If you’re someone who “watches what you eat,” it’s important not to deny yourself the foods you crave by replacing them with a pale imitation of what you actually desire. Speaking from experience, that tactic only builds resentment toward the lower-calorie or otherwise “healthier” alternatives, rather than leaving you feeling satisfied with the swap. Nothing illustrates the gulf between regular and fat-free foods better than mayonnaise, a condiment that exists to add fattiness to food but whose fat-free iteration has somehow been allowed to proliferate for the last several decades. Today, Kraft Mayo says no more. Today, Kraft has issued a “mayo culpa” as it declares that its Fat Free Mayo will be discontinued forever.
(Yes, the above tweet that presents the mayo cancellation as a breakup text is the extent of the company’s public announcement on this matter. I checked with Kraft. No official press release is forthcoming—the tweet says it all.)
In an email to The Takeout, reps for Kraft explained that its fat free mayo simply falls short of its standards for what makes a good mayonnaise, a fact that many consumers have pointed out over the years. The decision to retire the product entirely is one that the company is quick to emphasize it did not take lightly, despite the fact that some customers might be disappointed. (Please, try to point me toward a single customer who will be disappointed.) An email on behalf of Kraft also had this to say:
Kraft Mayo is the only mayo we need. It’s delicious, it’s velvety smooth. It’s everything mayo should be and unfortunately fat free mayo wasn’t. Our goal now is to get the best mayo, Kraft Mayo, into every mayo lover’s hands.
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If you’ve ever tasted fat free mayonnaise, there’s a 99.9% chance you agree with these sentiments, and the decision to eradicate the product from store shelves. The flavor of fat free mayo is somehow flatter than it should be, its texture too oily and its odor and aftertaste lingering in a most suspicious manner. In short, it’s going to break your sandwich, not make it. Back in the ’80s and ’90s, the fat-free food boom placed pressure on America’s food brands to create “light/lite” options, and in 1993, Kraft Fat Free Mayo was introduced to cater to dieters and other health-conscious populations. Twenty-eight years later, however, Fat Free has come to understand that its star has fallen and its time has passed. It will go gently into that good night, and for this, we are glad.
Kraft, if you’d like to take the resources you were pouring into subpar mayonnaise and use them to ramp up Velveeta production, you will hear no complaints from me.