldi and Lidl come out on top: http://www.which.co.uk/news/2012/04/aldi-and-lidl-bag-best-buys-in-which-mayo-test-283062/


me 4!


I’ll weigh in with a lengthy quote from the author Tom Robbins, who’d disagree with you all 🙂

“The mystery of mayonnaise is how egg yolks, vegetable oil, vinegar (wine’s angry brother), salt, sugar (earth’s primal grin-energy), lemon juice, water, and, naturally, a pinch of the ol’ calcium disodium EDTA could be combined in such a way as to produce a condiment so versatile, satisfying, and outright majestic that mustard, ketchup and their ilk must bow down before it (though at two bucks a jar, mayonnaise certainly doesn’t put on airs) or else slink away in disgrace.

Who but the French could have wrought this gastronomic miracle? Mayonnaise is France’s gift to the New World’s muddled palate, a boon that combines humanity’s ancient instinctive craving for the cellular warmth of pure fat with the modern, romantic fondness for complex flavors: mayo (as the lazy call it) may appear mild and prosaic, but behind it’s creamy veil it fairly seethes with tangy disposition. Cholesterol aside, it projects the luster that we astro-orphans have identified with well-being ever since we fell from the stars.

All Carolina folk are crazy for mayonnaise, mayonnaise is as ambrosia to them, the food of their tarheeled gods. Mayonnaise comforts them, causes the vowels to slide more musically along their slow tongues, appeasing their grease-conditioned taste buds while transporting those buds to a plane higher than lard could ever hope to fly.

Yellow as summer sunlight, soft as young thighs, smooth as a Baptist preacher’s rant, falsely innocent as a magicians handkerchief, mayonnaise will cloak a lettuce leaf, some shreds of cabbage, a few hunks of cold potato in the simplest splendor, recycling their dull character, making them lively and attractive again, granting them the capacity to delight the gullet if not the heart…”


Home-made mayo is what he’s talking about. Not the gloop you get in a jar…


No, Patrick! He says “at two bucks a jar, mayonnaise certainly doesn’t put on airs) or else slink away in disgrace.”

I think this is conclusive proof that mayonnaise is objectively delicious =)


Rich – that is, without a doubt, the most beautiful mayo-prose I’ve ever read. If I’d had any doubts before, I certainly wouldn’t now.


An Ode to flavoured lard, if I didn’t already detest the stuff, this would put me off for life!


Rich is definitely referring to the commercial processed rubbish, since it includes calcium disodium EDTA. That’s ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, a chelating agent used to help stabilise the emulsion of grease and water. It’s classified as a persistent organic pollutant. Yummy!


I can’t believe there are so many Mayo-haters out there – I can’t live without it!!!! Sarnies just don’t taste the same to me without a good dollop of the stuff. And my other half is also a firm fan of the flavoured varieties too. Resident in our fridge at the moment is garlic mayo and mustard and onion mayo.

And despite popular belief, Hellmann’s mayonnaise didn’t come top of the Which? taste test – Aldi and Lidl scored higher. So, I know where I’ll be going for my next pot of mayo…


I have to weigh-in too – I love mayonnaise! But Patrick has inspired me to try making my own at home.


Also use it in place of evaporated milk/cream in desserts and
on salads to accompany curried dishes re my Hellmann’s Real
… their flavour complements rather than conflicts…. also as
ingredient in dressings for both (roast) meats and salads, all yum!

Can’t think of eating meat/tuna/egg etc sandwich w/out some


I like mine with bacon in – baconnaise 🙂

It is possible to make mayonnaise at home, but it’s a bit tricky because you have to carefully add the ingredients together so they emulsify properly, and if the mixture gets too warm it will ruin. But if you’re into baking and cooking, and like making your own stuff, it is very possible to do – and it’s nothing like the stuff you get in a jar.

During our food preparation tests (food processors, jug blenders, hand blenders etc…) we have our lab experts make mayonnaise with the products, to see how well the products cope – and we do see quite different results.

