Hellmann's® products have been staples in American kitchens for generations. The brand's flagship product, Hellmann's® Real Mayonnaise, is the best-selling mayonnaise in the United States.
Mayonnaise is said to be the invention of the French chef of the Duke de Richelieu in 1756. While the Duke was defeating the British at Port Mahon, his chef was creating a victory feast that included a sauce made of cream and eggs. When the chef realized that there was no cream in the kitchen, he improvised, substituting olive oil for the cream. A new culinary masterpiece was born, and the chef named it "Mahonnaise" in honor of the Duke's victory.
In 1905, two years after arriving in the United States, German immigrant Richard Hellmann opened up a delicatessen in New York City. His delectable recipe for mayonnaise was featured in salads and sold in the deli, and the condiment quickly became so popular that Hellmann began selling it in "wooden boats" that were used for weighing butter.
Originally, two versions of the recipe were sold, and to distinguish between them, Hellmann put a blue ribbon around one. The "ribbon" version was in such high demand that in 1912, Hellmann designed what is today the iconic "Blue Ribbon" label, to be placed on larger glass jars. In 1913, Hellmann's received its first trademark for the Blue Ribbon.
At the same time that Hellmann's® Mayonnaise was flourishing in the East, Best Foods, Inc., introduced mayonnaise to Californian consumers. As Hellmann's® expanded on the east coast, Best Foods® proved to be a smashing success in the West. It was nearly inevitable that in 1932 Richard Hellmann Inc. was acquired by Best Foods, Inc. To this day, Hellmann's® Mayonnaise is sold east of the Rockies and Best Foods® Mayonnaise is sold west.