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Hellmann’s Mayo Continues Food Waste Reduction Campaign

Photo Courtesy Hellmann’s

Super Bowl LVIII was a terrific onfield spectacle as the Kansas City Chiefs battled the San Francisco 49ers into overtime. But Super Sunday isn’t just about the Big Game. It’s also about the social experience, the halftime show, and the commercials. 

In past years, we’ve seen more socially and ecologically conscious ads air during the Super Bowl. Making a return to the screens of 120 million households was Hellmann’s Mayo, which continued its campaign against food waste. The mayo maker enlisted the help of comedian Kate McKinnon and her playful Mayo Cat. 

Video Courtesy: Mayo Cat – Hellmann’s Big Game: 60

Hellmann’s “Make Taste, Not Waste” campaign encourages people to save their leftovers and remix them into flavorful recipes. Rather than dump out all your buffalo chicken dip, make it into a chicken salad with Hellmann’s Mayo. The website offers other recipes that don’t require mayo, but you get the idea. 

Feb. 12, the Monday after the game, was Sick of Food Waste Day, an observance Hellmann invented to show solidarity with food recovery groups.

Consumers were encouraged to post a TikTok or Instagram Reel of them making new recipes out of Super Bowl Food, with Hellmann’s tagged and #SickOfFoodWasteDay and #Sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Super Bowl LIX in New Orleans next year. 

The Super Bowl is the second-biggest food-wasting day for America, only behind Thanksgiving. Official events alone can generate more than 140,000 pounds of extra food, based on estimates from 2023’s contest between the Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles in Arizona. 

Millennial and Gen Z consumers are some of the company’s biggest buyers of mayo. Studies show these groups prefer buying from brands with social responsibility and ethical messages.

Photo Courtesy Hellmann’s

As part of the Unilever North America group, company funds were donated to the Food Recovery Network (FRN) to rescue unused food from Bullseye Event Group’s Players Tailgate and donate it to The Just One Project, a southern Nevada nonprofit helping to end hunger in and around Las Vegas. The tailgate was hosted by celebrity chefs Bobby Flay and Aaron May and broadcaster Sage Steele. At the last Super Bowl, FRN diverted 2,907 pounds of edible food to those in need. 

“Fighting food waste can happen at large events like this and in many other locations like our schools, our conferences, and our homes,” Regina Anderson, FRN executive director, said in a statement.

“We all have the power to ensure perfectly good food doesn’t go to waste, and we are excited to work with Hellmann’s — a name everyone knows — to ensure everyone understands how critical an issue food waste is and the small, simple actions you can take to make a difference.” 

FRN says it has recovered more than 16.3 million pounds of food, equivalent to 13.6 million meals donated to people in need. It also prevented 7,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere from landfill waste. Its programs extend to college campuses and businesses across 46 states and Washington, D.C.  

In 2022, Hellmann’s ran another ad to “tackle food waste” with comedian Pete Davidson and former NFL linebacker/current New England head coach Jerod Mayo. That ad paid tribute to the early 2000s YouTube sketch series “Terry Tate: Office Linebacker,” where former NFL linebacker Lester Speight went around the cubicles tackling coworkers.

Video Courtesy: Top Super Bowl 2022 Commercials

In 2021, comedian Amy Schumer played the “Fairy Godmayo” to continue the message: reuse those Super Bowl leftovers. This year’s effort was Hellman’s fourth consecutive Super Bowl ad run.

It’s not cheap to air these ads. A 30-second Super Bowl ad costs around $7 million, and Hellmann’s ads were over a minute. Across four years, a mayonnaise company has paid nearly $56 million in advertising, not including production costs and actor pay. While the ads may seem like a gimmick and incredibly expensive, consumers connect to these socially conscious ads, even if the presentation can be corny.

“Hellmann’s has always dedicated its Big Game commercial to the fight against food waste,”  Chris Symmes, marketing director, Dressings North America, Unilever, said in a statement. “Given what we know about food waste the day after the game, there couldn’t be a more relevant moment to drive awareness and make an impact about the issue.”


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