CEO Defends Just Mayo Against Buyback Accusations

Hampton Creek CEO Josh Tetrick counters Bloomberg charges of wrongdoing with release of company records.

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Last week, media outlet Bloomberg accused vegan company Hampton Creek of buying back jars of their Just Mayo to bolster sales. CEO Josh Tetrick explained that buybacks are a common quality-control practice, and that he set aside $77,000 to ensure the newly formulated product had an even consistency after some early Just Mayo consumers reported separation and packaging issues. During a live appearance on CNBC, Tetrick revealed that only .012 percent of the company’s sales resulted from buybacks and that all jars were properly accounted for. “As a young company, you do everything you can to survive in the early days,” Tetrick said. “Of course we didn’t break any laws; we’re open about everything, and I’m proud of what my company has built and what the early team did to make us who we are today.” In reference to what he called ‘The Great Mayo Buyout of 2014,” Tetrick said, “If I had to go back and do it again, of course I would do it again.” Last year, Hampton Creek came out victorious after a lengthy battle with the American Egg Board, Unilever, and US Food and Drug Administration. As was revealed in leaked emails between the three entities, they felt threatened by the vegan company’s success, and outlined illegal plans to disrupt their profitability (such as hiring outside personnel to pull jars of Just Mayo from Whole Foods shelves). Hampton Creek emerged from the attempted sabotage stronger than ever, reporting a 350-percent increase in revenue in 2015. The company is currently in the process of launching 43 new vegan products to stores such as Target and Walmart nationwide.

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