Using the knife blade of a food processor, for example, to make mayo will give a more liquid consistency whereas making mayonnaise in a kitchen machine gives it a more yellow appearance.


Hate Mayo…Love salad cream [especially in a fish finger sandwich].
The other half swears by something called Hellmans classic light [I Think].
Mayo has always seemed like putting axle grease into a meal, I just cannot stand it; it makes coleslaw taste insipid, and taints any sandwich making it soggy and greasy…I just cannot understand why people use it, the flavour is so light it doesn’t add to the taste of anything, unlike salad cream with it’s distinctive creamy tang.
The only way I can ever use Mayo is to mix it with mustard, which reduces the fierceness of it for certain salads, this works better than French mustard which is too bland.


I like mayo on some things, but I limit myself to only a very small amount and always go light, cos it’s clearly not the healthiest thing to eat. It serves a purpose when you don’t like things too dry. Everything in moderation, as they say 🙂


Has the processed food industry created anything more evil than mayonnaise? Maybe, but I cannot think of example that is harder to avoid if we think of coleslaw as simply mayo with bits.


Mayonnaise made with hydrogenated fat!

par ailleurs says:
19 April 2012

Shop bought mayo is nothing like the real thing but rather tasty anyway. I had no idea it aroused such Marmite type passions. One thing of course-only full fat please. ‘Lite’, ‘low’ or similar is daft. It’s still oily, just a bit less so.
The only thing to replace mayo is…sandwich spread and then only in a fish finger sandwich made with sliced white. Loverly!


My thoughts exactly – I assumed most people could take it or leave it! I’m a fan in certain sandwiches (am very upset that Tesco has stopped putting it in their ham, cheese and pickle sarnies) but I don’t tend to buy it at home as I don’t think I’d use the whole jar before it went off.

David Smith says:
3 June 2017

Rather than using mayo, they should try putting butter on their bread – most supermarket sarnies are just dry bread.


When I feel too mean or miserly to buy even a sandwich when in town
or for that matter, anywhere else for any length of time, wd bring a 900ml
tub (ex Carte D’Or) of steamed baby potatoes bathed in Hellmann’s Real
(what else better?).

How’s that for thrift and frugality? And of course my own thermos
of hot coffee or (freshly squeezed) chilled orange or pink grapefruit
juice as occasion warrants.

Come to think of it, only thing I don’t use mayo for is in oriental/Thai
stir-fries. Oh so very versatile the mayo!


Mayonnaise made with hydrogenated fat! [M]

Good heavens, NO….. Hellmann’s Real is made from only:

1. Vegetable oil
2. Water
3. Pasteurised free range egg and egg yolk
4. Spirit vinegar
5. Salt
6. Sugar
7. Spirit vinegar
8. Lemon juice
9. Flavouring
10. Antioxidant (Calcium, Disodium EDTA)
11. Paprika extract

[Luxuriously rich chocolate brownies made with
Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise]


An Ode to Joy! (sorry, Beethoven)


Correction: 10 ingredients as spirit vinegar got mentioned twice.


If calcium disodium EDTA as oxidant, then Hellmann’s got it wrong by
putting a comma after ‘calcium’, have to google to find out more, probably


Correction: shd be ‘antioxidant’ re above.


I have been looking up the ingredients and nutritional information for Hellmann’s mayonnaise. On one of their websites it mentions rapeseed oil and another refers to soybean oil. Maybe the formulation depends on country.

It’s the first time I have seen nutritional information for a serving without specifying the portion size. Perhaps Unilever, the manufacturer, should stick to making cleaning products.


Hellmann’s Real mayo:

Vegetable oil 77%, the egg stuff mentioned on label 8% out
of the ten ingredients listed in total…. other nutritional info too
per 100 g…contains both good Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

Laz says:
19 April 2012

I prefer mine homemade with my bamix.
Just a few seconds and a third of the price.
Most have too much vinegar for me anyway.
My fav is with garlic and basil…Yummy.


At least no MSG or E-numbered stuff, that wd have
me worried a bit.


Calcium disodium EDTA is E385.

It’s not needed for homemade mayo.